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Car Crash Physics Research
Transcript of Car Crash Physics Research
Principles of Physics
Facts about Head Restraints
Changing the CD, Radio & Eating in the Car
Head Restraint Laws/Regulations
Head Restraint Regulations
History of Head Restraints
History of Head Restraints
The only improvements made to the original design were really to bring it closer to the head and standardize its size.
One proposed improvement to the current design is the HANS device. It reduces the likelihood of head and/or neck injuries by a larger margin than current head restraints but is somewhat impractical for the average driver and passenger.
Changing CD, Radio & Eating in the Car
Specific Safety Equipment
One study found that up to 35% of all neck sprains from whiplash that last more than six weeks could be prevented or reduced if people purchased or leased vehicles with better quality head restraints and adjusted them appropriately.
Head restraints were mandated by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for all new cars sold after January 1 1969.
Yet another showed that up to 80 % of Americans do not properly adjust their head restraints.
One study by the National Highway Traffic Administration found that people who distract themselves with things such as eating and driving increase their odds of an accident by 80 %.
Head restraints are designed to restrain head movement during a rear end collision and reduce the chance of neck and shoulder injury.
At any moment across the United States, approximately 660,000 driver use cell phones or are manipulating electronic devices while driving.
The growing popularity of fast food restaurants in the 1950's gave birth to a new cause of automobile accidents; eating while at the wheel. With the availability of fast food at virtually all hours of the day, it has become a major distraction among drivers at all ages and one of the top causes for car crashes.
Similar to the correlation between popularity of fast food and increasing automobile accidents, the development of technology has caused CD players to become very prevalent in modern day cars. Ever since the radio (early 1930's) and CD players appeared in cars as a normal, contemporary component, the accidents caused by being distracted by the technology has increased immensely.
Head restraints were devised during the 1950s and 1960s by motor vehicle manufacturers, safety research institutions and the medical community. The General Services Administration mandated head restraints for government cars for the front outboard seats in 1966.
The US regulation, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 202, mandates that head restraints meet either one of the following standards in design, performance, design and construction. "During a forward acceleration of at least 8g on the seat supporting structure, the rearward angular displacement of the head reference line shall be limited to 45° from the torso reference line, or
Head restraints must be at least 27.6 in above the seating reference point in their highest position and not deflect more than 3.9 in under a 372 N·m moment. The lateral width of the head restraint, measured at a point either 2.56 in below the top of the head restraint or 25.0 in above the seating reference point must be not less than 10.0 in for use with bench seats and 6.73 in for use with individual seats. The head restraint must withstand an increasing rearward load until there is a failure of the seat or seat back, or until a load of 890 N is applied."
Equipment that was designed to reduce accidents caused by changing radio/CDs and drinking/eating include cup holders, so a person doesn't have to manually hold their cup, and steering wheel audio controls so any audio device can be controlled with minimum movement.
In the event of a collision from the rear, the occupant's body is propelled rapidly forward, along with the car.
The Law of Inertia dictates that an object at rest will remain at rest, so the occupant's head remains in the same position when the body is pushed forward by the seat of the car, causing whiplash and back injuries.
The head restraint (or head rest) serves to support the head and neck in the event of an accident. When the body moves forward, the head restraint prevents the head from remaining in place and stretching the spine.
Integral head restraints are more effective than adjustable head restraints, though this may be because most people do not adjust their head restraints properly.
Standard 202 requires adjustable head restraints to provide a 27.5 inch seat back, however 75 % of these head restraints are left down.
Head restraints are effective because they support the head and neck and protect from hyper extension.
Saj, Nathan. "HEAD RESTRAINTS." Absolute Chiropractic. Absolute Chiropractic, 27 July 2012. Web. 20 Sept. 2013.
Kahane, Charles J., Dr. An Evaluation of Head Restraints. An Evaluation of Head Restraints. NHTSA, Feb. 1982. Web. 18 Sept. 2013.
Under federal law, head restraints must be adjustable from no lower than 29.5 inches to at least 31.5 inches above an occupant's hip. Head restraints are also required to sit no farther than 2 inches from the back of an occupant's head because the closer it is the more effective it is. This regulation applies only to vehicles built after or during 2009.
Clarke, Warren. "Protect Your Neck." Edmunds. N.p., 05 May 2009. Web. 18 Sept. 2013.
Integral head restraints reduced the overall injury risk in rear impacts by 17 % while adjustable restraints reduced it by 10 %.
By 1968, the National Traffic Safety Administration mandated head restraints for all cars sold in the United States after January 1, 1969.
This type of accident can be reduced through legislature, but primarily through personal choice.
There is a law in California that prohibits eating and drinking in a car while driving and if caught doing so, a citation will be issued. Nationwide however, there is currently no law or regulation that bans eating/drinking while driving.
There is currently no law or regulation regarding changing the radio/CD while driving.
Head restraints are only effective if the top of the cushion is at least level with the ears of the passenger. Otherwise, not enough support is provided to protect the neck and head from the force of impact.
Eating while driving can cause serious distractions. For example, if you are eating a burger, and you drop a pickle, your first instinct is going to be to reach for that pickle, therefor taking your eyes off the road.
Force=Mass x Acceleration
When that pickle hits your lap, you will panic and grab for it.
Adjusting the radio or CD player can cause a distraction similar to eating, directing attention away from the road.