Project: Side Impact Head Impact Protection Phases 2 and 3

Reference: S096A/VF

Last update: 08/09/2003 15:06:37


The project objectives are to:

* develop and evaluate a heaform test procedure to assess the head impact protection vehicles offer during side impact; and
* determine the implications of the proposed test procedure on vehicle design.


Accident studies show that vehicle occupants can strike their heads against a wide range of locations in the vehicle interior during impacts. A European Experimental Vehicle Committee working group (EEVC WG13) consisting of several European research and manufacturing organisations, has been developing test procedures to assess interior fittings for their potential to cause head injury. The UK is represented on this working group by TRL Limited, and this project funded the TRL participation for two phases of WG13 activity.

The EEVC WG13 head impact test procedure was originally developed to supplement the full-scale side impact test procedure, currently used in the side impact Type Approval Directive 96/27 which uses the EuroSID dummy to measure the severity of any impact, including head contact. In a full scale test the dummy can only indicate the risk of head injury at the one contact point, assuming that contact occurred during the test. Accident studies clearly show that vehicle occupants can strike their heads against a wide range of locations in the vehicle interior during a side impact, not just adjacent to their original head position. The separate head impact test procedure was intended to reflect the range of head impact locations and severities likely to occur in a side impact. EEVC WG13 was tasked with developing a suitable test procedure with TRL acting as lead institute with coordination, chairmanship and technical secretariat responsibilities. The initial phase of this work, carried out under an earlier project, evaluated the various instrumented headform tools available, and chose the most suitable to be specified for the test procedure. This project covered phases II and III of the WG13 programme.


TRL Limited
Crowthorne House, Nine Mile Ride, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG40 3GA
+44 (0)1344 773131

Contract details

Cost to the Department: £294,000.00

Actual start date: 06 January 1997

Actual completion date: 31 March 2001


A review of the influence of guidance methods on the performance of the free motion headform for use in interior surface evaluation
Author: EEVC WG13
Publication date: 01/09/1999
Source: Contact

PR/SE/079/00. Side impact head protection phases 2&3. Final report
Author: TRL Ltd.
Publication date: 01/01/2000
Source: Contact
More information:

PR/SE/594/99. Correlation of Free Motion Headform With EuroSID-1 Dummy
Author: TRL Ltd
Publication date: 01/01/1999
Source: Contact

Summary of results

  1. Phase II evaluated two methods of propelling the headform against the test surface (i.e., guided and free-motion) and concluded that the free motion headform was preferable.

    Phase III developed a test procedure, using accident analysis to assess likely impact locations within the vehicle and using results from full scale dummy tests to establish a correlation factor for the head impact velocity. In addition, a cost-benefit study was carried out.