Vehicle to Vehicle Inverted Drop Testing


During a freeway accident, a small sport utility vehicle struck a center divider and began to rollover. During the roll, however, the SUV actually rolled up and onto a sedan resulting in roof to roof interaction.  The collision resulted in dramatic crushing in of the SUV roof structure and catastrophic injuries to its occupants. SAFE Laboratories was called upon to reproduce the loadings and energy transfer of the crash and a vehicle to vehicle inverted drop test was designed.  Both an OEM SUV as well as a vehicle modified with an alternative roof structure were tested under similar conditions to those that resulted in the significant deformation of roof in the accident vehicle.

In each test, an SUV was suspended from the drop test fixture and precisely oriented above a sedan.  The SUV was released into free fall onto the sedan with instruments and high speed cameras capturing the impact. The resulting roof crush profile of the OEM test vehicle exhibited the key features seen on the accident vehicle thereby validating the tests similarity to the actual crash. The alternative roof design tests allowed for quantification of potential safety enhancements.