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Forensic Analysis of Belt Use Evidence in Rollover Crashes: A Methodology

[+] Author Affiliations
Steven E. Meyer, Davis A. Hock, Arin A. Oliver

Safety Analysis & Forensic Engineering (S.A.F.E.), Goleta, CA

Brian R. Herbst

SAFE Laboratories, Goleta, CA

Paper No. IMECE2010-37925, pp. 383-392; 10 pages
  • ASME 2010 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 11: New Developments in Simulation Methods and Software for Engineering Applications; Safety Engineering, Risk Analysis and Reliability Methods; Transportation Systems
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, November 12–18, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4448-9
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


Recent advances in occupant protection systems have brought many new restraint technologies into our motor vehicles. These technologies include belt integrated restraints, various types of load limiters, webclamping devices and pretentioners. Additionally, recent developments in predictive roll sensor technologies have led to an increased use of rollover activated side curtain type airbags and rollover activated pretensioners. Moreover, recent upgrades and research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on the roof crush resistance standard, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 216, as well as developing an ejection mitigation standard (FMVSS 226) will likely lead to an increased focus on restraint system performance in rollovers. Post crash analysis of various restraint system components is oftentimes necessary for evaluation of a particular restraint system’s use and performance in a given crash circumstance. With the addition of these new technologies, together with an increased frequency of rollover crashes seen in the last many years, specific techniques, protocols and methodologies for evaluating belt use evidence in these multiple impact, often times chaotic, rollover events is necessary. The subject paper reviews previous work regarding analysis of belt use evidence and expands upon those studies to include specific consideration of the current restraint system technologies and how they affect the forensic evidence left behind after a rollover crash. Real-world case examples and a systematic methodology for analysis of belt evidence in rollover crashes is presented along with photographic examples and laboratory supported quantification of associated belt loads.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME
Topics: Belts



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