To estimate the aggressivity of vehicles in frontal crashes, national highway traffic safety administration (NHTSA) has introduced the driver fatality ratio, DFR, for different vehicle-to-vehicle categories. The DFR proposed by NHTSA is based on the actual crash statistical data, which makes it difficult to evaluate for other vehicle categories newly introduced to the market, as they do not have sufficient crash statistics. A finite element (FE) methodology is proposed in this study based on computational reconstruction of crashes and some objective measures to predict the relative risk of DFR associated with any vehicle-to-vehicle crash. The suggested objective measures include the ratios of maximum intrusion in the passenger compartments of the vehicles in crash, and the transmitted peak deceleration of the vehicles’ center of gravity, which are identified as the main influencing parameters on occupant injury. The suitability of the proposed method is established for a range of bullet light truck and van (LTV) categories against a small target passenger car with published data by NHTSA. A mathematical relation between the objective measures and DFR is then developed. The methodology is then extended to predict the relative risk of DFR for a crossover category vehicle, a light pick-up truck, and a mid-size car in crash against a small size passenger car. It is observed that the ratio of intrusions produces a reasonable estimate for the DFR, and that it can be utilized in predicting the relative risk of fatality ratios in head-on collisions. The FE methodology proposed in this study can be utilized in design process of a vehicle to reduce the aggressivity of the vehicle and to increase the on-road fleet compatibility in order to reduce the occupant injury out- come.
Cite this paper
R. Moradi, R. Setpally and H. Lankarani, "Use of Finite Element Analysis for the Prediction of Driver Fatality Ratio Based on Vehicle Intrusion Ratio in Head-On Collisions," Applied Mathematics
, Vol. 4 No. 5, 2013, pp. 56-63. doi: 10.4236/am.2013.45A007
 H. C. Gabler and W. T. Hollowell, “The Crash Compatibility of Cars and Light Trucks,” Journal of Crash Prevention and Injury Control, Vol. 2, No. 1, 2000, pp. 19-31.
 H. C. Gabler and W. T. Hollowell, “NHTSA’s Vehicle Aggressivity and Compatibility Research Program,” Proceedings of Fifteenth International Technical Conference on the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles, Melbourne, 13-16 May 1996.
 H. Joksch, D. Massie and R. Pichier, “Vehicle Aggressivity: Fleet Characterization Using Traffic Collision Data,” No. DOT-VNTSC-NHTSA-98-1, 1998.
 K. Digges and A. Eigen, “Measurements of Stiffness and Geometric Compatibility in Front to Side Crashes,” ESV Conference, Amsterdam, 4-7 June 2001.
 S. Summers, A. Prasad and W. T. Hollowell, “NHTSA’s Vehicle Compatibility Research Program,” SAE Paper 1999-01, 1999.
 H. C. Gabler and W. T. Hollowell, “The Aggressivity of Light Trucks and Vans in Traffic Crashes,” SAE Transactions, Vol. 107, 1999, pp. 1444-1452.
 V. R. R. Gottumukkala, “Study of Vehicle Aggressivity in Frontal Crash and Corresponding Occupent Responses,” M.S. Thesis, Wichita State University, Wichita, 2003.
 S. Summers, A. Prasad and W. T. Hollowell, “NHTSA’s Research Program for Vehicle Aggressivity and Fleet Compatibility,” Proceedings of the Seventeenth Annual International Conference on Enhanced Safety of Vehicles, Amsterdam, 4-7 June 2001.
 R. Moradi, R. Septally and H. M. Lankarani, “Influence of the Truck Side Under-Ride Guard Height on the Cabin Intrusion and Injury Potentials of the Small Car Occupants in Car/Heavy-Truck Side Crashes,” International Journal of Vehicle Structures and Systems (IJVSS), Special issue on Fracture Mechanics and Crashworthiness, Part II, Vol. 3, No. 3, 2011, pp. 169-177.
 L. Zaremba, J. Wong and C. Moffatt, “Eliminating Auto mobile Occupant Compartment Penetration in Moderate Speed Truck Rear Under-ride Crashes: A Crash Test Program,” Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Washington DC, 1997.
 IIHS, “Frontal Offset Crashworthiness Evaluation, Guidelines for Rating Structural Performance,” Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Arlington, 2002.
 “Finite Element Model Archive,” National Crash Analysis Center, George Washington University, 2012.
 S. Patel, A. Prasad and P. Mohan, “NHTSA’s Recent Test Program on Vehicle Compatibility,” NHTSA Paper No. 09-0416, 2009.