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.
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