Title: Influence of school bus seat spacing on crash protection of six-year olds

Authors: Peijun Ji; Qing Zhou

Addresses: Department of Automotive Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Automotive Safety and Energy, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China ' Department of Automotive Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Automotive Safety and Energy, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

Abstract: The new school bus regulations of China took effect in 2012. A main difference between the Chinese regulations and the US regulations is that lap belt is required in China, while in the USA, the seatback, to which child collides, is the only occupant restraint required by the state regulations. Seat spacing's effect on occupant protection on school bus was studied by NHTSA using different dummies, but no consistent trend was found. In this study, using finite element modelling, a school bus restraint model is developed, and under frontal impact loading, effects of seat spacing on six-year-old dummy protection are studied and lap-belted and no-lap-belt cases are compared. Kinematics and injury parameter readings of the dummy show that, for non-belted cases, smaller seat spacing results in lower HIC, while for belted cases, properly chosen seat spacing can minimise HIC. For chest acceleration, seat spacing has little effect while belt or no-belt has more prominent effect.

Keywords: school bus safety; seat spacing; lap belts; vehicle safety; school buses; crash protection; school children; China; occupant protection; passenger protection; finite element method; FEM; seat restraints; restraint modelling; frontal impact loading; kinematics; injury parameters; seat belts; six-year olds; child safety.

DOI: 10.1504/IJVS.2015.068687

International Journal of Vehicle Safety, 2015 Vol.8 No.2, pp.115 - 128

Received: 17 Dec 2014
Accepted: 12 Jan 2015

Published online: 08 Apr 2015 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article