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Thread: Timeline of a Car Crash

  
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    astracolli's Avatar
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    Timeline of a Car Crash

    In designing the Falcon XT, Ford engineers set out to discover the anatomy of a car crash and found that the accident is typically over before we’re even consciously aware of it happening.
    This is a reconstruction of a crash involving a stationary Ford Falcon XT sedan being struck in the driver’s door by another vehicle travelling at 50 km/h [30 mph].
    0 milliseconds - An external object touches the driver’s door.
    1 ms - The car’s door pressure sensor detects a pressure wave.
    2 ms - An acceleration sensor in the C-pillar behind the rear door also detects a crash event.
    2.5 ms - A sensor in the car’s centre detects crash vibrations.
    5 ms - Car’s crash computer checks for insignificant crash events, such as a shopping trolley impact or incidental contact. It is still working out the severity of the crash. Door intrusion structure begins to absorb energy.
    6.5 ms - Door pressure sensor registers peak pressures.
    7 ms - Crash computer confirms a serious crash and calculates its actions.
    8 ms - Computer sends a “fire” signal to side airbag. Meanwhile, B-pillar begins to crumple inwards and energy begins to transfer into cross-car load path beneath the occupant.
    8.5 ms - Side airbag system fires.
    15 ms - Roof begins to absorb part of the impact. Airbag bursts through seat foam and begins to fill.
    17 ms - Cross-car load path and structure under rear seat reach maximum load.
    Airbag covers occupant’s chest and begins to push the shoulder away from impact zone.
    20 ms - Door and B-pillar begin to push on front seat. Airbag begins to push occupant’s chest away from the impact.
    27 ms - Impact velocity has halved from 50 km/h to 23.5 km/h. A “pusher block” in the seat moves occupant’s pelvis away from impact zone. Airbag starts controlled deflation.
    30 ms - The Falcon has absorbed all crash energy. Airbag remains in place. For a brief moment, occupant experiences maximum force equal to 12 times the force of gravity.
    45 ms - Occupant and airbag move together with deforming side structure.
    50 ms - Crash computer unlocks car’s doors. Passenger safety cell begins to rebound, pushing doors away from occupant.
    70 ms - Airbag continues to deflate. Occupant moves back towards middle of car.
    Engineers classify crash as “complete”.
    150-300 ms - Occupant becomes aware of collision.
    Mind Hacks corroborates these conclusions, stating that the start of concious awareness is typically found to be around 200-300 ms.




    Taken from: http://www.lonegunman.co.uk/2009/02/...f-a-car-crash/


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    domino's Avatar
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    interesting stuff

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    and you know this first hand... well the last bit anyways... morning?!
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    Good info Adam

  5. #5
    kr00zin_uk
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    Very interesting read indeed. Good find!

    Quote Originally Posted by astracolli View Post
    150-300 ms - Occupant becomes aware of collision.
    However, I would have thought that the driver is more often than not aware of a crash before it happens.

    Surely you can see a car that is approaching too fast and about to impact the vehicle?

    Or you perhaps you hear the screeching of tyres from an out of control vehicle without abs first and then brace for impact?

    I accept though that if you aren't aware of a potential impact, then all of the listed items would probably occur before a human being's brain registered it.

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