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Car Crash Safety Experiment

  1. Mar 13, 2009 #1
    Hi everyone,

    As part of the IB program, we are all required to design an experiment and write about how we would go about testing it .

    My instructor's decided that the best way to test this would be to "Determine using physics whether a Smart Car is safe in a crash"

    Since this is a theoretical experiment, we can go about proving this in any way we like, as long as we have a substantive methodology for doing so.

    Any ideas on how I should proceed?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 13, 2009 #2
    well, the smart car has an internal safety cage, which would be my main point of focus, as the crumple zones in this car are negligible

    calculate the bending stress in the safety cage, and from that you can model how much the cage will deform under impact, and therefore how much of an intrusion into the safety cage and therefore passenger space has been incurred, and from that determine whether or not an occupant will have come to harm.

    It is also worth noting that major organ damage is caused by rapid deceleration, due to collisions of organs and the bodies skeletal structure (think brain inside skull, lungs and ribs etc) - i cant remember the exact percentage but in crashes where an occupant sustains a deltaV of 50mph or more, something like 90% of people suffer an AIS 6 injury (which is either dead, or not quite dead yet, but almost definately going to die)

    hope this helps

  4. Mar 16, 2009 #3
    That was actually very helpful, thanks a lot :)
  5. Mar 16, 2009 #4
    no worries - you might also want to know that in an old episode of fifth gear (a uk tv program on channel five) they were looking at car safety and crashed a smart car into a wall at 50mph... might be worth having a trawl for..

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