Passive safety systems such as airbags, seat belts, and interior structural design of the automobile play a significant role in injury prevention of the occupant during collisions. Important design and operation parameters of the passive safety systems such as airbag firing times and steering wheel position as an interior design attribute potentially affect the dynamics of the occupant during impact and determine the amount of mitigation of a possible injury. This research aims to contribute towards improving passive safety systems in automobile design for mitigation of injuries by optimising the features and parameters of various subsystems such as driver’s airbag and steering wheel. Two separate computational models, a 5th percentile female and a 50th percentile male, comprising of a typical automobile interior with passive safety systems are constructed in the specialised impact simulation software MADYMO. Two different crash pulses of 30 kph and 48 kph are applied to the computational human body models in full-frontal crashes. Passive safety system parameters; in particular, airbag firing times and steering wheel column angles, are varied to investigate their effects on the head, neck and upper torso through injury criteria. Injury criteria predictions are employed in optimisation algorithms to figure out the best combinations for passive safety system parameters in order to mitigate possible injuries for all drivers.

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