DEVELOPMENT OF A SAFETY SYSTEM FOR WHEELCHAIR-BOUND SCHOOL BUS PASSENGERS

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Education
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$200,000.00
Award Year:
1991
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
n/a
Award Id:
14159
Agency Tracking Number:
14159
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
P O Box 313, Buffalo, NY, 14226
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
Michael J Walsh
Director Of Research
() -
Business Contact:
() -
Research Institute:
n/a
Abstract
WHEELCHAIR OCCUPANTS IN SCHOOL BUSES ARE EXTREMELY VULNERABLE TO INJURY IN EVEN MODERATE SPEED CRASHES BECAUSE OF THE OPEN ENVIRNOMENT IN WHICH THEY ARE BEING TRANSPORTED TODAY. IT IS COMMON PRACTICE TO TRANSPORT THIS WHEELCHAIR BOUND POPULATION FACING SIDEWAYS IN VANS AND BUSES. THIS SIDE-FACING ORIENTATION EXPOSES THE WHEELCHAIR OCCUPANT TO ADISPROPORTIONATE AMOUNT OF DANGER IN THE EVENT OF FRONTAL ORREAR-END COLLISIONS. WE PROPOSE TO DEVELOP A SYSTEM TO PROVIDE PROPER PROTECTION FOR THIS CLASS OF TRANSPORTED CHILDREN USING THE CONCEPTS OF COMPARTMENTALIZATION AND INFLATABLE RESTRAINTS TO MORE EFFECTIVELY SECURE THE WHEELCHAIR AND ITS OCCUPANT IN MOST CRASH SITUATIONS. THIS INFLATABLE COMPARTMENTALIZED CRASH PROTECTION SYSTEM WILL PROTECT WHEELCHAIR OCCUPANTS FROM CONTACT WITH THE ADJACENT WHEELCHAIR/OCCUPANT COMPLEX, PREVENT EXCESSIVE LATERAL FLEXION OF THE UPPER TORSO AND CUSHION THE OCCUPANT'S HEAD AND TORSO DURING A CRASH. FURTHERMORE, THIS SAFETY DEVICE WILL NOT ORECLUDE THE VEHICLE DRIVER AND/OR ATTENDANT FROM VISUAL CONTACT WITH THE WHEELCHAIR OCCUPANTS DURING TRANSIT.AS PART OF THE SYSTEM, A WHEELCHAIR SECUREMENT MECHANISM WILL BE DEVELOPED WHICH PROVIDES BOTH FRONTAL AND LATERAL STABILITY AND RESTRAINT. PROTOTYPES OF THE INFLATABLE COMPARTMENTALIZED SYSTEM WILL BE FABRICATED AND SLED TESTED USING DUMMIES THAT SIMULATE CHILD SIZE WHEELCHAIR OCCUPANTS. E-Z ON PRODUCTS OF FLORIDAINC. WILL JOIN WITH HARTLEY ASSOCIATES, INC FOR THE PHASE III COMMERICAL EXPLOITATION OF THE WHEELCHAIR RESTRAINT SYSTEM DEVELOPED DURING THIS PROGRAM.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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