The Thatcham British insurance research center gives the Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan its top rating, following extensive crash testing of seats and head restraints from 114 different cars on sale in Europe. The tests evaluated protection against neck injury in the event of a rear-end impact.
Seat performance is classified as “Poor“, ”Marginal”, ”Acceptable“ or ”Good, with the Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan being rated as ”Good”. This good result for the Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan comes just one month after it received the “Best Pick” nomination in a side collision test by the American IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety). The front seats in Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan come as standard with Saab’s active head restraint (SAHR), which has been developed to reduce the relative movement between head and lower back in a rear-end impact.
The head restraint is mounted at the top of a frame inside the seat-back which pivots at its mid point. In a rear-end impact, the occupant’s lower back comes into contact with the bottom portion of the seat-back. The upper half of the frame, carrying the head restraint, then moves upwards and forwards, catching the occupant’s head and helping to minimize the amount of whiplash movement.
”The major tests of head restraints that are now performed by Thatcham and similar organisations in other countries, such as the US and Germany, show that the pioneering work that we have carried out in Sweden is now bearing fruit,” says Per Lenhoff, responsible for crash safety at Saab Automobile. ”Although a rear-end collision seldom results in life-threatening injury, it is the kind of accident that can cause permanent injuries and unnecessary suffering. The latest tests confirm the results that we at Saab and others, such as the Swedish insurance company Folksam, have recorded in tests in Sweden.”
Thatcham’s test consists of two parts, one geometrical and one dynamic. In the first part, the position of the head restraint, relative to position of the head, is measured on a crash test dummy representing a mid-sized grown-up man. A crash test is then performed with a seat mounted on a sled. A ”BioRID" dummy is used which has been developed co-operatively by Chalmer’s Technical University of Sweden, Saab Automobile, Volvo and Autoliv for this purpose.
For more information on Thatcham and the test, please visit: http://www.thatcham.org/