Crashworthiness Testing Programs


When innovators need to conduct independent tests to evaluate how a component or sub-system reacts in a vehicle crash, they turn to Calspan. We conduct simulated crash tests in which the car body (Body-in-White) is rapidly jettisoned down a set of rails on our acceleration sled system. This test methodology replicates the same forces and speeds (known as a crash pulse) that would occur if the vehicle was to be involved in an actual crash. In this type of testing, since nothing is physically impacting the Body-in-White, no physical deformation or damage occurs to the body’s structure, allowing multiple crashworthiness tests to be conducted in succession.

Calspan’s Body-in-White testing is leveraged by vehicle manufacturers and first-tier suppliers to test:

  • Occupant Restraint Systems:
    • Seat Belts – belt design, webbing, hardware, anchors
    • Air Bags – timing, firing circuits, sensors, squibs, units
  • Vehicle seating
  • Accident Reconstruction
    • Simulating the same G's, speeds, and impact angles on the sled system that were seen in an actual crash to review occupant interaction with interior components
  • All other interior vehicle components or accessories for crashworthiness
    • Dashboards, bolsters, headliner trip, and electronic control modules
    • Seat and headrest accessories, belting accessories, and accessory mounts
    • Items placed within the vehicle like child seats, cell phones, etc.
Auto Body In White


Calspan has a 12” HYGE Sled designed to simulate the effects of a collision in an acceleration mode. Its maximum force/load pressure is 225,000 lb-f and its maximum payload is 5,000 lb. (2,268 kg), which enables it to test everything from passenger cars to fully equipped truck cabins.

Our expertise with Body-in-White includes conducting simulated oblique tests, utilizing advanced dummies – such as child Q-Series dummies and THOR Mod Kit with SD-3 shoulders and LX Legs.



Customers that call upon Calspan’s expertise in Body-in-White testing receive numerous benefits, including:

  • Our ability to provide crashworthiness data that is consistent, repeatable and reproducible
  • An expert team who is recognized industry-wide for efficiency and flexibility
  • On-site engineering staff to design and fabricate vehicle test bucks
  • Our access to the latest transducers and ruggedized data acquisition systems and high-speed cameras