this report describes the performance of door latches in accidents and in laboratory tests. it results from cooperation between the accident research unit of the university of birmingham who studied the accident data, the school of automotive studies of the cranfield institute of technology who carried out the testing and the transport and road research laboratory who contributed to the analysis. the incidence of car door openings during accidents is outlined and latch types are ranked according to their observed performance in accidents. all the anti-burst latches discussed satisfy ece regulation 11 which is currently required. it tests latches as separate entities without any of the vehicle and door structures to which they are attached. the development of a procedure to test latches when mounted in vehicle structures is described. this test was performed on a range of vehicles corresponding with those studied in the accident survey. the performance rankings from these tests are compared with the accident survey ranking and a good correlation is shown. the results of a set of ece 11 tests are shown for comparison. an analysis combining the accident survey and laboratory test data allows an estimate to be made of the effect on door opening rates in accidents if a vehicle bodyshell latch test were to be instigated.(a)

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