Browse Publications Technical Papers 2022-22-0006

Understanding Head Injury Risks during Car-to-Pedestrian Collisions Using Realistic Vehicle and Detailed Human Body Models 2022-22-0006

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death and long-term disability in road traffic accidents (RTAs). Researchers have examined the effect of vehicle front shape and pedestrian body size on the risk of pedestrian head injury. On the other hand, the relationship between vehicle front shape parameters and pedestrian TBI risks involving a diverse population with varying body sizes has yet to be investigated. Thus, the purpose of this study was to comprehensively study the effect of vehicle front shape parameters and various pedestrian bodies ranging from 95th percentile male (AM95) to 6 years old (YO) child on the dynamic response of the head and the risk of TBIs during primary (vehicle) impact. At three different collision speeds (30, 40, and 50 km/h), a total of 36 car-to-pedestrian collisions (CPCs) were reconstructed using three different vehicle types (Subcompact passenger sedan, mid-sedan, and sports utility vehicle (SUV)) and four distinct THUMS pedestrian finite element (FE) models (AM50, AM95, AF05, and 6YO). We assessed skull stress and brain strains besides head linear and rotational kinematics. Our findings indicate that vehicle shape parameters especially bonnet leading edge height (BLEH), when being divided by the height of the Center of Gravity of the human body, correlated positively to head kinematics. The data from this study using realistic vehicle structures and detailed human body models showed that smaller BLEH/CG ratios reduced head injury criteria (HIC) and brain injury criteria (BrIC) values for the car center to mid-stance walking pedestrian impacts but with low-to-moderate R squared values between 0.2 to 0.5. Smaller BLEH/CG reduced head lateral bending velocities with R squared values of 0.57 to 0.63 for all impact velocities, and reduced HIC with R squared value of 0.62 for 50 km/h cases. In the future, simulations with realistic car structures and detailed human body models will be further used to simulate impacts at different locations and with various body shapes/postures.


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