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Technical Paper

Quantification of Sternum Morphomics and Injury Data

Crash safety researchers have an increased concern regarding the decreased thoracic deflection and the contributing injury causation factors among the elderly population. Sternum fractures are categorized as moderate severity injuries, but can have long term effects depending on the fragility and frailty of the occupant. Current research has provided detail on rib morphology, but very little information on sternum morphology, sternum fracture locations, and mechanisms of injury. The objective of this study is two-fold (1) quantify sternum morphology and (2) document sternum fracture locations using computed tomography (CT) scans and crash data. Thoracic CT scans from the University of Michigan Hospital database were used to measure thoracic depth, manubriosternal joint, sternum thickness and bone density. The sternum fracture locations and descriptions were extracted from 63 International Center for Automotive Medicine (ICAM) crash cases, of which 22 cases had corresponding CT scans.
Technical Paper

A Software Tool for Injury Analysis of Blast and Crash Data

In recent years the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center (TARDEC) has been investigating the survivability and injury mechanisms of underbody blast and crash, and their effects on personnel, with the use of Anthropomorphic Test Devices (ATD), or crash test dummies. Injury Assessment Reference Values (IARV) for crash have been researched for decades, and the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL), some years ago, also developed IARVs for underbody blast for the Hybrid III 50th percentile ATD. More recently, TARDEC extended these IARVs for the 5th and 95th percentile. With the advent of TARDEC’s Occupant Protection Laboratory large amounts of data were accumulated, which brought an interest in automating the analysis, and so a software tool was developed. The interactive in-house written software, called ICalc, allows the user to open test data files acquired from blast testing, drop tower testing, and crash testing.
Technical Paper

A Study of Age-Related Thoracic Injury in Frontal Crashes using Analytic Morphomics

The purpose of this study was to use detailed medical information to evaluate thoracic injuries in elderly patients in real world frontal crashes. In this study, we used analytic morphomics to predict the effect of torso geometry on rib fracture, a major source of injury for the elderly. Analytic morphomics extracts body features from computed tomography (CT) scans of patients in a semi-automated fashion. Thoracic injuries were examined in front row occupants involved in frontal crashes from the International Center for Automotive Medicine (ICAM) database. Among these occupants, two age groups (age < 60 yr. [Nonelderly] and age ≥ 60 yr. [Elderly]) who suffered severe thoracic injury were analyzed. Regression analyses were conducted to investigate injury outcomes using variables for vehicle, demographics, and morphomics. Compared to the nonelderly group, the elderly group sustained more rib fractures.
Journal Article

Uncertainty Assessment in Restraint System Optimization for Occupants of Tactical Vehicles

We have recently obtained experimental data and used them to develop computational models to quantify occupant impact responses and injury risks for military vehicles during frontal crashes. The number of experimental tests and model runs are however, relatively small due to their high cost. While this is true across the auto industry, it is particularly critical for the Army and other government agencies operating under tight budget constraints. In this study we investigate through statistical simulations how the injury risk varies if a large number of experimental tests were conducted. We show that the injury risk distribution is skewed to the right implying that, although most physical tests result in a small injury risk, there are occasional physical tests for which the injury risk is extremely large. We compute the probabilities of such events and use them to identify optimum design conditions to minimize such probabilities.
Technical Paper

Heavy Truck Crash Analysis and Countermeasures to Improve Occupant Safety

This paper examines truck driver injury and loss of life in truck crashes related to cab crashworthiness. The paper provides analysis of truck driver fatality and injury in crashes to provide a better understanding of how injury occurs and industry initiatives focused on reducing the number of truck occupant fatalities and the severity of injuries. The commercial vehicle focus is on truck-tractors and single unit trucks in the Class 7 and 8 weight range. The analysis used UMTRI's Trucks Involved in Fatal Accidents (TIFA) survey file and NHTSA's General Estimates System (GES) file for categorical analysis and the Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) for a supplemental clinical review of cab performance in frontal and rollover crash types. The paper includes analysis of crashes producing truck driver fatalities or injuries, a review of regulatory development and industry safety initiatives including barriers to implementation.
Journal Article

Assessment of the Accuracy of Certain Reduced Order Models used in the Prediction of Occupant Injury during Under-Body Blast Events

It is of considerable interest to developers of military vehicles, in early phases of the concept design process as well as in Analysis of Alternatives (AoA) phase, to quickly predict occupant injury risk due to under-body blast loading. The most common occupant injuries in these extremely short duration events arise out of the very high vertical acceleration of vehicle due to its close proximity to hot high pressure gases from the blast. In a prior study [16], an extensive parametric study was conducted in a systematic manner so as to create look-up tables or automated software tools that decision-makers can use to quickly estimate the different injury responses for both stroking and non-stroking seat systems in terms of a suitable blast load parameter. The primary objective of this paper is to quantitatively evaluate the accuracy of using such a tool in lieu of building a detailed model for simulation and occupant injury assessment.
Technical Paper

The Quantification of Liver Anatomical Changes and Assessment of Occupant Liver Injury Patterns

Liver injuries can be significant in vehicle crashes. In this study, the liver anatomy was quantified in both adult and pediatric populations as a function of gender and age. Five anatomical liver measurements were determined using CT scans of 260 normal livers. These measurements include the area and volume, and the length, width, and girth of the liver (IRB HUM00041441). To characterize geometrical shape, an inscribed sphere and circumscribed ellipsoid were fitted on the measurements. In the pediatric population the liver area and volume continuously increased with age. When normalized by patient weight, volume measurements show a decrease in volume with age, suggesting that the liver occupies a smaller proportion of the body with age. In the adult population, liver measurements varied with gender. The superior and inferior locations of the liver were also recorded with respect to the spine. The lower portion was at the L3 in small children and at L2 as children approached puberty.
Technical Paper

Factors Associated With Abdominal Injury in Frontal, Farside, and Nearside Crashes

The NASS-CDS (1998-2008) and CIREN datasets were analyzed to identify factors contributing to abdominal injury in crash environments where belt use and airbag deployment are common. In frontal impacts, the percentage of occupants sustaining abdominal injury is three times higher for unbelted compared to belted front-row adult occupants (p≺0.0001) at both AIS2+ and AIS3+ injury levels. Airbag deployment does not substantially affect the percentage of occupants who sustain abdominal injuries in frontal impacts (p=0.6171), while belt use reduces the percentage of occupants sustaining abdominal injury in both nearside and farside crashes (p≺0.0001). Right-front passengers in right-side impacts have the highest risk (1.91%) of AIS 3+ abdominal injury (p=0.03). The percentage of occupants with AIS 3+ abdominal injuries does not vary with age for frontal, nearside, or farside impacts.
Technical Paper

Predicting the Effects of Muscle Activation on Knee, Thigh, and Hip Injuries in Frontal Crashes Using a Finite-Element Model with Muscle Forces from Subject Testing and Musculoskeletal Modeling

In a previous study, the authors reported on the development of a finite-element model of the midsize male pelvis and lower extremities with lower-extremity musculature that was validated using PMHS knee-impact response data. Knee-impact simulations with this model were performed using forces from four muscles in the lower extremities associated with two-foot bracing reported in the literature to provide preliminary estimates of the effects of lower-extremity muscle activation on knee-thigh-hip injury potential in frontal impacts. The current study addresses a major limitation of these preliminary simulations by using the AnyBody three-dimensional musculoskeletal model to estimate muscle forces produced in 35 muscles in each lower extremity during emergency one-foot braking.
Technical Paper

Development of a Finite Element Model to Study the Effects of Muscle Forces on Knee-Thigh-Hip Injuries in Frontal Crashes

A finite element (FE) model with knee-thigh-hip (KTH) and lower-extremity muscles has been developed to study the potential effects of muscle tension on KTH injuries due to knee bolster loadings in frontal crashes. This model was created by remeshing the MADYMO human lower-extremity FE model to account for regional differences in cortical bone thickness, trabecular bone, cortical bone with directionally dependent mechanical properties and Tsai-Wu failure criteria, and articular cartilage. The model includes 35 Hill-type muscles in each lower extremity with masses based on muscle volume. The skeletal response of the model was validated by simulating biomechanical tests without muscle tension, including cadaver skeletal segment impact tests documented in the literature as well as recent tests of seated whole cadavers that were impacted using knee-loading conditions similar to those produced in FMVSS 208 testing.
Technical Paper

Traumatopsy: A Unique Crash Reconstruction Method for Determining Injury Patterns in Fatal Motor Vehicle Crashes

BACKGROUND: Detailed fatal injury data following fatal motor vehicle crashes (MVC) are necessary to improve occupant safety and promote injury prevention. Autopsy remains the principle source of detailed fatal injury data. However, procedure rates are declining due to a range of technical, ethical and religious concerns. Postmortem computed tomography (PMCT) is a potential alternative or adjunct to autopsy which is increasingly used by forensic researchers. However, there are only limited data regarding the utility of PMCT for analysis of fatal MVC injuries. METHODS: We performed whole body PMCT, autopsy and complete crash reconstruction on 3 subjects fatally injured in MVC in a single county in Michigan. All injuries detected by either PMCT or autopsy were coded using the Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS). Severe injuries, defined as AIS 3 or higher (AIS 3+), were tallied for each forensic procedure to allow a comparison of relative diagnostic performance.
Technical Paper

Intrusion in Side Impact Crashes

Half of the car occupant deaths involved in two-vehicle crashes results from side impact collisions. In an attempt to better understand the role that vehicle mass plays in crashes and injury causation, detailed information from the NASS CDS database on injury source was distributed in three classes: contact with intrusion, contact without intrusion, and restrained acceleration or non-contact. We compared these distributions for belted drivers in side verses frontal crashes. When looking at the type of striking, or bullet, vehicle in near-side impacts, we found that intrusion injuries are more prevalent in cars hit by SUVs and pickups than by other cars. We also looked at the body region injured verses the type of striking vehicle and found head injuries to be slightly more prevalent when the striking vehicle is an SUV or pick-up. Data from the University of Michigan CIREN case studies on side impacts are presented and are consistent with the NASS CDS data.
Technical Paper

Balance Maintenance during Seated Reaches of People with Spinal Cord Injury

In many task analyses using digital human figure models, only the terminal or apparently most stressful posture is analyzed. For reaches from a seated position, this is generally the posture with the hand or hands at the target. However, depending on the characteristics of the tasks and the people performing them, analyzing only the terminal posture could be misleading. This possibility was examined using data from a study of the reaching behavior of people with spinal cord injury. Participants performed two-handed forward reaching tasks. These reaches were to three targets located in the sagittal plane. The terminal postures did not differ significantly between those with spinal cord injury and those without. However, motion analysis demonstrated that they employed distinct strategies, particularly in the initial phase of motion.
Technical Paper

Modeling Variability in Reaching Motions

Motion prediction models may give the average reach for an individual of specified characteristics. The actual reach will vary from this reach in a manner that may depend on both systematic and random factors. We describe a modeling approach that incorporates the variability within the reaches of a given subject and that between subjects. This information is useful to designers in investigating phenomena that may not occur during the average reach but may occur during variants such as collision with an obstacle or injury due to over-exertion.
Technical Paper

Offset Frontal Collisions: A Review of the Literature and Analysis of UMTRI and NASS Crash Injury Data - CDC, AIS and Body Area Injuries

Using the CDC (SAE J224), a comparison of the NASS data and the UMTRI field accident files (UM series) indicates a similar distribution of offset frontal crashes. Offset frontal damage occurs in 56-61% of crashes, often involving more than one third of the front of the car. Lap-shoulder belted drivers sustain more AIS 2 or greater injuries when there is interior intrusion and occur more often when the offset damage is in front of the driver. However, this may well be due to the severity of the crash. European studies have no uniformity as to offset frontal collision descriptors are difficult to interpret, or to compare one to another.
Technical Paper

Analysis of Passenger Car Side Impacts - Crash Location, Injuries, AIS and Contacts

NASS 80-88 passenger side impacts data were analyzed. Location of primary car damage using the CDC classification, the AIS for injury severity studies, and the interior contacts of the various body areas. Drivers alone, or with passengers were studied separately in both left and right side crashes. Direct impacts to the passenger compartment only are less frequent than to other CDC side zones. Driver interior contacts vary by body region but also by side impacted in the crash. The presence of an unrestrained front passenger appears to enhance driver injury level in left side crashes but the presence of a passenger, in right side crashes appears to moderate driver injury severity.
Technical Paper

Severe to Fatal Injuries to Lap-Shoulder Belted Car Occupants

Lap-shoulder belt effectiveness has been indicated by many authors, however there is minimal information on the more severe injuries to lap-shoulder belted car occupants. This paper presents details of 15 lap-shoulder belted occupants in frontal collisions and 24 lap-shoulder belted occupants in side impact collisions. Case descriptions of these crashes are presented, each including vehicle, environmental and injury details.