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Technical Paper

Considerations for Head-Injury Categorization via NASS Analysis

The present study had three objectives: (1) define a reasonable number of categories to bin head injuries, (2) develop an overarching risk function to estimate head-injury probability based on injury probabilities pertaining to those subordinate categories, and (3) assess the fidelity of both the overarching function and approximations to it. To achieve these objectives, we used real-world data from the National Automotive Sampling System (NASS), pertaining to adult drivers in full-engagement frontal crashes. To provide practical value, we factored the proposed US New Car Assessment Program (US NCAP) and the corresponding Request for Comments from the government. Finally, the NASS data stratifications included three levels of injury (AIS1+, AIS2+, AIS3+), two levels of restraint (properly-belted, unbelted), and two eras based on driver-airbag fitment (Older Vehicles, Newer Vehicles).
Technical Paper

Initial Assessment of the Next-Generation USA Frontal NCAP: Fidelity of Various Risk Curves for Estimating Field Injury Rates of Belted Drivers

Various frontal impact risk curves were assessed for the next-generation USA New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). Specifically, the “NCAP risk curves” — those chosen by the government for the 2011 model year NCAP — as well as other published risk curves were used to estimate theoretically the injury rates of belted drivers in real-world frontal crashes. Two perspectives were considered: (1) a “point” estimate of NCAP-type events from NCAP fleet tests, and (2) an “aggregate” estimate of 0 ≤ ΔV ≤ 56 km/h crashes from a modeled theoretical vehicle whose NCAP performance approximated the average of the studied fleet. Four body regions were considered: head, neck, chest, and knee-thigh-hip complex (KTH). The curve-based injury rates for each body region were compared with those of real-world frontal crashes involving properly-belted adult drivers in airbag-equipped light passenger vehicles. The assessment yielded mixed results.
Technical Paper

Derivation of a Provisional, Age-dependent, AIS2+ Thoracic Risk Curve for the THOR50 Test Dummy via Integration of NASS Cases, PMHS Tests, and Simulation Data

A provisional, age-dependent thoracic risk equation (or, “risk curve”) was derived to estimate moderate-to-fatal injury potential (AIS2+), pertaining to men with responses gaged by the advanced mid-sized male test dummy (THOR50). The derivation involved two distinct data sources: cases from real-world crashes (e.g., the National Automotive Sampling System, NASS) and cases involving post-mortem human subjects (PMHS). The derivation was therefore more comprehensive, as NASS datasets generally skew towards younger occupants, and PMHS datasets generally skew towards older occupants. However, known deficiencies had to be addressed (e.g., the NASS cases had unknown stimuli, and the PMHS tests required transformation of known stimuli into THOR50 stimuli).
Technical Paper

New Risk Curves for NHTSA’s Brain Injury Criterion (BrIC): Derivations and Assessments

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently published a Request for Comments regarding a potential upgrade to the US New Car Assessment Program (US NCAP) - a star-rating program pertaining to vehicle crashworthiness. Therein, NHTSA (a) cited two metrics for assessing head risk: Head Injury Criterion (HIC15) and Brain Injury Criterion (BrIC), and (b) proposed to conduct risk assessment via its risk curves for those metrics, but did not prescribe a specific method for applying them. Recent studies, however, have indicated that the NHTSA risk curves for BrIC significantly overstate field-based head injury rates. Therefore, in the present three-part study, a new set of BrIC-based risk curves was derived, an overarching head risk equation involving risk curves for both BrIC and HIC15 was assessed, and some additional candidate-predictor-variable assessments were conducted. Part 1 pertained to the derivation.
Technical Paper

Derivation and Theoretical Assessment of a Set of Biomechanics-based, AIS2+ Risk Equations for the Knee-Thigh-Hip Complex

A set of risk equations was derived to estimate the probability of sustaining a moderate-to-serious injury to the knee-thigh-hip complex (KTH) in a frontal crash. The study consisted of four parts. First, data pertaining to knee-loaded, whole-body, post-mortem human subjects (PMHS) were collected from the literature, and the attendant response data (e.g., axial compressive load applied to the knee) were normalized to those of a mid-sized male. Second, numerous statistical analyses and mathematical constructs were used to derive the set of risk equations for adults of various ages and genders. Third, field data from the National Automotive Sampling System (NASS) were analyzed for subsequent comparison purposes.
Technical Paper

Lower-Body Injury Rates in Full-Engagement Frontal Impacts: Field Data and Logistic Models

Lower-body injury data for adults in real-world frontal impacts in the National Automotive Sampling System (NASS) were collected, analyzed, and modeled via statistical methods. Two levels of lower-body injury were considered: maximum serious-to-fatal (MAIS3+) and moderate-to-fatal (MAIS2+). In the analysis, we observed that a substantial fraction of all lower-body injured occupants had no recorded floor/toe pan intrusion: 47% of all MAIS3+ injured occupants; 69% of all MAIS2+ injured occupants. In the statistical modeling, we developed binary logistic regression models to fit the MAIS3+ and MAIS 2+ injury data. The statistically significant variables (p ≤ 0.05) were the speed change of the crash, postcrash floor/toe pan intrusion, level of restraint, occupant age, and occupant gender.
Technical Paper

Predictions of AIS3+ Thoracic Risks for Belted Occupants in Full-Engagement, Real-World Frontal Impacts: Sensitivity to Various Theoretical Risk Curves

A new, AIS3+ thoracic risk equation based on chest deflection was derived and assessed for drivers subjected to concentrated (belt-like) loading. The new risk equation was derived from analysis of an existing database of post mortem human subjects in controlled, laboratory sled tests. Binary logistic regression analysis was performed on a subset of the data, namely, 25th-75th percentile men (by weight) from 36-65 years old whose thoracic deformation patterns were due to concentrated (belt-like) loading. Other subsets of data had insufficient size to conduct the analysis. The resulting thoracic risk equation was adjusted to predict the AIS3+ thoracic risks for average-aged occupants in frontal crashes (i.e., 30 years old). Biomechanical scaling was used to derive the corresponding relationships for the small female and large male dummies. The new thoracic risk equations and three other sets of existing equations were evaluated as predictors of real-world crash outcomes.
Technical Paper

A Theoretical, Risk Assessment Procedure for In-Position Drivers Involved in Full-Engagement Frontal Impacts

A theoretical, mathematical, risk assessment procedure was developed to estimate the fraction of drivers that incurred head and thoracic AIS3+ injuries in full-engagement frontal crashes. The estimates were based on numerical simulations of various real-world events, including variations of crash severity, crash speed, level of restraint, and occupant size. The procedure consisted of four steps: (1) conduct the simulations of the numerous events, (2) use biomechanical equations to transform the occupant responses into AIS3+ risks for each event, (3) weight the maximum risk for each event by its real-world event frequency, and (4) sum the weighted risks. To validate the risk assessment procedure, numerous steps were taken. First, a passenger car was identified to represent average field performance.
Technical Paper

Derivation and Evaluation of a Provisional, Age-Dependent, AIS3+ Thoracic Risk Curve for Belted Adults in Frontal Impacts

An age-dependent, serious-to-fatal (AIS3+), thoracic risk curve was derived and evaluated for frontal impacts. The study consisted of four parts. In Part 1, two datasets of post mortem human subjects (PMHS) were generated for statistical and sensitivity analyses. In Part 2, logistic regression analyses were conducted. For each dataset, two statistical methods were applied: (1) a conventional maximum likelihood method, and (2) a modified maximum likelihood method. Therefore, four statistical models were derived — one for each dataset/statistical method combination. For all of the resulting statistical models (risk curves), the linear combination of maximum normalized sternum deflection and age of the PMHS was identified as a feasible predictor of AIS3+ thoracic injury probability. In Part 3, the PMHS-based risk curves were transformed into test-dummy-based risk curves. In Part 4, validation studies were conducted for each risk curve.
Journal Article

A Frontal Impact Taxonomy for USA Field Data

An eight-group taxonomy was created to classify real-world frontal crashes from the Crashworthiness Data System (CDS) component of the National Automotive Sampling System (NASS). Three steps were taken to develop the taxonomy: (1) frontal-impact towaway crashes were identified by examining 1985-2005 model year light passenger vehicles with Collision Deformation Classification (CDC) data from the 1995-2005 calendar years of NASS; (2) case reviews, engineering judgments, and categorization assessments were conducted on these data to produce the eight-group taxonomy; and (3) two subsets of the NASS dataset were analyzed to assess the consistency of the resulting taxonomic-group frequencies. “Full-engagement” and “Offset” crashes were the most frequent crash types, each contributing approximately 33% to the total. The group identified as “D, Y, Z No-Rail” was the most over-represented crash type for vehicles with at least one seriously-injured occupant.