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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.
Journal Article

Finite-Element-Based Transfer Equations: Post-Mortem Human Subjects versus Hybrid III Test Dummy in Blunt Impact

In the present study, transfer equations relating the responses of post-mortem human subjects (PMHS) to the mid-sized male Hybrid III test dummy (HIII50) under matched, or nearly-identical, loading conditions were developed via math modeling. Specifically, validated finite element (FE) models of the Ford Human Body Model (FHBM) and the HIII50 were used to generate sets of matched cases (i.e., 256 frontal impact cases involving different impact speeds, severities, and PMHS age). Regression analyses were subsequently performed on the resulting age-dependent FHBM- and HIII50-based responses. This approach was conducted for five different body regions: head, neck, chest, femur, and tibia. All of the resulting regression equations, correlation coefficients, and response ratios (PHMS relative to HIII50) were consistent with the limited available test-based results.
Technical Paper

Development and Validation of Age-Dependent FE Human Models of a Mid-Sized Male Thorax

The increasing number of people over 65 years old (YO) is an important research topic in the area of impact biomechanics, and finite element (FE) modeling can provide valuable support for related research. There were three objectives of this study: (1) Estimation of the representative age of the previously documented Ford Human Body Model (FHBM)~an FE model which approximates the geometry and mass of a mid-sized male, (2) Development of FE models representing two additional ages, and (3) Validation of the resulting three models to the extent possible with respect to available physical tests. Specifically, the geometry of the model was compared to published data relating rib angles to age, and the mechanical properties of different simulated tissues were compared to a number of published aging functions. The FHBM was determined to represent a 53-59 YO mid-sized male. The aforementioned aging functions were used to develop FE models representing two additional ages: 35 and 75 YO.
Journal Article

Fracture Modeling Inputs for a Human Body Model via Inference from a Risk Curve: Application for Skull Fracture Potential

A three-step process was developed to estimate fracture criteria for a human body model. The process was illustrated via example wherein skull fracture criteria were estimated for the Ford Human Body Model (FHBM)~a finite element model of a mid-sized human male. The studied loading condition was anterior-to-posterior, blunt (circular/planar) cylinder impact to the frontal bone. In Step 1, a conditional reference risk curve was derived via statistical analysis of the tests involving fractures in a recently reported dataset (Cormier et al., 2011a). Therein, Cormier et al., authors reported results for anterior-to-posterior dynamic loading of the frontal bone of rigidly supported heads of male post mortem human subjects, and fracture forces were measured in 22 cases. In Step 2, the FHBM head was used to conduct some underlying model validations relative to the Cormier tests. The model-based Force-at-Peak Stress was found to approximate the test-based Fracture Force.
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

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.
Technical Paper

A Theoretical Math Model for Projecting Ais3+ Thoracic Injury for Belted Occupants in Frontal Impacts

A theoretical math model was created to assess the net effect of aging populations versus evolving system designs from the standpoint of thoracic injury potential. The model was used to project the next twenty-five years of thoracic injuries in Canada. The choice of Canada was topical because rulemaking for CMVSS 208 has been proposed recently. The study was limited to properly-belted, front-outboard, adult occupants in 11-1 o'clock frontal crashes. Moreover, only AIS3+thoracic injury potential was considered. The research consisted of four steps. First, sub-models were developed and integrated. The sub-models were made for numerous real-world effects including population growth, crash involvement, fleet penetration of various systems (via system introduction, vehicle production, and vehicle attrition), and attendant injury risk estimation. Second, existing NASS data were used to estimate the number of AIS3+ chest-injured drivers in Canada in 2001.
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

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

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

Theoretical Evaluation of the Requirements of the 1999 Advanced Airbag SNPRM – Part One: Design Space Constraint Analysis

In the 1999 Supplemental Notice for Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM) for Advanced Airbags, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sought comments on the maximum speed at which the high-speed, unbelted occupant test suite will be conducted, i.e., 48 kph vs. 40 kph. To help address this question, an analysis of constraints was performed via extensive mathematical modeling of a theoretical restraint system. First, math models (correlated with several existing physical tests) were used to predict the occupant responses associated with 336 different theoretical dual-stage driver airbag designs subjected to six specific Regulated and non-Regulated tests.
Technical Paper

Correlation of Driver Inflator Predictor Variables with the Viscous Criterion for the Mid-Sized Male, Instrumented Test Dummy in the Chest-on-Module Condition

A new inflator specification, the “inflator thrust variable,” was developed to better explain measured mid-sized male, instrumented test dummy responses in the chest-on-module test condition. Specifically, controlled laboratory experiments were conducted with non-production, driver airbag modules with inflators of various outputs and gas constituents in an effort to assess their effects on a pertinent occupant response. Regression analyses showed that the inflator thrust variable is a better predictor of the observed variation in peak viscous criterion responses than either peak tank pressure or the related pressure rise rate when inflators of differing gas composition were compared.
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

Injury Distributions of Belted Drivers in Various Types of Frontal Impact

Injury distributions of belted drivers in 1998-2013 model-year light passenger cars/trucks in various types of real-world frontal crashes were studied. The basis of the analysis was field data from the National Automotive Sampling System (NASS). The studied variables were injury severity (n=2), occupant body region (n=8), and crash type (n=8). The two levels of injury were moderate-to-fatal (AIS2+) and serious-to-fatal (AIS3+). The eight body regions ranged from head/face to foot/ankle. The eight crash types were based on a previously-published Frontal Impact Taxonomy (FIT). The results of the study provided insights into the field data. For example, for the AIS2+ upper-body-injured drivers, (a) head and chest injury yield similar contributions, and (b) about 60% of all the upper-body injured drivers were from the combination of the Full-Engagement and Offset crashes.
Journal Article

Finite-Element-Based Transfer Equations: Post-Mortem Human Subjects versus Hybrid III Test Dummy in Frontal Sled Impact

Transfer or response equations are important as they provide relationships between the responses of different surrogates under matched, or nearly identical loading conditions. In the present study, transfer equations for different body regions were developed via mathematical modeling. Specifically, validated finite element models of the age-dependent Ford human body models (FHBM) and the mid-sized male Hybrid III (HIII50) were used to generate a set of matched cases (i.e., 192 frontal sled impact cases involving different restraints, impact speeds, severities, and FHBM age). For each impact, two restraint systems were evaluated: a standard three-point belt with and without a single-stage inflator airbag. Regression analyses were subsequently performed on the resulting FHBM- and HIII50-based responses. This approach was used to develop transfer equations for seven body regions: the head, neck, chest, pelvis, femur, tibia, and foot.
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.