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Technical Paper

Performance of Collision Damage Mitigation Braking Systems and their Effects on Human Injury in the Event of Car-to-Pedestrian Accidents

The number of traffic deaths in Japan was 4,863 in 2010. Pedestrians account for the highest number (1,714, 35%), and vehicle occupants the second highest (1,602, 33%). Pedestrian protection is a key countermeasure to reduce casualties in traffic accidents. A striking vehicle's impact velocity could be considered a parameter influencing the severity of injury and possibility of death in pedestrian crashes. A collision damage mitigation braking system (CDMBS) using a sensor to detect pedestrians could be effective for reducing the vehicle/pedestrian impact velocity. Currently in Japan, cars equipped with the CDMBS also have vision sensors such as a stereo camera for pedestrian detection. However, the ability of vision sensors in production cars to properly detect pedestrians has not yet been established. The effect of reducing impact velocity on the pedestrian injury risk has also not been determined.
Journal Article

Occupant Responses in Child Restraint Systems Subjected to Full-Car Side Impact Tests

Accident data show that the injury risks to children seated in child restraint systems (CRSs) are higher in side collisions than any other type of collision. To investigate child injury in the CRS in a side impact, it is necessary to understand the occupant responses in car-to-car crash tests. In this research, a series of full car side impact tests based on the ECE R95 test procedure was conducted. In the vehicle's struck-side rear seat location, a Q3s three-year-old child dummy was seated in a forward facing (FF) CRS, and a CRABI six-month-old (6MO) infant dummy was seated in a rear facing (RF) CRS and also was placed in car-bed restraint. In the non-struck side rear seat location, the RF CRSs also were installed. In addition to testing the CRSs installed by a seatbelt, an ISOFIX FF CRS and an ISOFIX RF CRS were tested. For the evaluations, occupant kinematic behavior and injury measures were compared.
Technical Paper

Nerve Level Traumatic Brain Injury in in Vivo/in Vitro Experiments

The number of traffic deaths in Japan was 4,914 in 2009. Since the head was the most common site of injury in traffic accidents (2,302, 47%), traumatic brain injury causes the fatalities in these accidents. The aim of the present study was to quantify micro injuries in the animal brain for gaining insight and understanding of the human brain injury tolerance. Using porcine brain matter, in vitro stress relaxation experiments and in vivo impact experiments were conducted. In both experiments, the distribution of the damage ratio of the transverse to longitudinal length of cells, hereafter, referred to as an aspect ratio, in the brain matter under loading was examined. In the in vitro stress relaxation experiments, specimens were compressed vertically with a compression velocity of 1 mm/s, and the displacement was held for 140 sec when the compression strain reached the target strain. In the experiments, there were five categories of compression strain: 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 percent.
Journal Article

The Effectiveness of Curtain Side Air Bags in Side Impact Crashes

Accident data show that the head and the chest are the most frequently injured body regions in side impact fatal accidents. Curtain side air bag (CSA) and thorax side air bag (SAB) have been installed by manufacturers for the protection devices for these injuries. In this research, first we studied the recent side impact accident data in Japan and verified that the head and chest continued to be the most frequently injured body regions in fatal accidents. Second, we studied the occupant seating postures in vehicles on the roads, and found from the vehicle's side view that the head location of 56% of the drivers was in line or overlapped with the vehicle's B-pillar. This observation suggests that in side collisions head injuries may occur frequently due to contacts with the B-pillar. Third, we conducted a side impact test series for struck vehicles with and without CSA and SAB.
Technical Paper

Features of the Vision of Elderly Pedestrians when Crossing a Road

The present study clarifies the mechanism by which an accident occurs when an elderly pedestrian crosses a road in front of a car, focusing on features of the central and peripheral vision of elderly pedestrians who are judging when it is safe to cross the road. For the pedestrian's central visual field, we investigated the effect of age on the timing judgment using an actual car. The results for daytime conditions indicate that the elderly pedestrians tended to make later judgments of when they crossed the road from the right side of the driver's view at high car velocities. At night, for a car with its headlights on high beam, the average car-pedestrian distances of elderly pedestrians on the left side of the driver's view were significantly longer than those of young pedestrians at velocities of 20 and 40 km/h. The eyesight of the elderly pedestrians during the day did not affect the timing judgment of crossing a road.
Journal Article

Features of Fatal Pedestrian Injuries in Vehicle-to-Pedestrian Accidents in Japan

The number of traffic deaths in Japan was 4,612 in 2011. Looking at the road accident fatalities, it revealed that pedestrians accounted for the highest number in 2011 (1,686, 36.6%). To develop safety countermeasures to decrease the severity of injuries and to reduce the number of deaths in traffic accidents, the detailed characteristics of pedestrian injury in vehicle-to-pedestrian crashes are necessary. The purpose of this study is to understand the scenarios of vehicle accidents in which pedestrians suffer fatal injuries. In the present study, we investigated the characteristics of pedestrian injuries in fatal crashes from accident analyses and compared them to head injury severity levels in impact tests against a road pavement and vehicle contact surfaces.
Technical Paper

Injury Pattern and Response of Human Thigh under Lateral Loading Simulating Car-Pedestrian Impact

The main objective of the present study is to determine experimentally the injury patterns and response of the human thigh in lateral impacts simulating more closely the real impact conditions in car-pedestrian accidents. We conducted in-vitro experiments on thirteen thighs of eight completely intact Post Mortem Human Subjects (PMHSs). The thigh was hit by a ram at a speed of 35 km/h at the mid-shaft of the femur in each completely intact PMHS. Since the effect of cumulative injuries should be avoided, each thigh was impacted only once. Three impact energies were used; 450J, 600J and 700J. The PMHS motion was not constrained so as to simulate the walking posture of a pedestrian. We analyzed the peak values of the impact force of the ram and the femur acceleration. Injury was assessed by dissecting the lower extremities.
Technical Paper

Comparison of Pedestrian Subsystem Safety Tests Using Impactors and Full-Scale Dummy Tests

Evaluation of car front aggressiveness in car-pedestrian accidents is typically done using sub-system tests. Three such tests have been proposed by EEVC/WG17: 1) the legform to bumper test, 2) the upper legform to bonnet leading edge test, and 3) the headform to bonnet top test. These tests were developed to evaluate performance of the car structure at car to pedestrian impact speed of 11.1 m/s (40 km/h), and each of them has its own impactor, impact conditions and injury criteria. However, it has not been determined yet to what extent the EEVC sub-system tests represent real-world pedestrian accidents. Therefore, there are two objectives of this study. First, to clarify the differences between the injury-related responses of full-scale pedestrian dummy and results of sub-system tests obtained under impact conditions simulating car-to-pedestrian accidents. Second, to propose modifications of current sub-system test methods. In the present study, the Polar (Honda R&D) dummy was used.
Technical Paper

Shearing and Bending Effects at the Knee Joint at High Speed Lateral Loading

The main objective of this study is to determine the damage tolerance and to describe the damage mechanisms of the extended human knee when it is exposed to lateral impact loads in pedestrian accidents, particularly those that occur at high velocity. An experimental method for assessing the damage tolerance of the knee region to loads acting at the extended lower extremity was developed. In-Vitro experiments with human subjects were conducted where only the purest possible shearing deformation or the purest possible bending deformation affected the knee region at the time. Ten experiments at a velocity level of 40 km/h were performed in a shearing and a bending setup, respectively. The peak values of the shearing force and the bending moment related to the damage of knee ligaments and bone fractures were calculated at knee joint level. Damages were assessed by dissecting the lower extremity.
Technical Paper

Injury Pattern and Tolerance of Human Pelvis Under Lateral Loading Simulating Car-pedestrian Impact

Numerous studies of pelvic tolerance to lateral impact aimed at protecting car occupants have been conducted on Post Mortem Human Subjects (PMHSs) in a sitting posture. However, it remains unclear whether or not the results of these studies are relevant when evaluating the injury risk to walking pedestrians impacted by a car. Therefore, the first objective of the present study is to determine the injury tolerance and to describe the injury mechanisms of the human pelvis in lateral impacts simulating car-pedestrian accidents. The second objective is to obtain data for validation of mathematical models of the pelvis. In-vitro experiments were conducted on twelve PMHSs in simulated standing position. The trochanter of each PMHS was hit by a ram at speed of 32 km/h, and the pelvic motion was constrained by a bolt. This type of pelvic constraint is difficult to simulate in mathematical models.
Technical Paper

Biofidelity of TRL Legform Impactor and Injury Tolerance of the Human Leg in Lateral Impact

In nonfatal car-pedestrian accidents, lower extremities are the most commonly injured body parts. The test device used to evaluate the car-front aggressiveness regarding the risk of these injuries is a legform impactor. Injury-related factors causing AIS 2+ injury in the human lower leg when exposed to a lateral impact representing a pedestrian accident should be identified. One of the test devices commonly used to evaluate the risk is the legform impactor developed by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL). However, information about the biofidelity of this impactor and leg injury tolerance curves is lacking.
Technical Paper

A new legform impactor for evaluation of car aggressiveness in car-pedestrian accidents

The goal of the present study was to develop a new legform impactor that accurately represents both the impact force (i.e., force between the leg and impacting mass)and leg kinematics in lateral impacts simulating car-pedestrian accidents. In its development we utilized the knee joint of the pedestrian dummy called Polar-2 (HONDA R&D) in which the cruciate and collateral ligaments are represented by means of springs and cables, the geometry of the femoral condyles is simplified using ellipsoidal surfaces, and the tibial meniscus is represented by an elastomeric pad. The impactor was evaluated by comparing its responses with published experimental results obtained using postmortem human subjects (PMHS). The evaluation was done under two conditions: 1)impact point near the ankle area (bending tests),and 2)impact point 84 mm below the knee joint center (shearing tests). Two impact speeds were used: 5.56 m/s and 11.11 m/s.
Technical Paper

Shearing and Bending Effects at the Knee Joint at Low Speed Lateral Loading

The main objective of this study is to determine the damage tolerance and describe the damage mechanisms of the extended human knee when it is exposed to lateral impact loads in car-pedestrian accidents, particularly those that occur at a low velocity (20 km/h), and compare the results with those obtained at a high velocity (40 km/h). In-vitro experiments with human subjects were conducted where only the purest possible shearing deformation or the purest possible bending deformation affected the knee region at the time. Five experiments were performed in the shearing setup and another five in bending setup. The peak values of the shearing force and the bending moment related to the damage of knee ligaments and bone fractures were calculated at the knee joint level. Damages were assessed by dissecting the lower extremity. When the knee joint was exposed to the “purest possible shearing deformation”, the common initial damagemechanism was ligament damage related to ACL (60% of cases).
Technical Paper

Features of Fatal Cyclist Injuries in Vehicle-Versus-Cyclist Accidents in Japan

Fatal injuries suffered by cyclists in vehicle-versus-cyclist accidents are investigated to provide information for the introduction of safety countermeasures. We analyzed characteristics of cyclist injuries in real fatal accidents and compared them with severity levels of head injury in impact tests against a road surface. In the accident analyses, we investigated the main body regions whose injuries led to fatalities using a macro vehicle-cyclist accident database of the Institute for Traffic Accident Research and Data Analysis of Japan. Using data from 2009 to 2013, we investigated the frequency of cyclist fatalities by gender, age group, vehicle speed, and the source of fatal head injury (impact with the vehicle or road surface). Results indicated that head injuries are the most common cause of cyclist fatalities in car-cyclist accidents.
Technical Paper

Effect of Driver Posture on Driving Characteristics when Control is Passed from an Autonomous Driving System to a Human Driver

SAE International defines six levels of autonomous driving system, four of which include a change of control from the system to the driver in certain conditions. When vehicle control changes from the system to a human driver, a safe transition time is necessary. The present study focuses on level 3 automation, in which the system controls driving in ordinary conditions, but the human driver is expected to intervene in emergency situations. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between driver posture and transition time. Driver posture included four components: backrest angle, seat position, foot position, and arm position. These were adjusted to investigate a total of 30 posture patterns. In addition, the situation in which the driver was not watching the road, but instead using a tablet computer was investigated. The driver’s braking and steering reaction times were measured for a highway-driving scenario in which a truck dropped cargo in front of the vehicle.
Technical Paper

Pedestrian Detection During Vehicle Backing Maneuvers Using Ultrasonic Parking Sensors

Ultrasonic parking sensors are an active technology designed to alert drivers to the presence of objects behind their vehicle but not the presence of a human. The purpose of this study was therefore to ascertain if these sensor systems can successfully detect a human subject. We accordingly conducted experiments using four vehicles equipped with both rear-facing center and corner ultrasonic parking sensor systems to determine the detection distance between the vehicle and a 1-m tall, 75-mm diameter pipe, a child, an adult woman, and an adult man. The detection of human subjects was evaluated under front-facing and side-facing conditions behind each vehicle. The results indicate that for a front-facing and side-facing child, the center sensor detection distances were 50-84% and 32-64%, respectively, shorter than that of the pipe.
Technical Paper

Traffic Accidents Involving Cyclists Identifying Causal Factors Using Questionnaire Survey, Traffic Accident Data, and Real-World Observation

The purpose of this study is to clarify the mechanism of traffic accidents involving cyclists. The focus is on the characteristics of cyclist accidents and scenarios, because the number of traffic accidents involving cyclists in Tokyo is the highest in Japan. First, dangerous situations in traffic incidents were investigated by collecting data from 304 cyclists in one city in Tokyo using a questionnaire survey. The survey indicated that cyclists used their bicycles generally while commuting to work or school in the morning. Second, the study investigated the characteristics of 250 accident situations involving cyclists that happened in the city using real-world bicycle accident data. The results revealed that the traffic accidents occurred at intersections of local streets, where cyclists collided most often with vehicles during commute time in the morning. Third, cyclists’ behavior was observed at a local street intersection in the morning in the city using video pictures.