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Technical Paper

Development of Brain Injury Criteria (BrIC)

Rotational motion of the head as a mechanism for brain injury was proposed back in the 1940s. Since then a multitude of research studies by various institutions were conducted to confirm/reject this hypothesis. Most of the studies were conducted on animals and concluded that rotational kinematics experienced by the animal's head may cause axonal deformations large enough to induce their functional deficit. Other studies utilized physical and mathematical models of human and animal heads to derive brain injury criteria based on deformation/pressure histories computed from their models.
Technical Paper

A Comparison Study of Car-to-Pedestrian and Car-to-E-Bike Accidents: Data Source: The China In-Depth Accident Study (CIDAS)

The aim of the study was to investigate the difference between car-to-e-bikes and car-to-pedestrian accidents. The China In-depth Accident Study (CIDAS) database was searched from 2011 to 2013 for pedestrians and e-bikes struck by car, van and SUV fronts, which resulted in 104 pedestrian and 85 e-bike cases where information was sufficient for in-depth analysis. Reconstruction by PC-Crash was performed for all of the sampled cases. Pre-crash parameters were calculated by a MATLAB code. Focus was on prototypical accident scenarios and causes; speed as well as possible prevention countermeasures. It has been shown that traffic light violations, road priority violations, and unsure safety (these situations included misjudgments, unpreparedness, proximity to other road users, inappropriate speeds, etc.…) are the main causes in both the VRU groups. Distinctions were found for aspects of car collision speed, accident scenario, distribution of head contact points and so on.
Technical Paper

Field Demonstration of a Camera/Video Imaging System for Heavy Vehicles - Driver Lane Change Performance Preliminary Results

On-board Camera/Video Imaging Systems (C/VISs) for heavy vehicles display live images to the driver of selected areas to the sides, and in back of the truck's exterior using displays inside the truck cabin. They provide a countermeasure to blind-spot related crashes by allowing drivers to see objects not ordinarily visible by a typical mirror configuration, and to better judge the clearance between the trailer and an adjacent vehicle when changing lanes. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute is currently investigating commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driver performance with C/VISs through a technology field demonstration sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Data collection, which consists of recording twelve CMV drivers performing their daily employment duties with and without a C/VIS for four months, is currently underway.
Technical Paper

Response of PMHS to High- and Low-Speed Oblique and Lateral Pneumatic Ram Impacts

In ISO Technical Report 9790 (1999) normalized lateral and oblique thoracic force-time responses of PMHS subjected to blunt pendulum impacts at 4.3 m/s were deemed sufficiently similar to be grouped together in a single biomechanical response corridor. Shaw et al., (2006) presented results of paired oblique and lateral thoracic pneumatic ram impact tests to opposite sides of seven PMHS at sub-injurious speed (2.5 m/s). Normalized responses showed that oblique impacts resulted in more deflection and less force, whereas lateral impacts resulted in less deflection and more force. This study presents results of oblique and lateral thoracic impacts to PMHS at higher speeds (4.5 and 5.5 m/s) to assess whether lateral relative to oblique responses are different as observed by Shaw et al., or similar as observed by ISO.
Technical Paper

Saving Lives with V2X versus On-Board Sensing Systems -Which will be More Effective?: Technology Leadership Brief

Infrastructure systems such as vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2X) communication can theoretically prevent nearly all accidents by gathering the speed, locations, and travel directions of traffic participants, and intervening to control vehicle motion as required to help prevent collisions. However, during the phase-in of the communication systems, there will be many vehicles and many roads that do not have the communication systems in place, and therefore the system will not be effective in those cases. This lack of availability is likely the main disadvantage. On-board sensing (autonomous) systems such as cameras and radar sensors may not detect all potential hazards (e.g. due to weather, or hidden hazards), but they are effective in many situations and can help prevent crashes without depending on communication with infrastructure or other vehicles.
Technical Paper

Dynamic Properties of the Upper Thoracic Spine-Pectoral Girdle (UTS-PG) System and Corresponding Kinematics in PMHS Sled Tests

Anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs) should accurately depict head kinematics in crash tests, and thoracic spine properties have been demonstrated to affect those kinematics. To investigate the relationships between thoracic spine system dynamics and upper thoracic kinematics in crash-level scenarios, three adult post-mortem human subjects (PMHS) were tested in both Isolated Segment Manipulation (ISM) and sled configurations. In frontal sled tests, the T6-T8 vertebrae of the PMHS were coupled through a novel fixation technique to a rigid seat to directly measure thoracic spine loading. Mid-thoracic spine and belt loads along with head, spine, and pectoral girdle (PG) displacements were measured in 12 sled tests conducted with the three PMHS (3-pt lap-shoulder belted/unbelted at velocities from 3.8 - 7.0 m/s applied directly through T6-T8).
Journal Article

Headform Impact Tests to Assess Energy Management of Seat Back Contact Points Associated with Head Injury for Pediatric Occupants

Head injuries are the most common injuries sustained by children in motor vehicle crashes regardless of age, restraint and crash direction. Previous research identified the front seat back as relevant contact point associated with head injuries sustained by restrained rear seated child occupants. The objective of this study was to conduct a test series of headform impacts to seat backs to evaluate the energy management characteristics of relevant contact points for pediatric head injury. A total of eight seats were tested: two each of 2007 Ford Focus, Toyota Corolla, 2006 Volvo S40, and 2008 Volkswagen Golf. Five to six contact points were chosen for each unique seat model guided by contact locations determined from real world crashes. Each vehicle seat was rigidly mounted in the center track position with the seatback angle adjusted to 70 degrees above the horizontal.
Technical Paper

Correlation Between Euro NCAP Pedestrian Test Results and Injury Severity in Injury Crashes with Pedestrians and Bicyclists in Sweden

Pedestrians and bicyclists account for a significant share of deaths and serious injuries in the road transport system. The protection of pedestrians in car-to-pedestrian crashes has therefore been addressed by friendlier car fronts and since 1997, the European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP) has assessed the level of protection for most car models available in Europe. In the current study, Euro NCAP pedestrian scoring was compared with real-life injury outcomes in car-to-pedestrian and car-to-bicyclist crashes occurring in Sweden. Approximately 1200 injured pedestrians and 2000 injured bicyclists were included in the study. Groups of cars with low, medium and high pedestrian scores were compared with respect to pedestrian injury severity on the Maximum Abbreviated Injury Scale (MAIS)-level and risk of permanent medical impairment (RPMI). Significant injury reductions to both pedestrians and bicyclists were found between low and high performing cars.
Technical Paper

Measurement and Modeling of Tire Forces on a Low Coefficient Surface

There exists a fairly extensive set of tire force measurements performed on dry pavement. But in order to develop a low-coefficient of friction tire model, a set of tire force measurements made on wet pavement is required. Using formulations and parameters obtained on dry roads, and then reducing friction level to that of a wet road is not sufficient to model tire forces in a high fidelity simulation. This paper describes the process of more accurately modeling low coefficient tire forces on the National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS). It is believed that the tire model improvements will be useful in many types of NADS simulations, including ESC and other advanced vehicle technology studies. In order to produce results that would come from a road surface that would be sufficiently slippery, a set of tires were shaved to 4/32 inches and sent to a tire-testing lab for measurement.
Technical Paper

Rear Seat Occupant Safety: An Investigation of a Progressive Force-Limiting, Pretensioning 3-Point Belt System Using Adult PMHS in Frontal Sled Tests

Rear seat adult occupant protection is receiving increased attention from the automotive safety community. Recent anthropomorphic test device (ATD) studies have suggested that it may be possible to improve kinematics and reduce injuries to rear seat occupants in frontal collisions by incorporating shoulder-belt force-limiting and pretensioning (FL+PT) technologies into rear seat 3-point belt restraints. This study seeks to further investigate the feasibility and potential kinematic benefits of a FL+PT rear seat, 3-point belt restraint system in a series of 48 kmh frontal impact sled tests (20 g, 80 ms sled acceleration pulse) performed with post mortem human surrogates (PMHS). Three PMHS were tested with a 3-point belt restraint with a progressive (two-stage) force limiting and pretensioning retractor in a sled buck representing the rear seat occupant environment of a 2004 mid-sized sedan.
Technical Paper

Impact Response of Restrained PMHS in Frontal Sled Tests: Skeletal Deformation Patterns Under Seat Belt Loading

This study evaluated the response of restrained post-mortem human subjects (PMHS) in 40 km/h frontal sled tests. Eight male PMHS were restrained on a rigid planar seat by a custom 3-point shoulder and lap belt. A video motion tracking system measured three-dimensional trajectories of multiple skeletal sites on the torso allowing quantification of ribcage deformation. Anterior and superior displacement of the lower ribcage may have contributed to sternal fractures occurring early in the event, at displacement levels below those typically considered injurious, suggesting that fracture risk is not fully described by traditional definitions of chest deformation. The methodology presented here produced novel kinematic data that will be useful in developing biofidelic human models.
Technical Paper

Parameter Determination and Vehicle Dynamics Modeling for The National Advanced Driving Simulator of the 2006 BMW 330i

The paper discusses the development of a model for the 2006 BMW 330i for the National Advanced Driving Simulator's (NADS) vehicle dynamics simulation, NADSdyna. The front and rear suspensions are independent strut and link type suspensions modeled using recursive rigid-body dynamics formulations. The suspension springs and shock absorbers are modeled as force elements. The paper includes parameters for front and rear semi-empirical tire models used with NADSdyna. Longitudinal and lateral tire force plots are also included. The NADSdyna model provides state-of-the-art high-fidelity handling dynamics for real-time hardware-in-the-loop simulation. The realism of a particular model depends heavily on how the parameters are obtained from the actual physical system. Complex models do not guarantee high fidelity if the parameters used were not properly measured. Methodologies for determining the parameters are detailed in this paper.
Technical Paper

Restraint Robustness in Frontal Crashes

The protection of a vehicle occupant in a frontal crash is a combination of vehicle front structural design and occupant restraint design. Once chosen and manufactured, these design features must interact with a wide variety of structural characteristics in potential crash partners. If robust, the restraint design will provide a high level of protection for a wide variety of crash conditions. This paper examines how robust a given restraint system is for occupant self-protection and how frontal design can improve the restraint performance of potential crash partners, thus improving their restraint robustness as well. To examine restraint robustness in self protection, the effect of various vehicle deceleration characteristics on occupant injury potential is investigated for a given restraint design. A MADYMO model of a 1996 Taurus interior and its restraint system with a Hybrid III 50th percentile male dummy are simulated and subjected to 650 crash pulses taken during 25 years of U.S.
Technical Paper

Whole-body Kinematic and Dynamic Response of Restrained PMHS in Frontal Sled Tests

The literature contains a wide range of response data describing the biomechanics of isolated body regions. Current data for the validation of frontal anthropomorphic test devices and human body computational models lack, however, a detailed description of the whole-body response to loading with contemporary restraints in automobile crashes.
Journal Article

Validation of a Human Body Model for Frontal Crash and its Use for Chest Injury Prediction

Whole-body kinematics of the finite element human body model THUMS was evaluated by means of sled tests. A model of a crash test dummy (Hybrid-III 50%-ile) was used to validate the test environment by matching the model predictions to the experimentally measured dummy sled test responses. Once the environment was validated, the THUMS model was placed in the sled model and the post mortem human subject (PMHS) sled tests were replicated. Two test configurations were used for the evaluation. One configuration was high impact velocity sled tests with an advanced restraint system. The other configuration was low impact velocity sled tests with a basic restraint system. The test velocities were 48 km/h and 29 km/h respectively. The evaluation was carried out by an objective rating method that compared predictions from the model to results from the mechanical tests. The method assessed the peak level, peak timing and curve shapes of the predictions relative to the test results.
Journal Article

Preliminary Evaluation Methodology in Front-Front Vehicle Compatibility

The injury outcome of a front-front two-vehicle crash will be a function of crash-specific, vehicle-specific, and occupant-specific parameters. This paper focuses on a preliminary methodology that was used to evaluate the potential for benefits in making vehicle-specific changes to improve the compatibility of light vehicles across the fleet. In particular, the effect on injury rates of matching vehicle frontal stiffness was estimated. The front-front crash data for belted drivers in the lighter vehicles in the crash from ten years of NASS-CDS data were examined. The frontal stiffness of each vehicle was calculated using data taken during full frontal rigid barrier tests for the U.S. New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), and only crashes coded in the CDS as “no override” were considered.
Technical Paper

Simulator Study of Heavy Truck Air Disc Brake Effectiveness During Emergency Braking

In crashes between heavy trucks and light vehicles, most of the fatalities are the occupants of the light vehicle. A reduction in heavy truck stopping distance should lead to a reduction in the number of crashes, the severity of crashes, and consequently the numbers of fatalities and injuries. This study made use of the National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS). NADS is a full immersion driving simulator used to study driver behavior as well as driver-vehicle reactions and responses. The vehicle dynamics model of the existing heavy truck on NADS had been modified with the creation of two additional brake models. The first was a modified S-cam (larger drums and shoes) and the second was an air-actuated disc brake system. A sample of 108 CDL-licensed drivers was split evenly among the simulations using each of the three braking systems. The drivers were presented with four different emergency stopping situations.
Journal Article

Pedestrian Lower Extremity Response and Injury: A Small Sedan vs. A Large Sport Utility Vehicle

Vehicle front-end geometry and stiffness characteristics have been shown to influence pedestrian lower extremity response and injury patterns. The goal of this study is to compare the lower extremity response and injuries of post mortem human surrogates (PMHS) tested in full-scale vehicle-pedestrian impact experiments with a small sedan and a large sport utility vehicle (SUV). The pelves and lower limbs of six PMHS were instrumented with six-degree-of-freedom instrumentation packages. The PMHS were then positioned laterally in mid-stance gait and subjected to vehicle impact at 40 km/h with either a small sedan (n=3) or a large SUV (n=3). Detailed descriptions of the pelvic and lower extremity injuries are presented in conjunction with global and local kinematics data and high speed video images. Injured PMHS knee joints reached peak lateral bending angles between 25 and 85 degrees (exceeding published injury criteria) at bending rates between 1.1 deg/ms and 3.7 deg/ms.
Technical Paper


Since 1990, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) implemented a dynamic side impact compliance test. This compliance test, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 214, is a nearly right angle side impact in which the striking vehicle moves at 53.6 kmph into the struck vehicle. In 1997, NHTSA began testing passenger cars in side impact in the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). In the USA NCAP side impact, the striking vehicle is towed at a 8 kmph higher speed than in the compliance test. An analysis has begun on the data from the first NCAP side impact tests, thirty-two in number. In the crashes, accelerometers were installed in the door and door frames of the struck vehicle. Using the accelerometers on the vehicle structure and in the side impact dummy, the crash event was investigated. One tool used in the investigation was the velocity-versus-time diagram.
Technical Paper

Reduction of Head Rotational Motions in Side Impacts Due to the Inflatable Curtain-A Way to Bring Down the Risk of Diffuse Brain Injury

Diffuse brain injuries are very common in side impacts, accounting for more than half of the injuries to the head. These injuries are often sustained in less severe side impacts. An English investigation has shown that diffuse brain injuries often originate from interior contacts, most frequently with the side window. They are believed to be mainly caused by quick head rotational motions. This paper describes a test method using a Hybrid III dummy head in a wire pendulum. The head impacts a simulated side window or an inflatable device, called the Inflatable Curtain (IC), in front of the window, at different speeds, and at different impact angles. The inflated IC has a thickness of around 70 mm and an internal (over) pressure of 1.5 bar. The head was instrumented with a three axis accelerometer as well as an angular velocity sensor measuring about the vertical (z) axis. The angular acceleration was calculated.