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Technical Paper

A Biomechanical Analysis of Head, Neck, and Torso Injuries to Child Surrogates Due to Sudden Torso Acceleration

This paper reports on the injuries to the head, neck and thorax of fifteen child surrogates, subjected to varying levels of sudden acceleration. Measured response data in the child surrogate tests and in matched tests with a three-year-old child test dummy are compared to the observed child surrogates injury levels to develop preliminary tolerance data for the child surrogate. The data are compared with already published data in the literature.
Technical Paper


The relationship between designing for both rigid fixed barrier (RFB) and vehicle-to-vehicle tests is a topical area of research. Specifically, vehicle-to-vehicle compatibility has been a topic of keen interest to many researchers, and the interplay between the two aspects of design is presently addressed. In this paper, the studied vehicles for potential vehicle-to-vehicle impacts included: sport utility vehicles (SUVs), Pickups (PUs), and passenger cars. The SUV/PU-to-Car frontal impact tests were compared to those obtained from vehicle-to-rigid fixed barrier frontal impacts. Acceleration pulses at the B-pillar/rocker as well as dash and cabin intrusions were monitored and compared. Additionally, the energy distributions in SUV/PU-to-Car crash tests were compared to those of single vehicle-to-RFB tests. It was concluded from the analysis that vehicle weight and front-end stiffness were not always the overriding factors dictating performance.
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

Abdominal Injuries in Frontal Crashes: Influence of Occupant Age and Seating Position

Objective: This study investigated the incidence of abdominal injuries in frontal crashes by occupant age and seating position. It determined the risk for abdominal injury (AIS 2+) by organ and injury source. Methods: 1997-2015 NASS-CDS was analyzed to estimate the occurrence of abdominal injuries in non-ejected, belted occupants involved in frontal crashes. Vehicles were included with 1997+ model year (MY). The annual incidence and rate for different types of abdominal injury were estimated with standard errors. The sources for abdominal injury were determined. Results: 77.8% of occupants were drivers, 16.7% were right-front passengers and 5.4% were rear passengers. Rear passengers accounted for 77.1% of 8-11 year old (yo) and 17.2% of 12-17 yo group. The risk for moderate abdominal injury (MAIS 2 + abdo) was 0.30% ± 0.053% in drivers, 0.32% ± 0.086% in right-front passengers and 0.38% ± 0.063% in rear occupants.
Technical Paper

Age-Specific Injury Risk Curves for Distributed, Anterior Thoracic Loading of Various Sizes of Adults Based on Sternal Deflections

Injury Risk Curves are developed from cadaver data for sternal deflections produced by anterior, distributed chest loads for a 25, 45, 55, 65 and 75 year-old Small Female, Mid-Size Male and Large Male based on the variations of bone strengths with age. These curves show that the risk of AIS ≥ 3 thoracic injury increases with the age of the person. This observation is consistent with NASS data of frontal accidents which shows that older unbelted drivers have a higher risk of AIS ≥ 3 chest injury than younger drivers.
Technical Paper

Analysis and Evaluation of the Biofidelity of the Human Body Finite Element Model in Lateral Impact Simulations According to ISO-TR9790 Procedures

The biofidelity of the Ford Motor Company human body finite element (FE) model in side impact simulations was analyzed and evaluated following the procedures outlined in ISO technical report TR9790. This FE model, representing a 50th percentile adult male, was used to simulate the biomechanical impact tests described in ISO-TR9790. These laboratory tests were considered as suitable for assessing the lateral impact biofidelity of the head, neck, shoulder, thorax, abdomen, and pelvis of crash test dummies, subcomponent test devices, and math models that are used to represent a 50th percentile adult male. The simulated impact responses of the head, neck, shoulder, thorax, abdomen, and pelvis of the FE model were compared with the PMHS (Post Mortem Human Subject) data upon which the response requirements for side impact surrogates was based. An overall biofidelity rating of the human body FE model was determined using the ISO-TR9790 rating method.
Technical Paper

Assessing Submarining and Abdominal Injury Risk in the Hybrid III Family of Dummies

This paper details the development of an abdominal injury assessment device for loading due to belt restraint submarining in the Hybrid III family of dummies. The design concept and criteria, response criteria, choice of injury criterion, and validation are explained. Conclusions of this work are: 1) Abdominal injury assessment for belt loading due to submarining is now possible in the Hybrid III family of dummies. 2) The abdomen developed has biofidelity in its force deflection characteristics for belt loading, is capable of detecting the occurrence of submarining, and can be used to determine the probability of abdominal injury when submarining occurs. 3) Installation of the abdomen in the Hybrid III dummy does not change the dummy kinematics when submarining does not occur. 4) When submarining does occur, the dummy kinematics are very similar to baseline Hybrid III kinematics, except for torso angle.
Technical Paper

Assessing the Safety Performance of Occupant Restraint Systems

The purpose of this study was to investigate approaches evaluating the performance of safety systems in crash tests and by analytical simulations. The study was motivated by the need to consider the adequacy of injury criteria and tolerance levels in FMVSS 208 measuring safety performance of restraint systems and supplements. The study also focused on additional biomechanical criteria and performance measures which may augment FMVSS 208 criteria and alternative ways to evaluate dummy responses rather than by comparison to a tolerance level. Additional analysis was conducted of dummy responses from barrier crash and sled tests to gain further information on the performance of restraint systems. The analysis resulted in a new computer program which determined several motion and velocity criteria from measurements made in crash tests.
Technical Paper

Assessment of Air Bag Deployment Loads

A study of air bag deployments has indicated that some occupant injury was “unexpected” and might have been related to loading by the inflating bag. Laboratory studies have found “high” loads on surrogates when they are out of a normal seating position and in the path and against an inflating air bag (out-of-position). The current study evaluated laboratory methods for assessing the significance of deployment loads and the interaction mechanics for the situation of an occupant located near or against a steering wheel mounted air bag. Analysis of the field relevance of the results must consider not only factors relating to the assessment of injury risk, but also exposure frequency. The highest responses for the head, neck, or torso were with that body region aligned with and against the air bag module. The risk of severe injury was low for the head and neck, but high when the torso was against and fully covering the air bag module.
Journal Article

Basilar Skull Fractures by Crash Type and Injury Source

Purpose: This study investigates NASS-CDS data on basilar skull fractures by crash type and injury source for various crash scenarios to understand the injury risks, injury mechanisms and contact sources. Methods: 1993-2008 NASS-CDS data was used to study basilar skull fractures in adult front occupants by crash type and injury source. Injury risks were determined using weighted data for occupants with known injury status in 1994+ model year vehicles. In-depth analysis was made of far-side occupants in side impacts and rear crashes using the NASS electronic cases. Results: Basilar skull fractures occur in 0.507 ± 0.059% of rollovers and 0.255 ± 0.025% of side impacts. The lowest risk is in rear impacts at 0.015 ± 0.007%. The most common contact source is the roof, side rails and header (39.0%) in rollovers, the B-pillar (25.8%) in side impacts and head restraint (55.3%) in rear crashes.
Technical Paper

Biofidelity and Injury Assessment in Eurosid I and Biosid

Side impact pendulum tests were conducted on Eurosid I and Biosid to assess the biofidelity of the thorax, abdomen and pelvis, and determine injury tolerance levels. Each body region was impacted at 4.5, 6.7, and 9.4 m/s using test conditions which duplicate cadaver impacts with a 15 cm flat-circular 23.4 kg rigid mass. The cadaver database establishes human response and injury risk assessment in side impact. Both dummies showed better biofidelity when compared to the lowest-speed cadaver response corridor. At higher speeds, peak force was substantially higher. The average peak contact force was 1.56 times greater in Biosid and 2.19 times greater in Eurosid 1 than the average cadaver response. The Eurosid I abdomen had the most dissimilar response and lacks biofidelity. Overall, Biosid has better biofidelity than Eurosid I with an average 21% lower peak load and a closer match to the duration of cadaver impact responses for the three body regions.
Technical Paper

Biomechanical Analysis of Human Abdominal Impact Responses and Injuries through Finite Element Simulations of a Full Human Body Model

Human abdominal response and injury in blunt impacts was investigated through finite element simulations of cadaver tests using a full human body model of an average-sized adult male. The model was validated at various impact speeds by comparing model responses with available experimental cadaver test data in pendulum side impacts and frontal rigid bar impacts from various sources. Results of various abdominal impact simulations are presented in this paper. Model-predicted abdominal dynamic responses such as force-time and force-deflection characteristics, and injury severities, measured by organ pressures, for the simulated impact conditions are presented. Quantitative results such as impact forces, abdominal deflections, internal organ stresses have shown that the abdomen responded differently to left and right side impacts, especially in low speed impact.
Technical Paper

Biomechanical Analysis of Knee Impact in Frontal Collisions through Finite Element Simulations with a Full Human Body Model

This study applies a detailed finite element model of the human body to simulate occupant knee impacts experienced in vehicular frontal crashes. The human body model includes detailed anatomical features of the head, neck, chest, thoracic and lumbar spine, abdomen, and lower and upper extremities. The material properties used in the model for each anatomic part of the human body were obtained from test data reported in the literature. The total human body model used in the current study has been previously validated in frontal and side impacts. Several cadaver knee impact tests representing occupants in a frontal impact condition were simulated using the previously validated human body model. Model impact responses in terms of force-time and acceleration-time histories were compared with test results. In addition, stress distributions of the patella, femur, and pelvis were reported for the simulated test conditions.
Technical Paper

Biomechanical Assessment of a Rear-Seat Inflatable Seatbelt in Frontal Impacts

This study evaluated the biomechanical performance of a rear-seat inflatable seatbelt system and compared it to that of a 3-point seatbelt system, which has a long history of good real-world performance. Frontal-impact sled tests were conducted with Hybrid III anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs) and with post mortem human subjects (PMHS) using both restraint systems and a generic rear-seat configuration. Results from these tests demonstrated: a) reduction in forward head excursion with the inflatable seatbelt system when compared to that of a 3-point seatbelt and; b) a reduction in ATD and PMHS peak chest deflections and the number of PMHS rib fractures with the inflatable seatbelt system and c) a reduction in PMHS cervical-spine injuries, due to the interaction of the chin with the inflated shoulder belt. These results suggest that an inflatable seatbelt system will offer additional benefits to some occupants in the rear seats.
Technical Paper

Biomechanical and Scaling Bases for Frontal and Side Impact Injury Assessment Reference Values

In 1983, General Motors Corporation (GM) petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to allow the use of the biofidelic Hybrid III midsize adult male dummy as an alternate test device for FMVSS 208 compliance testing of frontal impact, passive restraint systems. To support their petition, GM made public to the international automotive community the limit values that they imposed on the Hybrid III measurements, which were called Injury Assessment Reference Values (IARVs). During the past 20 years, these IARVs have been updated based on relevant biomechanical studies that have been published and scaled to provide IARVs for the Hybrid III and CRABI families of frontal impact dummies. Limit values have also been developed for the biofidelic side impact dummies, BioSID, EuroSID2 and SID-IIs.
Technical Paper

Biomechanical and Scaling Basis for Frontal and Side Impact Injury Assessment Reference Values

In 1983, General Motors Corporation (GM) petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to allow the use of the biofidelic Hybrid III midsize adult male dummy as an alternate test device for FMVSS 208 compliance testing of frontal impact, passive restraint systems. To support their petition, GM made public to the international automotive community the limit values that they imposed on the Hybrid III measurements, which were called Injury Assessment Reference Values (IARVs). During the past 20 years, these IARVs have been updated based on relevant biomechanical studies that have been published and scaled to provide IARVs for the Hybrid III and CRABI families of frontal impact dummies. Limit values have also been developed for the biofidelic side impact dummies, BioSID, ES-2 and SID-IIs.
Technical Paper

Biomechanics of 4-Point Seat Belt Systems in Farside Impacts

The biomechanical behavior of a harness style 4-point seat belt system in farside impacts was investigated through dummy and post mortem human subject tests. Specifically, this study was conducted to evaluate the effect of the inboard shoulder belt portion of a 4-point seat belt on the risk of vertebral and soft-tissue neck injuries during simulated farside impacts. Two series of sled tests simulating farside impacts were completed with crash dummies of different sizes, masses and designs to determine the forces and moments on the neck associated with loading of the shoulder belt. The tests were also performed to help determine the appropriate dummy to use in further testing. The BioSID and SID-IIs reasonably simulated the expected kinematics response and appeared to be reasonable dummies to use for further testing. Analysis also showed that dummy injury measures were lower than injury assessment reference values used in development of side impact airbags.
Technical Paper

Biomechanics of 4-Point Seat Belt Systems in Frontal Impacts

The biomechanical behavior of 4-point seat belt systems was investigated through MADYMO modeling, dummy tests and post mortem human subject tests. This study was conducted to assess the effect of 4-point seat belts on the risk of thoracic injury in frontal impacts, to evaluate the ability to prevent submarining under the lap belt using 4-point seat belts, and to examine whether 4-point belts may induce injuries not typically observed with 3-point seat belts. The performance of two types of 4-point seat belts was compared with that of a pretensioned, load-limited, 3-point seat belt. A 3-point belt with an extra shoulder belt that “crisscrossed” the chest (X4) appeared to add constraint to the torso and increased chest deflection and injury risk. Harness style shoulder belts (V4) loaded the body in a different biomechanical manner than 3-point and X4 belts.