Understanding the Effects of Age and Safety Countermeasures on Occupant Kinematics
Friday, February 16, 2018
12:00 PM-2:00 PM
BIOMED PhD Research Proposal
Understanding the Effects of Age and Safety Countermeasures on Occupant Kinematics in Low-Acceleration, Time-extended Events (LATEs)
Christine Holt, PhD Candidate, School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, Drexel University
Sriram Balasubramanian, PhD, Associate Professor, School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, Drexel University
Kristy Arbogast, PhD, Co-Scientific Director, Center for Injury Research and Prevention, Center for Child Injury Prevention Studies at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), and Research Associate Professor, The University of Pennsylvania
Motor vehicle crashes (MVCs) continue to be a prime contributor to mortality and morbidity for children and young adults worldwide. Previous automotive safety research has emphasized the impact phase of MVCs often neglecting the precursors of the event. Low-acceleration time-extended (LATE) events often precede a crash event. The inertial forces, during LATE events, have the potential to cause changes to the occupant’s initial “state," which is defined as the initial posture, position, and muscle tension. The result of such changes may lead to profound consequences in restraint performance. Little is known about the phasing and magnitude of occupant kinematics in LATE events and how that varies by age and other key restraint parameters. Current literature lacks biomechanical data in response to pre-crash evasive swerving maneuvers. Acquisition of such data is essential for the design and improvement of safety countermeasures; for future restraint design must robustly accommodate various occupant sizes while simultaneously providing the appropriate level of protection.
The proposed study presents a novel laboratory approach to observing the kinematic response of both adult and pediatric human volunteers during a simulated evasive swerving maneuver. Age and vehicle countermeasures are hypothesized to affect occupant kinematics. Occupant kinematics will be observed on safe and repeatable testing device that exposes subjects to low speed, non-injurious loading conditions that are relevant to the pre-crash event. Subjects (N=40) will be exposed to a unique series of testing conditions with oscillatory peak lateral accelerations of 0.72 ± 0.04 g.
This study aims to understand the effects of age, safety countermeasures, and muscle response, on occupant motion during pre-crash swerving. Results from this study can ultimately lead to safer vehicle designs that may reduce the number of injuries and lives lost in motor vehicle crashes.