The effect of precrash velocity reduction on occupant response using a human body finite element model

Traffic Inj Prev. 2017 Jul 4;18(5):508-514. doi: 10.1080/15389588.2016.1269896. Epub 2017 Jan 19.


Objective: The objective of this study is to use a validated finite element model of the human body and a certified model of an anthropomorphic test dummy (ATD) to evaluate the effect of simulated precrash braking on driver kinematics, restraint loads, body loads, and computed injury criteria in 4 commonly injured body regions.

Methods: The Global Human Body Models Consortium (GHBMC) 50th percentile male occupant (M50-O) and the Humanetics Hybrid III 50th percentile models were gravity settled in the driver position of a generic interior equipped with an advanced 3-point belt and driver airbag. Fifteen simulations per model (30 total) were conducted, including 4 scenarios at 3 severity levels: median, severe, and the U.S. New Car Assessment Program (U.S.-NCAP) and 3 extra per model with high-intensity braking. The 4 scenarios were no precollision system (no PCS), forward collision warning (FCW), FCW with prebraking assist (FCW+PBA), and FCW and PBA with autonomous precrash braking (FCW + PBA + PB). The baseline ΔV was 17, 34, and 56.4 kph for median, severe, and U.S.-NCAP scenarios, respectively, and were based on crash reconstructions from NASS/CDS. Pulses were then developed based on the assumed precrash systems equipped. Restraint properties and the generic pulse used were based on literature.

Results: In median crash severity cases, little to no risk (<10% risk for Abbreviated injury Scale [AIS] 3+) was found for all injury measures for both models. In the severe set of cases, little to no risk for AIS 3+ injury was also found for all injury measures. In NCAP cases, highest risk was typically found with No PCS and lowest with FCW + PBA + PB. In the higher intensity braking cases (1.0-1.4 g), head injury criterion (HIC), brain injury criterion (BrIC), and chest deflection injury measures increased with increased braking intensity. All other measures for these cases tended to decrease. The ATD also predicted and trended similar to the human body models predictions for both the median, severe, and NCAP cases. Forward excursion for both models decreased across median, severe, and NCAP cases and diverged from each other in cases above 1.0 g of braking intensity.

Conclusions: The addition of precrash systems simulated through reduced precrash speeds caused reductions in some injury criteria, whereas others (chest deflection, HIC, and BrIC) increased due to a modified occupant position. The human model and ATD models trended similarly in nearly all cases with greater risk indicated in the human model. These results suggest the need for integrated safety systems that have restraints that optimize the occupant's position during precrash braking and prior to impact.

Keywords: Active safety; biomechanics; brake assist; delta-V; injury.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / prevention & control
  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Automobile Driving / statistics & numerical data*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Computer Simulation
  • Deceleration*
  • Finite Element Analysis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Manikins
  • Models, Biological
  • Protective Devices*
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control