Evaluation of Head Injury Criteria for Injury Prediction Effectiveness: Computational Reconstruction of Real-World Vulnerable Road User Impact Accidents

Front Bioeng Biotechnol. 2021 Jun 29;9:677982. doi: 10.3389/fbioe.2021.677982. eCollection 2021.


This study evaluates the effectiveness of various widely used head injury criteria (HICs) in predicting vulnerable road user (VRU) head injuries due to road traffic accidents. Thirty-one real-world car-to-VRU impact accident cases with detailed head injury records were collected and replicated through the computational biomechanics method; head injuries observed in the analyzed accidents were reconstructed by using a finite element (FE)-multibody (MB) coupled pedestrian model [including the Total Human Model for Safety (THUMS) head-neck FE model and the remaining body segments of TNO MB pedestrian model], which was developed and validated in our previous study. Various typical HICs were used to predict head injuries in all accident cases. Pearson's correlation coefficient analysis method was adopted to investigate the correlation between head kinematics-based injury criteria and the actual head injury of VRU; the effectiveness of brain deformation-based injury criteria in predicting typical brain injuries [such as diffuse axonal injury diffuse axonal injury (DAI) and contusion] was assessed by using head injury risk curves reported in the literature. Results showed that for head kinematics-based injury criteria, the most widely used HICs and head impact power (HIP) can accurately and effectively predict head injury, whereas for brain deformation-based injury criteria, the maximum principal strain (MPS) behaves better than cumulative strain damage measure (CSDM0.15 and CSDM0.25) in predicting the possibility of DAI. In comparison with the dilatation damage measure (DDM), MPS seems to better predict the risk of brain contusion.

Keywords: computational biomechanics model; head injury criterion; impact accident reconstruction; injury prediction; vulnerable road user.