Simulations with average male and female dummy models with two seat concepts in the Euro NCAP low severity rear impact test configuration

Kristian Holmqvist
Mats Y. Svensson

Soft tissue neck injuries, also referred to as whiplash injuries, which can lead to long term suffering are most common in rear impacts. These injuries account for more than 60% of the cost of all injuries leading to permanent medical impairment for the insurance companies with respect to injuries sustained in vehicle crashes. Injury statistics have since the mid-1960s consistently shown that females are subject to a higher risk of sustaining this type of injury than males, on average twice the risk of injury. Furthermore, recently developed anti-whiplash systems have shown to protect females less than males. The diversity of males and females should be addresses when designing and evaluating vehicle safety systems to ensure maximum safety for everyone. This is currently not the case. The norm for crash test dummies representing humans in crash test laboratories is an average male. The female part of the population is not represented in tests performed by consumer information organisations such as NCAP due to the absence of a physical dummy representing an average female. Recently, the world first virtual model of an average female crash test dummy was developed. In this study, simulations were run with both an average male, and the recently developed average female dummy model, seated in a laboratory vehicle seat. The results of the simulations were compared to earlier published results from the same test set-up with a vehicle concepts seat. The three crash pulse severities of the Euro NCAP low severity rear impact test were applied. The motion of the neck, head and upper torso were analysed in addition to the accelerations and the Neck Injury Criterion (NIC). Furthermore, the response of the virtual models was compared to that volunteers and for the average male model, to that of the response of a physical dummy model. Simulations with the male and the female dummy models revealed differences related to the crash severity, as well as between the two dummies in different crash severities in two different seats. For the comparison of the response of the virtual models to the response of the volunteers and the physical dummy model, the peak angular motion of first thoracic vertebra as found in the volunteer tests and mimicked by the physical dummy were not of the same magnitude in the virtual models.

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