Project: EC THORAX

Reference: S0817/V8

Last update: 27/08/2010 10:15:14


The general objectives of THORAX are to increase the understanding of thoracic injury mechanisms. This will allow new tools (both experimental and numerical) to be developed that will enable both the design and evaluation of advanced vehicle restraint systems that could offer optimal protection for a wider variety of car occupants than is currently the case. In order to maximise the safety benefits gained from new vehicle and restraint technology for various genders, ages and sizes of occupants, these tools will have to be much more sensitive to the in-vehicle occupant environment than is the case today.


In Great Britain, the number of deaths among car users in 2008 was 1,257, 12 per cent less than in the previous year. The number seriously injured fell by 7 per cent to 10,707. This is encouraging for GB as it contributes to the number of people being killed or seriously injured in road accidents now being 40 percent below the 1994-98 average (DfT, 2008). These provisional baseline data suggest that the road safety strategy targets set in 2000, for a 40 percent reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured in road accidents (compared with the average for 1994-1998) have been achieved. Looking beyond this 2010 target, it is clear that effort is needed to reduce further the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads.
This THORAX Project will focus on the reduction and prevention of thoracic trauma, which is one of the leading causes for severe injuries and fatalities in car crashes (reported to directly account for 20 to 25% of road deaths due to trauma). Departmental research has shown that the head and especially the thorax are the bidy regions most severely and frwquently injured (FID Project, 2000). In accidents with airbag deployment, the injury severity of head injuries has decreased considerably, while the percentage of severe thorax injuries has remained almost unchanged. The results from FID were updated by the PRISM project (2003), which confirmed that thorax injuries were a major factor in accidents involving serious injury or fatality. UK data indicated that where severe and fatal injuries occurred, the thorax was the dominant body region for seriously and fatally injured occupants (both drivers and front seat passengers).


TRL Limited
Crowthorne House, Nine Mile Ride, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG40 3GA
+44 (0)1344 773131

Contract details

Cost to the Department: £140,000.00

Actual start date: 01 February 2009

Expected completion date: 31 March 2012