Project: Additional THORAX - COVER

Reference: S0920/V8

Last update: 05/05/2011 10:49:12

Objectives

In a complex loading environment associated with the thorax, it is not always possible to determine exactly how certain injuries are caused from accident data alone. The EC THORAX project (S0817-V8) is underway to focus specifically on the reduction and prevention of thoracic trauma in vehicle crashes.
The information generated by this additional project, together with a case-by-case study within THORAX will be used to specify key accident conditions requiring further biomechanical research.
This work will be used to set priorities for the biomechanics and demonstrator development work occurring later in the THORAX project; as well as providing vital up to date information regarding the suitability of the current frontal impact dummy test tools.

Description

Thoracic trauma is known to be one of the most common causes of severe injury in car crashes. Previous research has indicated that 81% of drivers killed in a frontal impact had a severe thoracic injury. Frontal impacts have been reported to be responsible for about a third of the fatal injuries to car occupants in the UK and account for a higher proportion of the injuries to car occupants who survive an accident. This work will collate the findings from previous UK projects, EC projects and other research in order to define the current state of knowledge on thorax injury in frontal impacts. This work will then be extended, with a detailed analysis of the UK's Co-operative Crash Injury Study.
The accident analysis will define in detail thorax injuries in terms of occupant age, stature and sex; controlled for impact partner, impact severity, overlap (including small overlap accidents), occupant compartment intrusion and type of restraint system used. Particular attention will be paid to seating position and occupant characteristics so that the most appropriate dummy can be used in each seating position in future test procedures. This will also involve controlling for impact partner and overlap, in case complimentary test procedures are added to the existing regulatory and consumer information frontal impact assessments. In addition, this will deliver a top-level view of the frequency of serious thorax injuries that can be compared with the results of previous projects to give an overview of how the incidence of thorax injuries has changed over time.
The work will also determine the mechanism of injury at a high level, for example vehicle deceleration pulse and restraint type versus injury type and combination of injuries (e.g. rib fracture and heart injury). Injuries will be grouped by type rather than just by AIS level to help identify the important mechanisms of injury. The intention is to provide a link between key injury types, occupant characteristics, crash configurations and restraint systems.

Contractor(s)

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

Contract details

Cost to the Department: £50,738.21

Actual start date: 01 March 2010

Actual completion date: 31 March 2010

Summary of results

  1. This project was set-up to focus specifically on the reduction and prevention of thoracic trauma.The project reviewed previous UK and EC projects and other research in order to define the current state of knowledge on thorax injury in frontal impacts and then extended this work with a detailed analysis of the Co-operative Crash Injury Study.