Project: Dummy Development: To Evaluate Spinal Injuries

Reference: S083D/VF

Last update: 27/08/2003 10:28:57

Objectives

The project objectives are to:

* develop a biofidelic design of dummy spine that can be used to measure whiplash and lumbar injuries; and
* produce a report summarising and justifying the design process undertaken to produce the spine design.

Description

Lumbar and whiplash injuries from road accidents are extremely common and are a major cause for concern. The cost of whiplash injuries alone was estimated as £2,535m, that is 18% of the total cost of road traffic accidents in 1991. Currently there are no means of assessing the protection offered by a vehicle or seat against such injuries or even develop and evaluate new designs. Without appropriate test procedures and tools we will not be able to reduce the numbers of such injuries.

The project will develop a more biofidelic design of spine for the Hybrid III dummy that will be able to assess lumbar and whiplash injuries. Once accepted this design could be incorporated into legislative standards and used to measure spinal injuries and thereby improve vehicle and seat designs.

Contractor(s)

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

Contract details

Cost to the Department: £523,006.00

Actual start date: 01 May 1998

Actual completion date: 30 April 2003

Publication(s)

PR/SE/477/98. Biomechanics. Injuries and Modelling of the Spine in Motor Vehicle Accidents
Author: TRL Ltd
Publication date: 31/01/1999
Unpublished
Source: Contact adrian.eaton@dft.gsi.gov.uk

PR/SE/624/99. Preliminary Rear Impact Sled Tests on a Hybrid III Dummy
Author: TRL Ltd
Publication date: 01/05/1999
Unpublished
Source: Contact adrian.eaton@dft.gsi.gov.uk

PR/SE/222/00. Biomechanics of the Human Spine in Low Energy Rear Impact Tests
Author: TRL Ltd
Publication date: 01/12/2000
Unpublished
Source: Contact adrian.eaton@dft.gsi.gov.uk

PR/SE/373/98. Development of a Practical Mathematical Model of Spinal Injury to Understand Back Injuries in Car Accidents: A Literature Review
Author: TRL Ltd
Publication date: 01/10/1998
Unpublished
Source: Contact: adrian.eaton@dft.gsi.gov.uk

PR/SE/521/99. A Practical Mathematical Model of Spinal Injury to Understand Back Injuries in Car Accidents: Final Report
Author: TRL Ltd
Publication date: 31/01/1999
Unpublished
Source: Contact: adrian.eaton@dft.gsi.gov.uk

Summary of results

  1. The dummy results were compared with volunteer performance corridors and this showed that no version of the Hybrid lll dummy tested gave a satisfactory performance, despite it meeting some of the proposed performance criteria. This is fundamentally due to the dummy having a rigid thoracic spine. Although the THOR dummy has flexible joints in both its lumber and thoracic spine it is still not considered suitable for use as a whiplash dummy because it does not demonstrate the required biofidelic flexibility of the spine and torso. The BioRID appears to show potential for use as a whiplash dummy. However, the torso together with the spine require greater flexibility and further tuning of the individual spine sections stiffness is needed. The BioRID demonstrated rearward T1 marker motion most like the volunteers but inconsistences within the set-up were noticeable. Before a rear impact test procedure is established better definition of dummy positioning techniques should be described.