Human Occupant Kinematic Response to Low Speed Rear-End Impacts

Human volunteer kinematic response to low speed rear-end collisions was investigated. Nominal 16 kph (10 mph) car-to-car impacts were conducted, using human volunteers and anthropomorphic dummies. The human volunteers were both male and female, aged 27 to 58 years, with various degrees of cervical and lumbar spinal degeneration (documented by MRI scan) at the time of the tests. Human volunteer response was monitored and analyzed via accelerometers and high speed film.

The impacts resulted in no injury to any of the human volunteers, and no objective changes in the condition of their cervical or lumbar spines. The results indicate a minimum injury tolerance to low speed rear-end impacts for males and females with various degrees of spinal degeneration. Kinematic responses of the head, mandible, upper torso and knees are discussed in light of existing theories regarding injury causation and tolerance.

Date Published: 1994-03-01
Author(s): Thomas J. Szabo - Biodynamics Engineering, Inc.
Judson B. Welcher - Biodynamics Engineering, Inc.
Robert D. Anderson - Biodynamics Engineering, Inc.
Michelle M. Rice - Biodynamics Engineering, Inc.
Jennifer A. Ward - Biodynamics Engineering, Inc.
Lori R. Paulo - Biodynamics Engineering, Inc.
Nicholas J. Carpenter - Biodynamics Engineering, Inc.

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