Pregnant driver injury investigations through modelling and simulation of full-frontal crashes with and without airbags
journal contributionposted on 30.06.2017, 09:52 by Serpil Acar, Volkan Esat
Road traffic accidents have become increasingly important element in maternal deaths. It is important to investigate the injury mechanisms and injury levels that pregnant women may be subjected to in order to improve transport safety. The three dimensional computational model ‘Expecting’, which embodies a detailed multi-body model of a fetus in a finite element model of a uterus with a placenta, is developed at Loughborough University. The model is designed to simulate dynamic loading conditions that pregnant occupant may experience. In this study, ‘Expecting’ is used to study the kinematics of pregnant occupants to predict the injury levels to the pregnant driver in frontal crashes. The implications of ‘No restraint’, ‘Seat Belt Only’ and ‘Seat Belt & Airbag’ cases are investigated for various crash severities, from 15 to 45 kph. Crash analysis injury criteria such as Head Injury Criterion (HIC), 3ms maximum, Combined Thoracic Index (CTI) and Viscous Criterion (Max VC) are used. The results suggest that the frontal airbag together with the correctly worn seatbelt provide better protection for the pregnant drivers.
This work was supported by the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Research Council, UK) and IMCRC, Loughborough University (Innovative Manufacturing and Construction Research Centre) for funding the research projects.