Gender differences in Occupant Posture during Driving and Riding
Paper in proceedings, 2017
The aim of this study was to compare postures of male and female vehicle occupants, tested in both front seat positions, during normal driving and deceleration onset. These data are useful for the development and initialisation of computational human body models. A secondary aim was to examine the effect of reversible, motorised seat belts in these events. Kinematics were analysed for volunteers driving on rural roads, prior to autonomous braking (11 m/s2 deceleration). Two restraint configurations were tested: a standard versus a motorized belt, activated 200 ms before braking initiation. Kinematic metric comparison via ANCOVA was performed to understand postural differences across gender, role (driver/passenger), and belt type (standard/motorised). Data was analysed prior to and at vehicle deceleration, termed typical riding and initial braking, respectively.
While males and females displayed similar postures during typical riding, differences existed between drivers
and passengers, especially with respect to neck posture. Drivers displayed more protracted neck postures, with
significantly smaller (by 22‐27 mm, depending on gender) head‐to‐sternum horizontal distances, than passengers.
Motorised belts significantly changed posture during initial braking, notably of the chest (which was shifted
posteriorly by approximately 13 mm, depending on gender and role), while standard belts did not. Within a given belt type, occupants’ change in posture was similar across gender and role during initial braking.
Driver and passenger
Reversible motorised seat belt