Suitability of enhanced head injury criteria for vehicle rating
Journal article, 2019
Objective: Euro NCAP is considering the implementation of a new head injury assessment with the introduction of THOR in the mobile progressive deformable barrier frontal impact crash test. The objective of this study is to assess the suitability of enhanced head injury criteria for practical application in consumer rating programs. Method: AIS2+ risk predictions from nine selected head injury criteria where calculated for 27 pairs of crash test results representing small and moderate overlap frontal crashes. The capability of each injury criteria to predict the real-world injury rates of these crash modes was evaluated. Next, the correlation coefficients between the head injury candidates were calculated and individual predictions were compared for all tests in scatter plots. Results: The results show that none of the crash tests head injury assessment predicted the four-times higher head injury rates observed in the accident data for small overlap crashes compared to moderate overlap crashes. Poor correlation was demonstrated between many leading brain injury metrics, and the risk predictions for individual vehicles differ quite substantially depending on the criterion considered. Conclusions: While preliminary, the results of this study demonstrate that more evaluation of the most suitable brain injury criteria is necessary before consideration into a consumer evaluation program. Convergence of the head injury criteria risks for individual cases should be part of the validation process for enhanced head injury criteria, since identical head signals should yield similar injury risks.