Evaluation of injury thresholds for predicting severe head injuries in vulnerable road users resulting from ground impact via detailed accident reconstructions
Journal article, 2020
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of various head injury criteria and associated risk functions in prediction of vulnerable road users (VRUs) severe head injuries caused by ground impact during vehicle collisions. Ten VRU accidents with video information were reconstructed by using Chalmers Pedestrian Model, vehicle multi-body system models and the THUMS (Ver. 4.0.2) finite element model. The head kinematics were used to calculate injury risks for seven head kinematics-based criteria: head angular velocity and acceleration, linear acceleration, head injury criterion (HIC), head impact power (HIP) and two versions of brain injury criterion (i.e., BRIC and BrIC). In addition, the intracranial responses were used to estimate seven tissue injury criteria, Von Mises stress, shear stress, coup pressure (C.P.) and countercoup pressure (CC.P.), maximum principal strain (MPS), cumulative strain damage measure (CSDM), and dilatation damage measure (DDM). A review of the medical reports for all cases indicated that each individual suffered severe head injuries and died. The injury risks predicted through simulations were compared to the head injuries recorded in the medical or forensic reports. The results indicated that 75–100% of the reconstructed ground impact accidents injuries were correctly predicted by angular acceleration, linear acceleration, HIC, C.P., MPS and CSDM0.15. Shear stress, CC.P. and CSDM0.25 correctly predicted 50–75% of the reconstructed accidents injuries. For angular velocity, HIP, BRIC and BrIC, the injuries were correctly predicted for less than 50% of the reconstructed accidents. The Von Mises stress and DDM did not correctly predict any reconstructed accidents injuries. The results could help to understand the effectiveness of the brain injury criteria for future head injury evaluation.