Preventing Shoulder Injuries in Bicycle Crashes
Paper i proceeding, 2016

Cyclist injuries leading to long-term consequences are common and therefore important to address in order to design a more sustainable road transport system. Previous research shows that of all impairing injuries, almost 50% were to the upper extremities. The most common in-juries to the upper extremities leading to medical impairment were to the shoulder and the wrist. In 90% of the cases the injury to the shoulder resulted from a fall onto the shoulder. Shoulder pads could be a possible solution to reduce the number and severity of the injuries. The aim of the present work was to investigate the potential effectiveness of shoulder protec-tion. To validate the possible effectiveness of shoulder pads a comparison between the responses of a finite element model (THUMS) with and without shoulder pad was made. A fall from 1.3 m with a shoulder impact was simulated. To evaluate the effect of an existing shoulder pad aimed for downhill cycling a crash test with a crash test dummy (WorldSID) was conducted. The WorldSID was impacted in three different set ups: with, without shoulder pad and with a prototype shoulder airbag. The simulations showed that the maximum stress (von Mises) in the clavicle was reduced by 7% when a shoulder pad was used (138 MPa without and 129 MPa with pad). The crash tests show that the shoulder airbag compared to shoulder pad was more effective in reducing the impact force. This reduction in force corresponds to a seven times lower shoulder injury risk. Results show that a protective device for the shoulder has the potential to reduce risk of shoulder injuries.


shoulder injury

protective gear

shoulder pad

long-term consequences


Helena Stigson

Chalmers, Tillämpad mekanik, Fordonssäkerhet

Madelen Fahlstedt

Mats Svensson

Chalmers, Tillämpad mekanik, Fordonssäkerhet

Vehicle and Traffic Safety Centre at Chalmers

International Cycling Safety Conference (ICSC) November, 2-4, Bologna, Italy



Livsvetenskaper och teknik (2010-2018)




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