Title: Essential factors leading to a traumatic brain injury during low-speed fender vault pedestrian impacts

Authors: Atsutaka Tamura; King H. Yang

Addresses: Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Tottori University, Koyama-minami, Tottori, Tottori 680-8552, Japan ' Wayne State University, 818 W. Hancock, Detroit, MI 48201 Michigan, USA

Abstract: Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is the most common cause of serious and fatal injuries in car-to-pedestrian accidents. We used finite element models to perform a series of low-speed fender vault pedestrian impact simulations with the aim of reconstructing the primary impact phase and the final event of ground contact. We found that when compared to a sedan, a sport utility vehicle more aggressively increased the potential severity of TBI (P ˂ 0.05). In a low-speed collision, a medium level of braking deceleration (0.6 g) was found to significantly better protect the pedestrian's head when compared with low (0.3 g) and high (0.9 g) brake pulses (P ˂ 0.05), suggesting that a reasonable vehicle-to-pedestrian mechanical interaction is required to achieve a soft landing during the ground impact phase. The vehicle front-end design and proper brake deceleration control are essential contributors to a reduced TBI risk in low-speed fender vault pedestrian impact cases.

Keywords: pedestrian; TBI; traumatic brain injury; SUV; sport utility vehicle; sedan; fender vault impact.

DOI: 10.1504/IJVS.2019.101291

International Journal of Vehicle Safety, 2019 Vol.11 No.1, pp.1 - 18

Received: 22 Nov 2018
Accepted: 14 Jan 2019

Published online: 26 Jul 2019 *

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