Title: Finite element evaluation of out-of-position failure modes of the knee-thigh-hip complex in frontal car crashes

Authors: C. Silvestri, M.H. Ray

Addresses: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, MA 01609, USA. ' Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, MA 01609, USA

Abstract: Safety has been increased for the upper region of the body, such as head and thorax with the introduction of airbags; however, the percentage of injuries to the lower extremities in car crashes has increased. Though lower extremity injuries are usually not life threatening, they can have long lasting physical and psychosocial consequences. A validated knee-thigh-hip (KTH) finite element (FE) model of a 50th percentile male was used to investigate injury mechanisms during frontal car crashes at different occupant positions. An initial muscle force was activated to achieve different lower limb movements starting from an initial seated position. Simulations of frontal impacts were then performed with the KTH joints at different angles of thigh flexion, adduction and abduction. Failure mechanisms from simulations were compared to results found in the literature to ensure the model provides a useful tool for predicting fractures in the lower limb resulting from out-of-position frontal vehicle crashes.

Keywords: knees; thighs; hips; KTH injury mechanisms; muscle activation; simulation; KTH impact; out-of-position KTH fracture modes; lower extremities; car crashes; vehicle accidents; human factors; finite element method; FEM; modelling; frontal impact; lower limbs; knee-thigh-hip injuries; vehicle safety.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHFMS.2010.036792

International Journal of Human Factors Modelling and Simulation, 2010 Vol.1 No.3, pp.294 - 312

Available online: 07 Nov 2010 *

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