Biomechanical Modelling of the Bicyclist and Vehicle Impact to Identify the Optimum Front End Vehicle Geometry

C.K. Thorbole, D.A. Renfroe, and B. Enz (USA)


Biomechanics, Cyclist, Modelling, Impact, MADYMO, Simulation.


Accurately determining the bicyclist head impact location on the vehicle body is of prime importance to developing a system which reduces the head and face injuries of the cyclist. The vehicles front end geometry needs to be properly studied to make it friendlier for the vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and the cyclists, in the event of impact. The kinematics of the cyclist on the impact depends on the type of vehicle impacting and the orientation of the bicycle with respect to the striking vehicle. This paper details a simulation performed in order to determine the kinematics of the adult and young cyclist after impact with a passenger car. The paper only discusses the configuration in which the front of the vehicle contacts the side of the bicycle, similar to an intersection accident. A computational model of the cycle and the vehicle front is modeled using MADYMO. A hybrid III 50th percentile standing Anthropomorphic Test Dummy (ATD) is used for the adult cyclist and a TNO P-10 Child ATD representing a ten year old is used for young cyclist. The vehicle front end is modeled using ellipsoids which are positioned to vary the geometric factors; such as bumper height, bumper lead angle, and the hood height of the passenger car. The results of this analysis demonstrate that the bumper height is not a significant factor controlling the head impact point on the vehicle. Hood height and the cyclist height are significant factors. Higher hood heights are better for the adult cyclist. The young cyclist’s head is not exposed to the stiff zone for any condition.

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