Prediction of Neck Response in Out of Position Impact Scenarios

Hamed Shateri and Duane S. Cronin


Finite Element Methods, Impact Biomechanics, Whiplash, Neck Injury


The goal of this study was to investigate local tissue strains for out-of-position rear impact scenarios, since it has been demonstrated that neck injury may be more severe in these cases. Whiplash injury is typically associated with pain and discomfort, often associated with soft tissue damage, and can be associated with fatality or paralysis in more severe impact scenarios. To date, many studies have focused on neutral position neck injuries; however, it is common for occupants to be in an out-of-position orientation when exposed to frontal or rear impact scenarios. A detailed cervical spine numerical model was used to investigate the effect of initial position on kinematics and tissue response. Neutral and out-of-position rear impact cases were studied. In the case of out-of-position, the head was rotated and an applied acceleration at the T1 was used to simulate a rear impact collision. The model predictions were compared to an experimental out-of-position study, with good agreement in predicted flexion/extension, reasonable agreement in rotation, and poor agreement in lateral response. When subjected to a rear impact scenario, the predicted soft tissue strains increased compared to a neutral position, suggesting a higher potential for injury in out-of-position impact scenarios.

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