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Focusing on vulnerable populations in crashes recent advances in finite element human models for injury biomechanics research.

In: Journal of Automotive Safety and Energy. Vol. 3, no 4 (2012), p. 295-307.

Authors: Hu Jingwen, Jonathan D. Rupp, Matthew P. Reed.

Children, small female, elderly, and obese occupants are at greater risk of death and serious injuries in motor-vehicle crashes than the mid-size, young, male occupants. However, current injury assessment tools, including crash test dummies and finite element (FE) human models, generally do not account for different body shape and composition variations among the population. The opportunity to broaden crash protection encompassing all vehicle occupants lies in improved, parametric human FE models that represent a wide range of human attributes. In this study, a literature review demonstrates that recent studies on human anthropometry, finite element human modeling, mesh morphing, human tissue tests and whole-body cadaver tests have laid the groundwork for the new generation of human models. A framework for developing such models was proposed in this study. The developed models enable population-based simulations for future vehicle design optimizations targeting at various vulnerable populations that are not represented by current injury assessment tools.

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