Biomechanics of the human chest, abdomen, and pelvis in lateral impact
Viano, D.C.; Lau, I.V.; Asbury, C.; King, A.I.; Begeman, P.
Accident; Analysis and Prevention 21(6): 553-574
ISSN/ISBN: 0001-4575 PMID: 2629763 DOI: 10.1016/0001-4575(89)90070-5
Fourteen unembalmed cadavers were subjected to 44 blunt lateral impacts at velocities of approximately 4.5, 6.7, or 9.4 m/s with a 15 cm flat circular interface on a 23.4 kg pendulum accelerated to impact speed by a pneumatic impactor. Chest and abdominal injuries consisted primarily of rib fractures, with a few cases of lung or liver laceration in the highest severity impacts. There were two cases of pubic ramus fracture in the pelvic impacts. Logist analysis of the biomechanical responses and injury indicated that the maximum Viscous response had a slightly better correlation with injury than maximum compression for chest and abdominal impacts. A tolerance level of VC = 1.47 m/s for the chest and VC = 1.98 m/s for the abdomen were determined for a 25% probability of critical injury. Maximum compression was similarly set at C = 38% for the chest and at C = 44% for the abdomen. The experiments indicate that chest and abdominal injury may occur by a viscous mechanism during the rapid phase of body compression, and that the Viscous and compression responses are effective, complementary measures of injury risk in side impact. Although serious pelvic injury was infrequent, lateral public ramus fracture correlated with compression of the pelvis, not impact force or pelvic acceleration. Pelvic tolerance was set at 27% compression.