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A Numerical Study of Traumatic Brain Injury Due to Ground Impact in an SUV-Pedestrian Crash Using Full-Scale Finite Element Models

[+] Author Affiliations
Atsutaka Tamura

Toyota Research Institute of North America, Ann Arbor, MI

Paper No. IMECE2010-40918, pp. 675-684; 10 pages
  • ASME 2010 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 11: New Developments in Simulation Methods and Software for Engineering Applications; Safety Engineering, Risk Analysis and Reliability Methods; Transportation Systems
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, November 12–18, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4448-9
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


A number of studies have worked on traffic injuries or traumas related to pedestrian impacts. However, most of them placed more focuses on traumatic injuries due to primary impact with a striking vehicle rather than those involved in secondary impact with the ground. In this study, a validated, human whole-body, pedestrian finite element model was utilized to investigate the potential risk of traumatic brain injury (TBI) relevant to the ground impact as well as primary head strike in an SUV-to-pedestrian collision. By conducting a set of numerical experiments at impact speed of 25 and 40 km/h with pedestrian’s pre-impact, transverse, traveling speed of 1.3 m/s, it was found that ground impact is likely to cause serious TBI even in a low impact speed level. Although the post-impact kinematics and subsequent kinetics were considerably unpredictable due to the intrinsic complexity of pedestrian impact, this finding also suggests that impact speed does not necessarily contribute to the severity of pedestrian TBI involving vehicle with a higher profile. In the future, an effective countermeasure for ground impact should be taken into account to reduce the risk of sustaining serious TBIs in pedestrian crashes.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



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