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Biomechanics of under ride motor vehicle crashes.


The present study evaluates the biomechanical aspects of injuries sustained by occupants of passenger cars during collisions with the trailer portion of a tractor/trailer rig. In such collisions, the occupants of the passenger car often sustain serious injuries when the passenger car passes beneath the trailer. This process by which the car "underrides" the trailer occurs due to the mismatch in height between the lowermost edge of the trailer and the crash mitigation structures in the vehicle. The study outlines a car-to-trailer crash testing methodology used to determine the effectiveness of one potential trailer underride guard in preventing serious injuries to occupants of passenger cars. The results from initial crash tests suggest that occupants of cars that collide with the unguarded sides of trailers are at a high risk of serious injury to the head, neck, and chest due the large intrusion of the roof and roof support structures into the occupant compartment. Testing of a trailer fitted with an underride guard showed that occupants of vehicles that collide with the sides of trailers that have been modified to engage the energy absorbing structures of passenger cars are exposed to a smaller risk of injury.


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Accidents, Traffic
Biomechanical Phenomena
Craniocerebral Trauma
Head Movements
Physical Stimulation

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article



PubMed ID