Incorporation of lower neck shear forces to predict facet joint injury risk in low-speed automotive rear impacts.Traffic Inj Prev. 2010 Jun; 11(3):300-8.TI
Lower neck shear force remains a viable candidate for a low-velocity automotive rear-impact injury criterion. Data were previously reported to demonstrate high correlations between the magnitude of lower neck shear force and lower cervical spine facet joint motions. The present study determined the ability of lower neck shear force to predict soft-tissue injury risk in simulated automotive rear impacts. Rear-impact tests were conducted at two velocities and with two seatback orientations using a Hybrid III anthropomorphic test device (ATD) and stock automobile seats from 2007 model year vehicles. Higher velocities and more vertical seatback orientations were associated with higher injury risk based on computational modeling simulations performed in this study. Six cervical spine injury criteria including NIC, Nij, Nkm, LNL, and lower neck shear force and bending moment, increased with impact velocity. NIC, Nij, and shear force were most sensitive to changes in impact velocity. Four metrics, including Nkm, LNL, and lower neck shear force and bending moment, increased for tests with more vertical seatback orientations. Shear force was most sensitive to changes in seatback orientation. Peak values for shear force, NIC, and Nij occurred approximately at the time of head restraint contact for all four test conditions. Therefore, of the six investigated metrics, lower neck shear force was the only metric to demonstrate consistency with regard to injury risk and timing of peak magnitudes. These results demonstrate the ability of lower neck shear force to predict injury risk during low velocity automotive rear impacts and warrant continued investigation into the sensitivity and applicability of this metric for other rear-impact conditions.