A new system could help reduce whiplash in rear-end vehicle collisions, according to engineers at Loughborough University.
The unique concept uses analysis that demonstrates how the head restraint and car seat react simultaneously when the body of the occupant begins to push against the seat back during a rear-end collision.
Memis Acar, Professor of Mechanics in the Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering, said the results from the simulation, based on a rigid human model, showed the integration of a “reactive” head restraint and car seat would be very effective in reducing the occurrence of whiplash.
The simulations were carried out by student Rickie Bewsher for his individual project as part of his Mechanical Engineering degree.
During a rear-end collision, the head restraint adjusts itself to an elevated position and closer to the occupant’s head, while the car seat rotates rearwards in a controlled manner to limit the differential motion between the head and the torso.
Reduce whiplash effect
The systems reduce the whiplash effect on the spine by limiting the motion between the head and torso.
Whiplash – soft tissue strain of the neck – is caused by a sudden movement of the head, mainly backwards. The most common whiplash injuries occur from rear impacts in car accidents at speeds of less than 25km/h.
Whiplash claims are said to cost the insurance industry about £2 billion a year, with the number of whiplash injury claims in the UK predicted to have reached 840,000 last year.
Source: Leicester Mercury
Date Published: June 8, 2016
Author: Jonathan Brown