View Full Version : Common Automotive Injuries Reponses

Esselman, Kelli
03-21-2001, 10:52 PM
I would like to thank all those who responded to my request of common
automotive injuries. Here is a overview of the responses I received (my
original posting is at the end):

A fairly good general primer is Nahum and Melvin (1993) "Accidental Injury:
Biomechanics and Prevention".

Although it's a bit old, McElhaney, Roberts and Hilyard (1976) "Handbook of
Human Tolerance" (Japan Automobile Research Institute), is excellent if you
can find a copy.

The SAE have series of compendiums covering injury to various body regions.

On the head and neck, Yoganandan's recent book "Frontiers in Head and Neck
Trauma" is a very comprehensive overview.

Stapp and IRCOBI conference proceedings are a valuable resource of material.


You may want to look up references by Dr. Albert King. He has been doing
automotive research for a number of years. His lab is located at Wayne
State University in Detroit, Michigan, and works on collaborative research
with the automotive industry.

I am sure that you will receive a lot of good information from others. I
would like to address one point that we don't know - muscle spams from
whiplash injuries. Although the biomechanics of these movements have been
worked out, the pathogenesis of the response is unkown. For example, it is
common experience in physical therapy practice to see muscle spasms develop
in the neck muscles a few days after the injury. The injured tissue that
produces the reflex mediated spasm is unknown. These spasms create more
pain and contribute to the problem and may even direct treatment away from
the injured tissues. I think some deep tissue (spinal cord, facet joints,
ligaments????) is injured and major muscle spasm results. This is based on
the following logic and clinical observations. If you injure your knee, you
get reflex shutdown of the knee muscles producing weakness that can be
overcome with epidural anesthesia (block the sensory input). In contrast,
if you break your femur, you get muscle spasms in the same muscles in the
leg. What is the injured tissue in the neck that produces marked muscle
spasm remains an interesting but unanswered question. So biomechanics alone
may not answer all the questions you are asked.

4)Look at NHTSA's web site www.nhtsa.dot.gov and SAE's web site www.sae.org,
also look at the NASS data base.

The NASS data has specific injuries and contact points when the
investigator can figure them out. It sounds like it is exactly
what you want. Difficulties arise in terms of numbers of cases
when you filter down to (for example) belted, airbag, front seat,
abdominal injuries in frontal crashes. We can add years of the
data together (started in 1979) but older model year vehicles
may not represent today's environment for the occupants.

NHTSA's web site can give you some background (and the data if
you want to download it):

You might try Stapp conference proceedings. This is a major automotive
hanics conference held every year. I believe you can search papers, topics,
tc. online or a CD is available as well. Go to www.stapp.org .

The IRCOBI conference (International Research Counsel on the Biomechanics of
mpact) is similar to the Stapp conference, but is held internationally,
than in the US. I'm not sure of the web address.

You might contact the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) located
Virginia. They do numerous studies on safety trends and put out lots of
stics and reports which would be useful to you.

You may find some resources by links with the National Highway Traffic
Administration (NHTSA). Web address is www.nhtsa.dot.gov . They also
a conference called Enhanced Safety of Vehicles (ESV) which will be held
year in Amsterdam. Past ESV pubs may be useful.

Finally, you might try UMTRI, the University of Michigan Transportation
ch Institute. They have a library filled with reference materials and can
searches over the phone and send you papers, or you may be able to do an
e search.

One area that has taken the spotlight over the past few years (as opposed to
0 or 20 years ago) are leg injuries. We are seeing debilitating leg
that were not recognized years back. This is due to the fact that people
now surviving crashes because of new safety features such as consistent use
seat belts and air bags. The leg injuries were always there, even in the
t, but people were not surviving crashes, so these injuries were essentially
ndetected. You may want to do a search on leg/lower extremity injuries.

> Dear Listserv,
> I am a recent U.S. graduate now participting in an overseas program in
> Germany. I am working on a project with my current employer Volkswagen AG
> about crash injury mechanisms and I am compiling a report of current
> crash injuries and their mechanisms.
> I am searching for a primer of some sort, that gives an overview, and not
> specific as several papers that are available. I have found a few
> printed in the late 80s early 90s, but nothing thereafter. Does anyone
> of a possible book, internet sites, papers, etc. that may help me in my
> research. Thank you in advance for responses.

Kelli Esselman
Praktikantin Unfallforschung
Volkswagen AG
Postfach 1777

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