A Preliminary Investigation on Soft Tissue Neck Injuries from Side Impact

Abstract

Typically low severity neck injuries (whiplash injuries) have been associated with front and rear impacts. These injuries are classified as low severity injuries and are given the lowest rating on the Abbreviated Injury Scale of (AIS) 1. In spite of its low severity rating, these injuries can be disabling and life altering. More recently, the literature has highlighted the need to investigate low severity neck injuries from side impacts because they can occur frequently enough to be of concern. Research in this area has been limited as the anatomical site of soft tissue neck injury and the mechanism of injury are still unknown. In this study, real world side impact accidents have been taken from the Monash University Accident Research Centre Database. These accidents have examined to provide an introduction into low severity neck injuries. The results show that there is a common angle of impact that results in neck injury from side impacts. Occupant age and head contact with the interior of the vehicle were also identified as factors affecting injury. As these results may help identify typical side impacts that produce injury, computer models can now be created to investigate the mechanics of this injury. Introduction Soft tissue neck (whiplash) injuries are classified as low severity injuries and are given the lowest rating on the Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) of 1 [1]. In spite of their low severity rating, these injuries can be disabling and life altering. Soft tissue injuries often occur as a result of inertial forces acting on the head as a result of an automobile accident, although the exact mechanism of injury has yet to be established. There is limited material available about this injury from side impacts, in spite of it occurring frequently enough to be of concern. With so much still unknown about soft tissue neck injuries, it is difficult for car designers to modify their vehicles to prevent injury. Literature shows that certain factors such as age, gender and impact type appear to predispose particular occupants to soft tissue neck injury [2]. This study investigates real world side impacts from the Monash University Accident Database and examines these factors. This research is to provide an introduction into and address the absence of literature regarding low severity (AIS 1) neck injuries from side impacts. Literature Review The literature shows that a number of factors, appear to increase an individuals likelihood of experiencing a soft tissue neck injury [2]. These factors include both impact and human factors. Impact factors are type of impact and occurrence of head contact within the vehicle. Some human factors identified in the literature are gender and age.

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Lewis2001API, title={A Preliminary Investigation on Soft Tissue Neck Injuries from Side Impact}, author={Simone Lewis and Eren S. Semercigil and Brian Fildes}, year={2001} }