Mechanisms Of Head Injuries In Road Traffic Accidents; A Potential Solution For Data Collection

Carroll, Jolyon Alexander (2017). Mechanisms Of Head Injuries In Road Traffic Accidents; A Potential Solution For Data Collection. PhD thesis The Open University.



Despite advances in road safety, head injuries still account for many of the most serious and fatal injuries in road traffic accidents. This PhD thesis provides a summary of knowledge regarding the current position in head injury research with regard to:
 Previous assertions as to head injury mechanisms
 Existing head injury criteria
 The availability of data to explore potential confounding factors in predicting head injury risk and to propose or validate a new injury criterion or criteria.

On the basis of the existing information the question was posed, whether it is possible to validate advanced head injury criteria and head models using additional (new) head injury case data so as to make their application more robust in efforts to mitigate future injuries. In order to answer this question, priority was given to the pursuit of new data, offering six degree of freedom time-series data with detailed information on the exact injuries sustained.

A working in-ear sensor system was deemed to offer a potential solution in obtaining elusive data regarding the kind of impact events that could cause head injuries for road users. An in-ear accelerometer system used by the FIA Institute was evaluated through experimentation. Then a low-cost solution was developed with the aim to give similar sensor performance for a wider market of potential wearers.

The prototype low-cost sensor system was evaluated in a small series of drop tests and also in a very small real-world data collection trial. This evaluation identified a series of issues that need to be resolved before the system can be used to generate valuable data. A viable system is not ready immediately, but could be following modifications to the prototype system evaluated. Taking this revised system, the next step would be to initiate a larger trial to start the collection of high fidelity data and impact event details; in order to address the need for such information and confirm that even the low-cost system would be fit for that purpose.

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