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 Project Overview

Prevention: Reducing Occupant Injury in Rear End Collisions

Whiplash injuries caused by rear-end vehicle collisions are a financial burden to all Canadians. Costs are estimated to be $135 CDN/car-year of vehicle insurance across Canada, and the total cost to society exceeds $464 million/year in BC alone (2005). This research project, Prevention: Reducing Occupant Injury in Rear End Collisions, addresses this issue directly using an integrated, multi-layered approach which is designed to provide both near-term and long-term gains. These layers include: 

  1. Developing new strategies to better implement existing knowledge into practice.
  2. Developing new knowledge and technology to both remove the role of the operator from the safety system and to enhance occupant protection through the design of future vehicle/occupant integrated active whiplash mitigation system.

Objective 1) Prevention program development

Review of existing strategies, development of new strategies, and development of strategic intervention materials for distribution to targeted groups through appropriate media form (i.e. website information, hardcopy published materials, videos, etc.) for whiplash prevention. In addition, conduct ongoing vehicle awareness survey and provide road side observation of appropriate head restraint. This will be further strengthened by the knowledge gained through systemic review on the effectiveness of head restraint. This will be performed through networking with appropriate project sponsors and stakeholders to initially assess where we are, what is or is not working based on the defined topic areas, and to develop a strategic approach to prevent whiplash injury.

Researchers involved:
Dr. Marc White
Dr. Ediriweera Desapriya

Objective 2) Automatic head restraint adjustment system development

Development of a numerical simulation (LS DYNA) seat/occupant model, and resulting new knowledge regarding the interaction between static and real-time changing seat properties, occupant characteristics, and crash severity useful for design/control of the new WMS system.

Development of an integrated in-vehicle ignition-activated surveillance system (in conjunction with Magna) to assess the occupant position, ensure proper seat safety system positioning, and potentially control the WMS crash-activated seat.

Development of a prototype head restraint movement system that is controlled through an on-board control system that auto-adjust the head restraint to protect the seated occupant.

Researchers involved:
Dr. Doug Romilly
Dr. Jean-S├ębastien Blouin
Mr. Daniel Mang
Mr. Nima Zirak
Mr. Harry Luk

Objective 3) Advanced seat design to mitigate whiplash injury 

Prototype construction (in conjunction with Magna) and low speed testing (in conjunction with MEA Forensics) of the WMS crash-activated seat using both dummy and human volunteers to validate the numerical simulation work and optimize the WMS control algorithm 

Researchers involved:
Dr. Doug Romilly
Mr. Harry Luk

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