The Effect of Collision Velocity, Relative Head Restraint Height, Relative Head Restraint Backset, and Head Restraint Cushioning on the Acceleration of the Head in a Rear-end Collision Simulation

 Millions of Americans suffer from whiplash injuries each year.  Despite inestimable research, debate remains on which of many factors has the greatest influence in producing whiplash.  This experiment determines which of four factors, collision velocity, restraint height, restraint backset, and restraint cushioning, most significantly affects the acceleration of the head during a whiplash collision.  To accomplish this objective, high, low and standard values for each factor were tested in combination.  While a moving dynamics cart collided into a stationary cart with a head-neck model and restraint attached, an accelerometer attached to the model recorded the acceleration of the head.  The average of fifteen trial runs was calculated for each data set and these sets were then analyzed using a 4-Factor Design of Experiment.  The analysis determined that almost all of the factors and interactions were significant and that the collision velocity had the greatest influence.


Research Done By:

Kevin Liening
Cousino High School

William Pozehl
Cousino High School