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Parameters Influencing AIS 1 Neck Injury Outcome in Frontal Impacts

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In order to gain more knowledge of the neck injury scenario in frontal impacts, a statistical study of parameters influencing incidences of AIS 1 neck injuries was performed. The data set consisted of 616 occupants in Volvo cars. Information regarding the crash, the safety systems, occupant characteristics (including prior neck problems), behavior and sitting posture at the time of impact, and neck symptoms (including duration) was collected and analyzed. Occupant characteristics (mainly gender, weight, and age), kinematics (head impacts) and behavior at the time of impact were identified as the most prominent parameter areas with regard to AIS 1 neck injury outcome. Specifically, women had a significantly higher AIS 1 neck injury rate as compared to men, occupants under the age of 50 had a significantly higher AIS 1 neck injury rate as compared to those above 50 and occupants weighing less than 65 kg have a significantly higher AIS 1 neck injury rate than heavier occupants. Drivers stating that they impacted their head against a frontal interior structure had a significantly higher AIS 1 neck injury rate than those without head impact. Also, occupants who stated they had tensed their neck muscles at the time of impact, had a significantly higher AIS 1 neck injury rate as compared to occupants who did not. Occupant activities, such as tightly gripping the steering wheel or straightening their arms showed a significantly increased AIS 1 neck injury rate, indicating that occupant behavior at time of impact could be influential with respect to AIS 1 neck injury outcome. Also, occupants reporting prior neck problems had a higher rate of persistent symptoms (> 1 year) but no difference with respect to passing symptoms (< 3 months) as compared to those without prior neck problems. Additionally, there was no distinct pattern for the duration of neck symptoms.
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Keywords: Accident Analysis; Frontal Impact; Neck; Whiplash

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Volvo Car Corporation and Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden 2: Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden

Publication date: June 1, 2004

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