Although most seat systems offer limited protection against neck injuries in rear-end collisions, there is currently no established method for performance testing of these systems in rear-end impacts. The most important component for such a test method is a crash test dummy. Several investigators have noted limitations of the most commonly used dummy in rear impact testing, the Hybrid III.
The objectives of this study have been to develop a new dummy for low speed rear-end collision testing and validate it against volunteer data. The dummy has a new articulated thoraco-lumbar and cervical spine and a torso of silicon rubber. The neck and the thoraco-lumbar spine consist of 24 vertebrae, the same number of vertebrae as in the human, which are connected by hinge joints. The motion of the head and neck is partly controlled by muscle substitutes. Linear torsion springs and polyurethane bumpers provide the resistance to flexion and extension in the thoracic and lumbar spine. The dummy is equipped with Hybrid III legs, arms, head and a modiﬁed Hybrid III pelvis.
The complete dummy prototype was validated against volunteer test data and its performance compared to that of the Hybrid III dummy. The kinematics of this dummy prototype showed more human like kinematics in rear end impacts at ΔV=7 km/h compared to the Hybrid III.