The aim of this study is to validate the pressure effect theory on human beings during a realistic rear-end impact and to correlate the neck injury criterion to pressure in the spinal canal. Sled experiments were performed using a test setup similar to real rear-end collisions. Test conditions were chosen based on accident statistics and recordings of real accidents. In particular, velocity change and acceleration level were reproduced similar to actual collisions. The head restraint as well as the seat back were adjusted to different positions. Two small pressure transducer were implemented to the spinal canal of postmortem human subjects and pressure measurement similar to the pig experiments (using exactly the same equipment) were performed. A total set of 21 experiments with four different subjects were performed. The subjects were additionally instrumented with triaxial accelerometers that allowed for calculation of the NIC criterion. Results showed that NIC and pressure amplitudes of the CSF correlate well and therefor NIC seems to be able to predict these amplitudes also for human beings. Conclusions whether these pressure effects induce soft tissue neck injuries or not could not be drawn and should be investigated in further research.
Keywords: Neck injury; Whiplash; Rear impact; NIC; Pressure effects; Post-mortem human subjects