Biomechanics of Older Drivers to Mitigate Injury in Automobile Accidents

The aging population is expected to increase substantially in the near future. The fatal crash rates (per mile traveled) involving older drivers (65+) are considerably higher than those of younger drivers. Most studies conducted to reduce the crash rate and fatalities of older drivers are non-engineering based approaches. Therefore, these studies could not lead to engineering solutions, such as vehicle design modifications to mitigate injury of older drivers. This study evaluated the mechanics of the aging occupant during an automobile accident. Three different approaches were employed in the study: 1) construction of a simplified dummy and experimental testing, 2) finite element (FE) analysis of vehicle crashes using an FE dummy model, and 3) FE analysis of vehicle crashes using the Total Human Model for Safety (THUMS), which is an advanced FE model of actual humans in detail including the outer shape, bones, muscles, internal organs, etc. Using the first and the second approaches, the effect of driving postures commonly found in older drivers was investigated. Using the third approach, how an accident affects older drivers was investigated. The findings from this study will lead to engineering based solutions to mitigate injury in aging population, which is recommended as future study.


    • English


    • Status: Completed
    • Funding: $225000
    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

      University Transportation Centers Program
      Department of Transportation
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Managing Organizations:

      Department of Transportation

      Office of the Secretary
      1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Project Managers:

      Tucker-Thomas, Dawn

    • Performing Organizations:

      Florida State University, Tallahassee

      217 Westcott Building
      Tallahassee, FL  United States  32306-
    • Principal Investigators:

      Sobanjo, John

    • Start Date: 20150105
    • Expected Completion Date: 20160805
    • Actual Completion Date: 20161215
    • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program
    • Subprogram: Research

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01604536
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Center for Accessibility and Safety for an Aging Population
    • Files: UTC, RIP
    • Created Date: Jul 1 2016 12:36PM