Research Papers

Trauma and protection of motorcyclist cervical spine in road accident

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Date added May 26, 2013
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Category 2013 CMRSC XXIII Montréal
Tags Dr. Charles H. Miller Award Winner, Session 2B
Award/Prix Dr. Charles H. Miller
Author/Auteur Dominique Boisclair, Jingchao Sun, Pierre-Jean Arnoux, Yvan Petit, Carl-Éric Aubin, Alban Rojas, Reinhard Kraenzler

Abstract

Motorcyclists are vulnerable road users; making the second largest group of traffic casualties behind car occupants. The motorcyclist cervical spine is greatly expose to severe trauma; especially the upper and lower vertebral levels. Investigations on road crashes have highlighted that motorcyclist’s head may be subjected to multidirectional impacts upon collision and following events.Cervical protective devices have been designed to offer some protection to the motorcyclist’s neck but proof of their efficiency is lacking. Using HUMOS finite element human model, current work aimed to study cervical spine weaknesses with multidirectional head impacts and to assess the effect of cervical protective devices on the spine kinematic and injury mechanisms. Multiple simulations scenarios were investigated with various impact velocities, impact angles and impact directions along the horizontal plane. Joint injury, ligament failure and vertebral fracture were recorded and used to identify injury chronology and severity. Potential effects of three cervical protective devices were also studied. Results confirmed weaknesses of upper and lower cervical regions. Joint injuries generally occurred first and were followed by vertebral fractures with sustained loading. Compression component was identified as a significant injury severity factor. Impact velocity was positively correlated with injury occurrences. Tested devices did not affect in significant ways the spine kinematic or injury mechanism. Devices did offer some degree of protection nevertheless by delaying vertebral fracture occurrence and shifting upper cervical spine fracture to middle levels for some loading cases.

Dominique Boisclair, Jingchao Sun, Pierre-Jean Arnoux, Yvan Petit, Carl-Éric Aubin, Alban Rojas, Reinhard Kraenzler