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Crash Test Simulations Expose Real Risks


Among other findings, the Blacklight simulations suggested the lumbar spine would experience higher stress when a driver starts in a more reclined position.

Researchers at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute-Wake Forest University Center for Injury Biomechanies are developing computer models of vehicle crashes.

Credit: Wake Forest University Center for Injury Biomechanics

Researchers at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute-Wake Forest University Center for Injury Biomechanics are developing computer models of vehicle crashes to provide more sophisticated information on how to improve restraints and other safety systems.

The models also help researchers simulate the effects of thousands of variables that would be far too slow to test in a physical crash test.

The researchers are working with the Crash Injury Research and Engineering Network, which has created a database of real-world vehicle crashes for researchers to test with computer models.

The researchers used the U.S. National Science Foundation-supported Blacklight supercomputer at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center and the DEAC Cluster at Wake Forest to run thousands of simulations taken from hundreds of cases. They also worked with members of the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment Extended Collaborative Support Service team, who helped set up the cyberinfrastructure and workflows needed to run the simulations.

The researchers showed simulations can reproduce real-world injury patterns and predict details crash-test dummies cannot provide. "By studying a variety of potential occupant positions, we can understand important factors that lead to more severe injuries and potentially mitigate these injuries with advanced safety systems to protect occupants in more dangerous positions," the researchers say.

From National Science Foundation
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Abstracts Copyright © 2015 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


 

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