A Preliminary Investigation on Soft Tissue Neck Injuries from Side Impact
Typically low severity neck injuries (whiplash injuries) have been associated with front and rear impacts. These injuries are classified as low severity injuries and are given the lowest rating on the Abbreviated Injury Scale of (AIS) 1. In spite of its low severity rating, these injuries can be disabling and life altering. More recently, the literature has highlighted the need to investigate low severity neck injuries from side impacts because they can occur frequently enough to be of concern. Research in this area has been limited as the anatomical site of soft tissue neck injury and the mechanism of injury are still unknown.
In this study, real world side impact accidents have been taken from the Monash University Accident Research Centre Database. These accidents have examined to provide an introduction into low severity neck injuries. The results show that there is a common angle of impact that results in neck injury from side impacts. Occupant age and head contact with the interior of the vehicle were also identified as factors affecting injury. As these results may help identify typical side impacts that produce injury, computer models can now be created to investigate the mechanics of this injury.