» 2020 Advances in Child Injury Prevention (ACIP) Conference - Cancelled

Each year, CChIPS convenes child occupant safety professionals from industry, government, and organizations involved in research and development, product design, and safety policy and regulation to hear the latest research in traffic safety for children and adolescents. Attendees learn about recent findings in an informal setting that promotes open group discussion following each presentation.

Due to COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to cancel this year's ACIP Conference, originally scheduled for June 17, 2020 at the Inn at St. John's in Plymouth, MI.

If you have any questions regarding ACIP, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


 Inn at St. John's


» CChIPS 2020 Fall Industry Advisory Board Meeting

 November 17 - 19, 2020 The Ohio State University -- Columbus, OH (CChIPS Members Only)  

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The following is a selection of peer-reviewed articles based on CChIPS-funded research projects:


CChIPS Publications 2016-2017

Arbogast, K, Kim, J, Loeb, H, Kuo, J, Koppel, S, Bohman, K, Charlton, J. Naturalistic Driving Study of Rear Seat Child Occupants: Quantification of Head Position using a Kinect™ sensor. Traffic Injury Prevention. (2016): 1:168-74.

Hauschild H, Humm J, Pintar F, Yoganandan N, Kaufman B, Maltese M, Kim J, Arbogast K. Protection of Children in Forward Facing Child Restraint Systems During Oblique Side Impact Sled Tests: Intrusion and Tether Effects. Traffic Injury Prevention. (2016): 1:156-62.

Lee, Y.-C., & Winston, F. Stress induction techniques in a driving simulator and reactions from newly licensed drivers. Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour. (2016): 42. 10.1016.

McDonald CC, Kennedy E, Fleisher L, Zonfrillo M. Factors Associated with Cell Phone Use While Driving: A Survey of Parents and Caregivers of Children Ages 4-10 Years. The Journal of Pediatrics (2018). Online First.

Schoell S, Weaver A, Talton J, Baker G, Doud A, Barnard R, Stitzel J, Zonfrillo M. Functional Outcomes of Motor Vehicle Crash Head Injuries in Pediatric and Adult Occupants. Traffic Injury Prevention. (2016): 1:27-33.

Seacrist T, Belwadi A, Prabahar A, Chamberlain S, Megariotis J, Loeb H. Comparison of crash rates and rear-end striking crashes among novice teens and experienced adults using the SHRP2 Naturalistic Driving Study. Traffic Injury Prevention (2016): 1:48-52.


CChIPS Publications 2015-2016

Bing JA, Bolte Iv JH, Agnew AM. Investigation of Child Restraint System (CRS) Compatibility in the Vehicle Seat Environment. Traffic Inj Prev. (2015): 2:S1-8.

Doud AN, Weaver AA, Talton JW, Barnard RT, Schoell SL, Petty JK, Stitzel JD. Mortality Risk in Pediatric Motor Vehicle Crash Occupants: Accounting for Developmental Stage and Challenging Abbreviated Injury Scale Metrics. Traffic Injury Prevention, 16 (2015): S201-S208.

Elliott MR, Margulies SS, Maltese MR, Arbogast KB. Accounting for sampling variability, injury under-reporting, and sensor error in concussion injury risk curves. J Biomech. (2015): 18;48(12):3059-65.

Hauschild HW, Humm JR, Pintar FA, Yoganandan N, Kaufman B, Maltese MR, Arbogast KB. The Influence of Enhanced Side Impact Protection on Kinematics and Injury Measures of Far- or Center-Seated Children in Forward-Facing Child Restraints. Traffic Inj Prev. (2015): 2:S9-S15.

BoucherLC , J Bing, JH Bolte IV. Biofidelity Evaluation of a Prototype Hybrid III 6 Year-Old ATD Lower Extremity. Annals of Biomedical Engineering. Annals of Biomedical Engineering. (2016): DOI 10.1007/s10439-016-1562-1.

Majstorovic J., Ramachandra R., Belwadi A., Maltese M., Bolte J., Seok Kang Y. The Effects of Various Parameters on Dynamic Loads at the Top Tether Anchor. Traffic Injury Prevention. (Oct 2015): 243-246.

Metzger KB, Gruschow S, Durbin DR, Curry AE. Association Between NCAP Ratings and Real-World Rear Seat Occupant Risk of Injury. (2015): 2:S146-52.

Zonfrillo MR, Ferguson RW, Walker L. Reasons for child passenger non-restraint in motor vehicles. Traffic Injury Prevention (2015): 2:S41-5.


CChIPS Publications 2014-2015

Allison MA, Kang YS, Maltese MR, Bolte JH 4th, Arbogast KB. Measurement of Hybrid III Head Impact Kinematics Using an Accelerometer & Gyroscope System in Ice Hockey Helmets. Ann Biomed Eng (2015).

Belwadi, A., Eagle, A., Hanna, R., Martinez, D., Kleinert, J., Dahle, E. 'Development of a Small Child Restraint System Virtual Surrogate to Evaluate CRS-to-Vehicle Interaction and Fitment', SAE Paper #2015-01-1457. (2015).

Belwadi AN, Locey CM, Hullfish TJ, Maltese MR, Arbogast KB. Pediatric Occupant--Vehicle Contact Maps in Rollover Motor Vehicle Crashes, Traffic injury prevention 15.1(2014): S35-S41

Bing JA, Bolte JH, Agnew AM, Quantifying child restraint system (CRS) compatibility in the vehicle seat environment, Traffic Injury Prevention 16.2 (2015 Oct): S1-S8.

Doud A, Talton J, Barnard R, Petty J, Stitzel J. Evaluation of Developmental Metrics for Utilization in a Pediatric Advanced Automatic Crash Notification Algorithm.  Traffic Injury Prevention(2015 June).

Ita M, Kang Y, Seacrist T, Dahle E, Bolte JH. Comparison of Q3s ATD Biemechanical Responses to Pediatric Volunteers. Traffic Injury Prevention. Vol. 15 (Oct 2014): S215-S222.

Maltese MR, Tylko S, Locey CM, Belwadi A, Arbogast KB. Comparative Performance of Forward Facing Child Restraint Systems on the C/FMVSS 213 Bench and Vehicle Seats. Traffic Injury Prevention. 15 Suppl 1 (2014): S103-10.

McDonald, C.C., Curry, A.E., Kandadai, V., Sommers, M.S., & Winston, F.K. Comparison of teen and adult driver crash scenarios in a nationally-representative sample of serious crashes. Accid Analysis Prev, 72 (2014): 302-308.

Santiago Ontañón, Yi-Ching Lee, Sam Snodgrass, Dana Bonfiglio, Flaura K. Winston, Catherine McDonald, and Avelino J. Gonzalez. Case-Based Prediction of Teen Driver Behavior and Skill, in Proceedings of ICCBR 2014. Lecture Notes in Computer Science 8765 (2014): 375-389. Springer   

Seacrist T, Locey CM, Mathews EA, Jones DL, Balasubramanian S, Maltese MR, Arbogast KB. Evaluation of Pediatric ATD Biofidelity as Compared to Child Volunteers in Low-Speed Far-Side Oblique and Lateral Impacts. Traffic Injury Prevention (2014).

Zonfrillo MR, Locey CM, Scarfone SR, Arbogast KB. Motor vehicle crash-related injury causation scenarios for spinal injuries in restrained children and adolescents. Traffic Injury Prev. (2014).


CChIPS Publications 2013-2014

Allison MA, Kang YS, Maltese MR, Bolte JH, Arbogast KB. Validation of a Helmet-Based System to Measure Head ImpactBiomechanics in Ice Hockey. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise Vol. 46.1 (Jan 2014): 115-123.

Arbogast KB, Locey CM, Bohman K, Seacrist T. Relative Kinematics of the Shoulder Belt and the Torso: Comparison of the Q10 ATD and Pediatric Human Volunteers. Proceedings of the 2013 Conference of the International Research Council on the Biomechanics of Injury (Sept. 2013): 183-194.

Arbogast KB, Locey CM, Hammond R, Belwadi A. Injury Risk for Rear-Seated Occupants in Small Overlap Crashes. Annals of Advances in Automotive Medicine, Vol. 57 (Sept 2013): 267-280.   

Belwadi A, Locey CM, Maltese MR, Arbogast, KB, Hammond R. Injury risk for children and adolescents involved in rollover crashes.  Paper Number 13-0408.

Boucher, L. C., Chaudhari, A. M. W., Kang, Y. S. & Bolte IV, J. Range of motion and stiffness of the pediatric ankle and implications for current ATDs. 2013 IRCOBI Conference Proceedings - International Research Council on the Biomechanics of Injury. International Research Council on the Biomechanics of Injury, (Jan 2013): 195-207.

Seacrist T, Mathews EA, Balasubramanian S, Maltese MR, Arbogast, KB. Evaluation of the Hybrid III and Q-Series Pediatric ATD Upper Neck Loads as Compared to Pediatric Volunteers in Low-Speed Frontal Crashes. Annals of biomedical engineering, Vol. 41 (Nov 2013): 2381-2390.

Tylko S, Locey CM, Garcia-Espana F, Arbogast KB, Maltese MR: Comparative Performance of RFCRS on the C/FMVSS 213 Bench and Real Vehicle Seats. Annals of Advances in Automotive Medicine, Vol. 57 (Sept 2013): 311-328.


CChIPS Publications 2012-2013

Arbogast KB, Allison M, Belwadi A. Reducing the Potential for Heat Stroke to Children in Parked Motor Vehicles: Evaluation of Reminder Technology

Arbogast KB, Locey CM, Zonfrillo MR. Differences in thoracic injury causation patterns between seat belt restrained children and adults. Ann Adv Automot Med., Vol. 56 (2012): 213-21.

Arbogast KB, Maltese MR, Locey C, Bohman K. Headform impact tests to assess energy management of seat back contact points associated with head injury for pediatric occupants. Journal of Passenger Cars-Mechanical Systems Vol. 5.1 (2012): 454-67.

Arbogast KB, Wozniak S, Locey CM, Maltese MR, Zonfrillo MR. Head impact contact points for restrained child occupants. Traffic Injury Prevention Vol. 13.2 (2012): 172-81.

Bryant-Stephens, T., Garcia-Espana, J. F., & Winston, F. K. Boosting Restraint Norms. A Community-Delivered Campaign to Promote Booster Seat Use. Traffic Injury Prevention, Vol. 14.6 (2013): 578-83.

Curry AE, Zonfrillo MR, Myers RK, Durbin DR: Validation of a parent survey for reporting child injuries. Injury Prevention, Vol.19.5 (Oct 2013): 342-7.

Locey CM, Garcia-Espana JF, Toh A, Belwadi A, Arbogast KB, Maltese MR. Homogenization of vehicle fleet frontal crash pulses from 2000-2010. Ann Adv Automot Med., Vol. 56 (2012): 299-311.

Mirman JH, Albert D, Jacobsohn LS, Winston FK. Factors Associated With Adolescents' Propensity to Drive With Multiple Passengers and to Engage in Risky Driving Behaviors. Journal of Adolescent Health Vol. 50.6 (2012): 634-640.

Seacrist T, Saffioti J, Balasubramanian S, Kadlowec J, Sterner R, García -España JF, Arbogast KB, Maltese MR. Passive cervical spine flexion: The effect of age and gender. Clinical Biomechanics Vol. 27.4 (2012): 326-33.

Seacrist T, Samuels M, García-España JF, Arbogast KB, Mathews EA, Balasubramanian S, Maltese MR, Longhitano D, St Lawrence S. Kinematic Comparison of the Hybrid III and Q-Series Pediatric ATDs to Pediatric Volunteers in Low-Speed Frontal Crashes. Ann Adv Automot Med., Vol. 56 (2012): 285-98.

Zonfrillo MR, Durbin DR, Winston FK, Zhao H, Stineman MG. Physical disability following injury-related inpatient rehabilitation in children. Pediatrics Vol.131.1 (Jan. 2013): 206-13.

Zonfrillo MR, Kumar M, Fortes JA, Winston FK: Telecenter for secure, remote, collaborative child fatality review. Injury Prevention Vol.18.6 (Dec. 2012): 399-404.

Two book chapters:

Arbogast KB and Durbin DR.  Epidemiology of Child Motor Vehicle Crash Injuries and Fatalities.  In Pediatric Injury Biomechanics. Crandall, Meaney and Schmidtke (eds.). (2013): 33-86.

Winston FK, Arbogast KB, Kanianthra J.  Technological Approach. Injury Research: Theories, Methods, and Approaches Li Guohua, Baker SP (eds.). Springer, 2012.


CChIPS Publications 2011-2012

Arbogast K, Locey C, Zonfrillo M, Kallan M. Injury Risk to Seat Belt Restrained Occupants: Effect of Age and Seat Row. The 22nd ESV Conference no.11-0037-O (June 2011): 1-7.

Arbogast KB, Wozniak S, Locey CM, Maltese MR, Zonfrillo MR. Head Impact Contact Points for Restrained Child Occupants. Traffic Injury Prevention, Vol. 13.2 (2012): 172-81.

Henretig F, Durbin D, Kallan M, Winston F, et al. Grandparents Driving Grandchildren: An Evaluation of Child Passenger Safety and Injuries. Pediatrics. Vol. 128.2 (August 2011): 289-295.

Huang P, Kao T, Curry AE, and Durbin D. Factors Associated With Driving in Teens With Autism Spectrum Disorders. Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Vol. 33.1 (December 2011): 70-74.

Seacrist T, Saffioti J, Balasubramanian S, Kadlowec J, Sterner R, García-España JF, Arbogast KB, Maltese MR. Passive Cervical Spine Flexion: The Effect of Age and Gender. Clinical Biomechanics, Vol. 27.4 (May 2012): 326-333.)

Stavrinos D, Biasini F, Fine P, Hodgens J, Kharti S, Mrug S, Schwebel D. Mediating Factors Associated With Pedestrian Injury in Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Pediatrics, Vol. 128.2 (July 2011): 296-302.  

Zonfrillo MR, Winston F, Kumar M, Fortes J. Telecenter for secure, remote, collaborative child fatality review. Injury Prevention, Vol. 18.6 (Dec 2012): 399-404


CChIPS Publications 2010-2011

Arbogast, KB, Jermakian JS, Ghati, Y. Abdominal Injuries in Belt-Positioning Booster Seats. Annals of Advances in Automotive Medicine Vol. 53 (October 2009): 209-220. *Received Best Paper Award for this publication

Comeau A. Age-related Changes in Geometric Characteristics of the Pediatric Thoracic Cage and Comparison of Thorax Shape with a Pediatric CPR Manakin. Master’s Thesis. Drexel University. Philadelphia, PA. June 24, 2010.

Hurwitz, D., Pradhan, A., Fisher, D., Knodler, M., Muttart, J. Menon, R., Meissner, U. Backing collisions: a study of drivers’ eye and backing behaviour using combined rear-view camera and sensor systems. Injury Prevention, Vol. 16.2 (April 2010): 79-84.

Stawicki, S. P., Holmes, J.H., Kallan, M.J., Nance, M.L. Cervical spine injury (CSI) and vehicle crash characteristics: An analysis of linked national datasets. Injury, Vol. 40.8 (August 2009): 864-867.


CChIPS Publications 2009-2010

Hurwitz, D., Pradhan, A., Fisher, D., Knodler, M., Muttart, J. Menon, R., Meissner, U. Backing collisions: a study of drivers’ eye and backing behaviour using combined rear-view camera and sensor systems. Injury Prevention, Vol. 16.2 (April 2010): 79-84.

Stawicki, S. P., Holmes, J.H., Kallan, M.J., Nance, M.L. Cervical spine injury (CSI) and vehicle crash characteristics: An analysis of linked national datasets. Injury, Vol. 40.8 (August 2009):  864-867.




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Treating Children as Children

The Center for Child Injury Prevention Studies (CChIPS) at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) is a National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center that focuses exclusively on making children and adolescents safer. Of the more than 80 I/UCRC designated centers nationwide, CChIPS is the only one that focuses solely on child injury prevention.

Through CChIPS, researchers from CHOP, the University of Pennsylvania, and The Ohio State University work side by side with industry members to conduct translational research that is practical to industry. Scientific advances made by CChIPS investigators provide commercial opportunities for the Center’s industry members. This synergistic collaboration is ideal for generating ideas for new research projects and sharing expertise and resources.

CChIPS Mission

The CChIPS mission is to advance the safety of children, youth, and young adults (through age 24) by facilitating scientific inquiry into childhood and young adult injuries and to translate these findings into commercial applications and public education programs for preventing future injuries.

The fundamental idea behind CChIPS' work is that children are not small adults (mechanically, psychologically, developmentally, and socially). Therefore, child injury deserves to be examined and understood as a distinct branch of science. As automotive design and our understanding of consumer behavior become increasingly complex, enhanced research, product development, and educational efforts are necessary to further child safety. Over the past 10 years CChIPS has conducted more than 100 projects with researchers partnering with leading automotive manufacturers, restraint suppliers, insurance providers, and government agencies to translate their findings into tangible innovations in safety technology and public education programs.

The CChIPS research method applies the broad and diverse backgrounds of its investigators to create and implement novel integrated approaches. For example, child crash injury-related research uses Biomechanical Epidemiology, an approach developed by CChIPS investigators, whereby engineering questions are answered with the rigorous methods used for clinical research studies. Currently, the majority of CChIPS research is focused on preventing road traffic injuries and deaths.

Areas of Research

The scope of CChIPS research projects include:

  • injury biomechanics, mechanisms, and tolerance
  • technological solutions (design, development, and testing)
  • how humans interact with and behave in relation to safety technology
  • safety promotion and education
  • the evaluation of safety devices and behavior modification programs




Principal Investigator: Elizabeth Walshe, PhD, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

This study aims to integrate eye tracking technology into the millisecond-sensitive neuroimaging methods (magnetoencephalography: MEG) and simulated driving paradigm, and test the feasibility and synchronization of the eye tracking, MEG imaging, and simulated driving data in a baseline sample of teen drivers.

Principal Investigator: Julie Mansfield, PhD, The Ohio State University

This study aims to evaluate the feasibility of the rigid LATCH system for use within U.S. vehicles. The research team will evaluate a convenience sample of vehicles from the current U.S. market for their readiness for rigid LATCH CRS installations across a range of seating positions. A group of volunteer caregivers will install a CRS into a vehicle using three different types of LATCH system in order to evaluate consumer performance and feedback related to various LATCH styles.

Principal Investigator: Julie Mansfield, PhD, The Ohio State University

In this study, far side sled testing will be performed in late model year production vehicle seats for rear-facing CRS, forward-facing CRS, and boosters using a variety of proper and improper installation methods: seat belt alone, LATCH alone (with and without top tether), and LATCH and seat belt together. The broad objective of this work is to determine whether installation method affects far side crash performance so that CRS and vehicle manufacturers can develop informed guidelines about the use of their products.

Principal Investigator: Jalaj Maheshwari, MS, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

The goal of this study is to systematically explore the kinematics and kinetics of adjacent rear-seated pediatric occupants under different vehicle seat belt restraint characteristics, child seats, and seating positions in small and moderate overlap crashes.

Principal Investigator: Jalaj Maheshwari, MS, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

This project focuses on pediatric vehicular heatstroke and aims: 1) to review real-world vehicular heatstroke cases caused by different circumstances and to determine prevention and alerting technologies, and 2) to document, relevant to heatstroke prevention, different educational efforts undertaken to inform parents and caregivers, and strategies used by vehicle and child seat assessment programs.

Principal Investigator: Yun Seok Kang, PhD, The Ohio State University

This study aims to provide head/neck response data of the unmodified and modified CRABI and HII 3YO ATDs in forward- and rear-facing frontal impact scenarios using a mini-sled system.

Principal Investigator: Valentina Graci, PhD, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

This project aims to identify the likelihood and characteristics of head contact of a child seated behind a reclined front occupant in an autonomous driving seating configuration. Different combinations of front seat recline and track positions for the front occupant will be considered. The research team will investigate how the presence, type, and dimensions of a booster seat influence head contact by a rear-seated child occupant during an automatic emergency braking (AEB) event and how different AEB pulse characteristics also influence head contact by a rear seat child occupant.

Principal Investigator: John H. Bolte IV, PhD, The Ohio State University

The goal of the study is to evaluate dynamic outcomes of belt-positioning booster (BPB)-seated ATDs for various initial belt fit conditions and crash directions, in order to identify relationships between static belt fit and occupant posture with kinematic and injury outcomes during crash.

Principal Investigator: John H. Bolte IV, PhD, The Ohio State University

This study aims to collect up-to-date dimensional data on modern commercial aircraft and the FMVSS 213 inversion testing apparatus. These data will be compared to physical characteristics of modern child restraint systems (CRS) to develop recommendations for both manufacturers and caregivers who are navigating these installation scenarios.

Principal Investigator: Elizabeth Walshe, PhD, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

This project aims to develop a new methodology for use by the auto industry in understanding driver traits and states in the context of Level 1-3 autonomous driving. An additional aim is to identify brain activity associated with simple and complex driving scenarios with and without warnings in young drivers. 

Principal Investigator: Thomas Seacrist, MBE, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

The goal of this study is to quantify the circumstances leading to rear-end striking crashes among the three riskiest driving groups – novice teens, young adults, and older drivers – using data from the Strategic Highway Research Program 2 (SHRP2) Naturalistic Driving Study. The long-term objective is to inform the development of driver-specific advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) that account for the unique errors exhibited by risky driving groups.

Principal InvestigatorRachel Myers, PhD, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

The goal of this study is to create a unique source of epidemiologic crash data that enables novel description of use and installation patterns of child restraints among crash-involved children and— following linkage with hospital discharge and death certificate data—novel description of child occupant injury outcomes based on restraint use and installation (rear- vs. forward-facing).

Principal InvestigatorJulie Mansfield, PhD, The Ohio State University 

This project aims to refine the interactive CRS education system using information gathered during pilot testing and to deploy the system in a supervised public location.


CChIPS  investigators conduct their work in year-long research projects. Each project falls within one or more of the following research themes:
1. Injury Biomechanics, Mechanisms, and Tolerance
   ~ providing the scientific foundation to fuel evidence-based, effective safety technological innovation and regulatory test devices and protocols
2. Technological Solutions (Design, Development and Testing)
   ~ informing enhancements in federal safety regulatory priorities, new safety product development, and trauma medical protocols
3. Human Interaction With and Behavior Related to Safety Technology
   ~ providing the scientific foundation to fuel innovations in safety behavior promotion and effective, real-world use of safety technologies
4. Safety Promotion and Education
   ~ informing enhancements in safety promotion and educational strategies underway among industry, government, and advocates to improve the protection of children
5. Evaluation of Safety Devices or Behavior Modification Programs
   ~ ensuring that current and planned safety strategies in the real world are effective
Click the links below to access summaries of CChIPS research by project year:

An Analysis of the Interaction between Child Occupants and Deploying Frontal Passenger Airbag- a Modern Examination

Principal InvestigatorAditya Belwadi, PhD, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Historically, much attention has been devoted to the interaction between children and frontal passenger air bags. With the advancement of innovations in airbag design in the last decade, the aggressivity and deployment characteristics of passenger airbags have greatly changed. In addition, seatbelt technology in the front seat has been designed to work in conjunction with the airbag to further help position the occupant and manage the crash energy. This project will explore and quantify the injury potential for children in front of a deploying modern front passenger air bag for those in forward facing child restraints and booster seats across a range of misuse conditions and crash scenarios.

Evaluating the Efficacy of Belt Positioning Booster Seat Design (high-back, low-back and height-less booster) in Nearside Impacts with and without Side Curtain Airbags

Principal Investigator: Aditya Belwadi, PhD, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Belt-positioning booster seats are recommended for children who use vehicle seat belts as primary restraints but who are too small to obtain good belt fit. The vast majority of previous research evaluating the protection afforded by booster seats has been conducted in frontal crash conditions. This study focuses on nearside impacts, a crash condition that has gained attention in child occupant protection. The project builds on previous CChIPS work and focuses on evaluating the effect of various routing configurations for booster seat designs on protection afforded in nearside impacts – both lateral and oblique crash modes including with and without side curtain airbags.

Evaluation of CRS and vehicle features associated with improved top tether attachment rates
Principal Investigator: Julie Bing, MS, The Ohio State University & John Bolte, PhD, The Ohio State University

Proper use of the top tether is associated with reduced head excursion and reduction of other injury metrics in forward-facing child restraint systems (FF CRS). Even imperfect top tether attachments can still provide some degree of protection to occupants. Unfortunately, the top tether is only attached in approximately 50% of FF CRS installations. Studies indicate that large percentages of caregivers do not realize that the top tether exists, and do not realize their vehicle has designated anchor points for it. The long term objective of the study is to improve top tether usage rates in FF CRS installations.

Evaluation of Variability in Five-point Harness Tightening Procedures

Principal Investigator: Julie Bing, MS, The Ohio State University & John Bolte, PhD, The Ohio State University

CRS sled testing efforts depend on the ability of the sled protocol to produce consistent results. Small variations in test benches, seat belt tensions, ATD calibrations, and harness tensions can affect the quality of test results. One important aspect of CRS testing which has not been extensively studied is the method by which the harness is tightened, and the process of verifying that consistent harness tensions are being used across trials. The long term goal is to improve the repeatability and reproducibility of sled tests by identifying optimal CRS harness tightening procedure(s) to incorporate into industry sled testing protocols.

Large Omnidirectional Child (LODC) ATD: Round Robin Testing
Principal Investigator: John Bolte, PhD, The Ohio State University

In 2011, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) initiated a research project to guide the development of a new pediatric ATD that would identify how to maintain the safety of children transitioning between belt-positioning boosters and standard vehicle restraints. The result of the 5-year project is the large omnidirectional child (LODC) ATD. While the LODC has undergone numerous biofidelity tests by Vehicle Research and Test Center (VRTC), it is important for potential users of the ATD to become better acquainted with it and to continue to test the LODC in various impact conditions. The long-term objective is to assist VRTC/NHTSA in documenting the reproducibility, repeatability, durability, usability and biofidelity, of the newly designed LODC ATD. The documented LODC will allow for more realistic testing of current safety systems being incorporated into vehicles.

Pediatric Response to Oblique Loading in Aircraft Seats with Standard and Inflatable Seat Belts 
Principal InvestigatorJohn Bolte, PhD, The Ohio State University

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recommends that all children ride in a size-appropriate child restraint system (CRS) while onboard aircraft. As aircraft seating evolves to accommodate the safety and comfort needs of the adult population, all such changes should be evaluated to determine their impact on the pediatric population. Little data exists to ensure satisfactory performance of CRS in aircraft crashes. More data from dynamic crash tests could influence a change in the FAA policy to better accommodate families traveling with children. The long-term objective is to inform the policies and regulations of the FAA regarding CRS use on aircraft with obliquely oriented passenger seats and/or inflatable seat belts. Positive outcomes could allow the FAA to better accommodate families traveling with children in CRS.

Influence of CRS Fit on Far Side Impacts
Principal Investigator: Yun Seok Kang, PhD, The Ohio State University

Side impacts are the second most frequent type of collision and can cause serious injuries to pediatric occupants. While higher fatality rates have been reported for near-side impacts, serious non-fatal injuries have been reported for far-side impacts as well, where little or no vehicle intrusion was reported. The fit of the CRS, especially problems which produce gaps between the CRS and vehicle seat surfaces, could affect occupant and CRS responses in side impacts. The influence of the CRS fit into vehicle seats on anthropomorphic test device (ATD) kinematics in side impacts is not well understood yet. The long-term objective is to quantify the kinematics of the system, providing information to allow CRS and vehicle engineers to understand the influence of the CRS fit on responses of the CRS and ATD in side impacts. The information will help engineers optimally design their products to improve child safety.

Emergency Autonomous to Manual Takeover in Driving Simulator: Teens vs. Adult Warning System Effectiveness (Year 2)
Principal Investigator: Helen Loeb, PhD, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Semi-autonomous vehicles are emerging, with some in the auto industry targeting 2020 for autonomous cars. A high level of vehicle automation has great potential to improve safety by dramatically cutting the traffic fatality rate. The challenge, however, is to deploy these vehicles safely. While the general expectation is that the self-driving technology will bring us ever closer to the Vision Zero objective of no traffic fatalities, it is imperative to consider the safety of self-driving and of the ‘human in the loop’ framework before the technology gets widely deployed. The goal of this project is to assess the human aptitude -- especially teens and novice drivers -- to take over from autonomous to manual mode in response to a warning signal.

Vertical Vehicle Kinematics in Frontal Crashes – Implications for Rear Row Occupants
Principal Investigator: Matthew Maltese, PhD, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

During a frontal crash test, the vehicle experiences principally longitudinal deceleration, but also vertical kinematics that cause the rear of the vehicle to move upward or “pitch” forward. In the literature, research studies on vehicle vertical kinematics in frontal crash tests is sparse but spans decades. A 2016 a study showed that the additional vehicle body pitch to a planar sled test was essential to reproducing ATD injury metrics observed in full scale frontal crash tests. There is no published study that systematically quantifies the characteristics of vehicle vertical kinematics with a focus on rear occupants or children. This research is part of a broader effort to elucidate vehicle crashworthiness characteristics that are pertinent to pediatric occupants.

Efficacy of Automatic Emergency Braking during SHRP2 Rear-End Crashes

Principal Investigator: Thomas Seacrist, MBE, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Among motor vehicle crashes, rear-ends are the most common form of crash, particularly among novice teen drivers.  Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) has the potential to prevent or reduce the severity of these rear-end crashes. The SHRP2 Naturalistic Driving Study offers a unique opportunity to evaluate the potential efficacy of AEB on real-world crash scenarios. This project aims to recreate SHRP2 scenarios with the presence of AEB to determine if the application of AEB would have effectively prevented the rear-end crash.

Ensuring safety of children in self-driving vehicles
Principal InvestigatorPatrice Tremoulet, PhD, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

With the launch of Uber, Lyft and other mobile applications, many parents are now relying on Uber to shuttle their children across town to afterschool activities or other functions. The question about the proper age for a minor to be unaccompanied in a cab becomes more complicated with the recent launches of Uber self-driving cabs in Pittsburgh and in San Francisco. At which age can a child ride unaccompanied by an adult in a self-driving car? How do we ensure that this transportation option is safe for children? Do self-driving cars need special equipment to address a child’s needs? The study's ultimate goal is to develop a line of research to generate recommendations for the design and safe use of Highly Automated Vehicles (HAV) by children. This new line of research will anticipate the needs of children and will provide the scientific foundation for child-safe HAVs.


About This Center

This Center is made possible through a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) which unites CHOP, University of Pennsylvania, and The Ohio State University researchers with R&D leaders in the automotive and insurance industries to translate research findings into tangible innovations in safety technology and public education programs.

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