CChIPS 2013-2014 Research Portfolio

Principal Investigator:  Amanda Agnew, PhD, Ohio State University

This study investigates whether the quality of anthropometric data, as it pertains vehicle safety, will improve when direct methods are used to collect it, and whether current ATDs can be improved with CRS-specific anthropometric data bases. The objective of this project is to determine whether currently-accepted anthropometric data, upon which pediatric ATDs are designed, are an accurate representation of children ages 4-7 years sitting in booster seats. The long-term goal is to ensure that anthropometric data is being collected in ways that directly relate to pediatric vehicle safety, and to ensure that current databases are up-to-date and accurate for today’s U.S. population.

Principal Investigator: Kristy Arbogast, PhD, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

The long-term goal of this research is to improve test conditions and optimize restraint systems to mitigate injury to actual child occupants in real world crash scenarios. The objective is to quantify the positions and postures that rear seat child occupants assume while riding in vehicles in order to provide data for development of both technological and educational interventions to mitigate injuries due to sub-optimal positioning. The specific aim is to use innovative data collection and analysis methods to observe and quantify the naturalistic positions of child occupants in cars, identify the injury effects of out-of-position status and its impact on driver distraction.

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

The broad long-term objective of the proposed line of research is to assess whether side air bags provide a protective benefit for pediatric occupants in the rear seat environment in side impacts. The study examines the risk of injury and injury causation scenarios for rear-seated pediatric occupants exposed to a deploying side airbag and explores how occupant kinematics differ with and without side air bag interaction for a variety of test conditions via simulated computational and physical sled tests.


Principal InvestigatorAllison Curry, PhD, MPH, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

This study’s long-term goal is to create a unique longitudinal database of adolescents’ medical information and their traffic outcomes as drivers, and utilize this database to investigate driving outcomes for adolescents with relevant medical conditions (e.g., developmental disabilities).

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

The long-term goal of this study is to assess the biofidelity of the Q3s, a dummy developed specifically for lateral side impact testing in children, using existing human volunteer data such that safety tools for children can be designed and evaluated by using the biofidelic child ATD. This goal includes evaluation of the difference between the Q3s and the Hybrid III 3 year old ATD by comparison of kinematics and kinetics of the Q3s with those of the Hybrid III 3 year old. Information obtained from this study will ultimately increase the safety of children by helping safety engineers design safer CRS and vehicles.

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

The data obtained in this study will provide an idea of the dynamic strength of LATCH anchorages with the new NHTSA requirements, when considering different locations of the anchorages (especially tether anchor locations) and different CRS uses (i.e. different weights). Results from this study will allow CRS engineers to optimally design CRSs and increase the safety of a child in a child restraint using the LATCH system.

Co-Principal InvestigatorsYi-Ching Lee, PhD, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia & Santiago Ontañón, PhD, Drexel University

Poor speed management is a key factor in teen driver crashes. This study will use machine learning techniques, state-of-the-art experimental and analytical methods, to create accurate models of teenage drivers’ behavior in order to inform the development and testing of new training and technology to improve teen driving and reduce risk.


Principal Investigator: Yi-Ching Lee, PhD, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

New technologies such as in-vehicle monitoring systems offer the potential to improve safety by generating alerts and positive feedback when certain driving practices are detected. With the combination of positive feedback and motivational incentives, behaviors from risk-taking-prone teen and young drivers may be changed to be more positive and less risky. The long-term goal is to understand the effect of positive reinforcement on the shaping of teen and youth driving behaviors by gathering teen and young drivers’ perspectives on positive reinforcement through reviews of technologies, collection of qualitative and quantitative data, and discussion with experts and IAB members.

Principal InvestigatorCaitlin Locey, BS, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

The broad long-term goal of this research is to assess whether forward-facing harness-based child restraints provide a greater protective benefit than belt-positioning boosters for children of similar age or size in motor vehicle crashes. A secondary goal is to identify patterns of injury and injury causation scenarios for this population.

Principal InvestigatorMatthew R. Maltese, PhD, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

The long-term goal of this study is to determine the effect of geometric and material modifications to the FMVSS 213 bench on the ability of the bench, used in regulatory sled testing, to replicate a real vehicle seat in a crash.

Principal Investigator: Matthew R. Maltese, PhD, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for all children, and traumatic brain and skull injuries are the most common serious injuries sustained by children in motor vehicle crashes, both as vehicle occupants and pedestrians. The long term goal of this research is to elucidate the biomechanics of pediatric traumatic brain injury, and improve capability and accuracy of the ATD, injury assessment, and computer modeling tools available to the automotive safety research and engineering community.

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

Automotive interior design optimization must balance the design of the vehicle seat and occupant space for safety, comfort and aesthetics with the accommodation of add-on restraint products such as child restraint systems (CRS). Important to this balance is understanding the breadth of CRS dimensions, especially as CRS design is constantly changing. Quantifying CRS Fit in the Vehicle Seat Environment – Digitization Approach (Year 2)The long-term objective is to gain insight into the geometric dimensions of commercially available CRSs and develop a virtual surrogate capable of being used in the design cycle of an automobile for virtual fitment and packaging.


Principal InvestigatorThomas Seacrist, MBE, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

The goal of this research is to quantify the dynamic differences between pediatric and 5th percentile female ATDs and matched pediatric volunteers in low-speed lateral and oblique crashes and apply that knowledge towards improved ATD biofidelity requirements. Through synthesis of existing data and collection of new data, this project builds on several previous and current projects at the Center.

Co-Principal Investigators: Joel Stitzel, PhD, Wake Forest University & Andrea Doud, MD, Wake Forest University

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children in the United States. While much research has gone into studying specific common injuries for adults, less is known about the most common injuries for pediatric occupants. The goal of this study is to identify the most common, serious, time sensitive and predictable injuries for pediatric occupants in motor vehicle crashes and develop safety systems and trauma triage techniques to mitigate injuries and save lives.

Principal InvestigatorMark R. Zonfrillo, MD, MSCE, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

In the United States, injury is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality. In children, long term disability from trauma is far more common than death. Spinal cord injuries, either alone or in combination with other injuries, result in the most physical disability in children. The goal of the proposed line of research is to mitigate disabling crash-related spinal injuries in children by investigating the injury causation scenarios for disabling pediatric spinal injuries.

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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