CChIPS 2016-2017 Research Portfolio

Evaluation of Side Impacts with a Frontal Component for Children in CRS: Effect of Rigid and Flexible Attachment (Year 3)

Principal InvestigatorKristy Arbogast, PhD, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Identifying the specific predictors of crashes and near crashes among young drivers may help to determine if these predictors vary across age and skill level. The goal of this project is to expand upon previously collected SHRP2 driving behavior data on novice teens and experienced adults (35-54 years) by quantifying factors contributing to crashes and near crashes among young adult drivers using naturalistic driving data, and comparing these factors across age. The long-term objective is to inform the development of driver-specific active safety technology.

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Evaluating the Efficacy of Belt Positioning Booster Seat Design (High-back, Low-back and Height-less booster) in Frontal and Far Side Oblique Impacts

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

This study examines anthropomorphic test device (ATD) kinematics and kinetics as a function of variability of booster seat design and impact direction. The focus is on evaluating the effect of various routing configurations for booster seat designs on the protection afforded in far-side impacts – both lateral and oblique crash modes. The data generated from this project may benefit child seat and vehicle manufacturers, as well as policymakers and the public as newer restraint technologies to mitigate injury in pediatric occupants are developed.

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Measuring the Strength and Stability of the Lower LATCH Anchors across a Range of Anchor Spacing

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

Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) is an installation system created to help standardize and improve the ease in which child restraint systems (CRS) are attached to vehicles. The broad objective of this research is to gain insight into the strength and stability of the lower LATCH anchors dynamically. The aims are to determine the dynamic strength of the lower anchor bars across a range of anchor spacing; and to understand the role of lower anchor spacing and CRS kinematics in lateral and oblique impacts.

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Performance of Rear-facing CRS in Rear Impacts

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

In frontal and oblique impacts, rear-facing (RF) CRS distribute crash forces throughout the occupant’s back and keep the head, neck, and spine safely aligned. However, in a rear impact, the overall kinematics of the crash are reversed and the five point harness becomes the primary loading surface for the occupant’s weight. The objective of this research is to investigate the response of RF CRS occupants in rear impacts, a currently under-addressed crash mode in the child safety field. More information is needed about the rear impact crash mode to determine how to best mitigate injury in this type of impact.

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Usability of non-standard lower anchor spacing for CRS installations

Principal InvestigatorJulie Bing, MS, The Ohio State University & John Bolte, PhD, The Ohio State University

Vehicle manufacturers are under increased pressure from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) to provide the option of using LATCH in the rear center position of vehicles. One possible solution to this request is to allow consumers to “borrow” the inboard lower anchor from each outboard LATCH position to create a “simulated” center LATCH position. However, these borrowed lower anchors are often spaced further apart than the current LATCH standard. The broad objective is to support the efforts of NHTSA and IIHS in determining safe and convenient center LATCH options for caregivers who wish to utilize this seating position for child passengers.

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Survey of Car Seat Usage, Knowledge, and Attitudes

Principal Investigator: John Bolte, PhD, The Ohio State University
Despite the careful development of best practice recommendations from the child passenger safety community, high rates of child restraint system misuse exist today. This study will identify topics of greatest concern to consumers by opening the lines of communication between consumers, industry, and researchers. Specifically, the study will gauge current caregiver attitudes regarding car seat usage; identify the reasoning behind parental car seat decisions; allow caregivers to examine their level of awareness and identify any gaps in knowledge; and guide future education and outreach programs to better ensure parental compliance to child passenger recommendations.

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ATD Lower Extremity Interaction with the Front Seat Back during Sled Tests

Principal Investigator: Laura Boucher, PhD, The Ohio State University

Over the past five years a series of CChIPS-funded projects have focused on developing a more biofidelic Hybrid III 6 year-old ATD lower extremity. The broad objective of this research is to expand the understanding on how ATD legs are interacting with the front seat back and/or vehicle interior. This project will provide important evidence that the use of a front seat back during sled testing provides an important realistic environment for more adequate rear seat safety assessment for the child occupant.

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Lateral Cervical Spine Stiffness in Children

Principal Investigator: Laura Boucher, PhD, The Ohio State University

Side impact crashes have become a major point of focus in the child passenger safety field due to the high injury and fatality rates associated with this type of crash. As new side impact testing standards are developed, the biofidelity of anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs) and human body models (HBMs) in the lateral direction becomes increasingly vital. The long-term objective is to provide data that are not currently available to those who are using and developing HBMs, to better predict the response of the head and neck when involved in a lateral impact scenario.

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Lear First Year Project: The roles of Vehicle Seat Cushion Stiffness and Length in CRS Performance

Principal InvestigatorYun Seok Kang, PhD, The Ohio State University

Due to the wide variety of rear seat occupant sizes, optimization of seat parameters is complex. Recent work supports the adoption of shorter seat cushion lengths to better accommodate the adolescent and small adult population. However, shorter seat cushion lengths may be detrimental to the youngest rear row occupants who ride in CRS with large base footprints. This study aims to investigate whether seat cushion length plays a role in CRS performance and whether an additional parameter, seat cushion stiffness, might be optimized along with cushion length to best support occupants in CRS.

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Driving Analytics: Comparison of Teen and Adult Naturalistic Car-following Patterns (Year 2)

Principal InvestigatorHelen Loeb, PhD, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

This study will lead to a better understanding of the adult and teen driver behaviors which lead to crashes, as well as their specific reactions (such as swerving or braking) in emergency situations. The broad long term objective of this study is to quantify the human errors that lead to crashes and assess the potential impact of new active safety systems, such as Forward Collision Warning or Lane Deviation Warning, on driving safety. The study will use data from the SHRP2 naturalistic driving dataset.

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Emergency Autonomous to Manual Takeover in Driving Simulator: Teens vs. Adult Drivers

Principal InvestigatorHelen Loeb, PhD, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

This study’s objective is to unlock the safety benefits offered by autonomous vehicles while ensuring a safe transition for both novice and experienced drivers. It aims to: 1) assess the human aptitude to regain control in an emergency (Human in the Loop) with a focus on the driving experience; 2) quantify the ability of drivers, novice and experienced, to remain vigilant when driving in a driverless mode; and 3) analyze the pre and post impressions of autonomous driving of novice and experienced drivers.

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Fidelity of the Upgraded FMVSS 213 Bench

Principal InvestigatorMatthew Maltese, PhD, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

In March of 2015, NHTSA released the drawing package and specifications of a revised Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) 213 Bench (213R) that will be intended for use in regulatory sled tests. This study aims to characterize the fidelity of the 213R Bench as a system, as compared to real vehicle seats. Researchers will also characterize the current FMVSS 213 Bench, to assess any change in fidelity that would result if the current bench were replaced by the 213R as well as the repeatability of the 213R relative to the current FMVSS 213 bench.

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Parental Driving Behaviors of Child Passengers ages 4-10 years

Principal InvestigatorCatherine McDonald, PhD, RN, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania

This national survey of parental driving behaviors examines attitudes toward driving while a child of 4 to 10 years old is a passenger in the vehicle. Focus will be on parent distraction and choices made in relation to car seat usage or non-usage.

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Maturation of Driving Skill from Teen to Young Adult to Experienced Adult using SHRP2 Naturalistic Data

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

Young adult drivers should exhibit improved driving behavior compared to teen drivers due to increased driving experience. However, previous naturalistic driving data suggests otherwise. This study will identify the specific predictors of crashes and near crashes among young drivers and determine if these predictors vary across age and skill level. The specific aims are to 1) categorize and quantify the factors contributing to young adult crashes and near crashes; and 2) compare young adult drivers with previously analyzed novice teen and experienced adult SHRP2 data.

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Pediatric Advanced Automatic Crash Notification (Year 4)

Principal InvestigatorAshley Weaver, PhD, Wake Forest University

This project’s goal is to create scoring systems to better classify motor vehicle crash-related injuries in children. A second goal is to use these scoring systems to develop a refined advanced automatic crash notification (AACN) algorithm and to evaluate its benefit to society. This algorithm is intended to serve as a part of a comprehensive trauma system to deliver children to appropriate treatment facilities. Year 4 of the project will further refine and validate the pediatric AACN algorithm developed in Year 3, to provide a more robust triage decision and to estimate the societal benefits.

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Active Safety Technology and Teen Drivers: Impressions, Perceived Need, and Intervention Preferences

Principal InvestigatorEve Weiss, MS, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia &Thomas Seacrist, MBE, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Recently developed advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) have the potential to compensate for skill deficits and reduce overall crash risk. Yet, ADAS is only effective if drivers are willing to use it. Limited research has been conducted on the suitability of ADAS for teen drivers. The goal of this study is to use qualitative research methodology identify teen drivers' perceived need for ADAS, receptiveness to in-vehicle technology, and intervention preferences. The long-term goal is to understand public perceptions and barriers to ADAS use and to help determine how these systems must evolve to meet the needs of the riskiest driving populations.

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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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