The Effects of Wheelchair-Seating Stiffness and Energy Absorption on Occupant Frontal Impact Kinematics and Submarining Risk Using Computer SimulationBy Bertocci, Gina, PhD, PE; Souza, Aaron L, MS; Szobota, Stephanie, BS; Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, Vol. 40, No. 2, pp. 125-130
Publication Date: March/April 2003
Study investigates the effects of wheelchair seat stiffness and energy absorption properties on occupant risk of submarining during a frontal motor vehicle impact. Tests were conducted at 30 miles-per-hour using a computer crash simulation model. The model consisted of a power base wheelchair secured with four-point tie-downs, and a male Hybrid III anthropomorphic testing device. The shoulder belt was mounted to the vehicle, and the lap belt was anchored to the wheelchair. The results indicate that wheelchair seating stiffness and energy absorption characteristics influence occupant kinematics associated with the risk of submarining. Softer seat surfaces and high-energy absorption were found to produce pelvis excursion trajectories associated with increased submarining risk.
VA Rehabilitation Research & Development Service (Web Site: http://www.rehab.research.va.gov )