CHOP Leads Child Safety Project through Toyota Collaborative Safety Research Center

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Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) announced 11 projects launched under its CSRC Next program, including one led by researchers from the Center for Injury Research and Prevention (CIRP) at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

“Motion and Muscle Activation of Young Volunteers in Evasive Vehicle Maneuvers,” led by Principal Investigator and CIRP Co-scientific Director Kristy Arbogast, PhD, aims to measure the movement of motor vehicle passengers of different ages during crash avoidance maneuvers, such as swerving to avoid an impact. These scenarios occur in approximately 60 percent of all crashes. While previous work has attempted to measure human motion and muscle response during these maneuvers, little is known about how adults positioned in the rear rows or restrained children or adolescents respond in these scenarios.

This CHOP-led project addresses these gaps by providing new data on human response to avoidance maneuvers that can be used to create more realistic crash test dummies and provide insight into future vehicle safety technologies.

In partnership with The Ohio State University Injury Biomechanics Research Center and the University of Virginia Center for Applied Biomechanics, the research team will conduct an on-road (test track) assessment using professional drivers where video, electromyography (EMG, a measure of muscle activity), and motion capture data will be captured on rear seat restrained occupants age 6 years and older. This work builds on other active work at CIRP utilizing a laboratory-based test sled that mimics vehicle swerving. Watch a demonstration of the test sled as seen on Discovery Channel's Daily Planet.

The ultimate goal of the 18-month project is to quantify how the restrained occupants are displaced from their initial position during these avoidance maneuvers so that vehicle restraint and seat design can be optimized to provide protection in these common real-world scenarios.

Contact: The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia,