Biomechanical Response of Human Volunteers and Surrogates in a Variety of Loading Regimes

TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Virginia Tech


Unintentional injuries present a major threat to the health and welfare of humans. Over 120,000 deaths and over 30,000,000 non-fatal injuries are estimated annually in the United States. The leading causes of nonfatal injuries vary with age, but falls, motor vehicle collisions (occupants), and being struck by or against are among the top 4 leading causes of unintentional injury for all ages. The loading mechanism that cause forces to be transmitted to the body during these events can cause a wide assortment of injury types with a range of severities. Understanding the biomechanical response to loading in these environments can facilitate efforts in injury mitigation. Biomechanical responses can be quantified by performing controlled laboratory experiments with human volunteers and surrogates, such as anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs) and post mortem human surrogates (PMHSs).

The overall objective of this dissertation is to quantify the biomechanical response to loading regimes present in motor vehicle collisions, falls, and when being struck by or against an object using human volunteers and surrogates. Specifically, the research will achieve the following: quantify the dynamic responses of human volunteers, Hybrid III ATD, and PMHSs in low-speed frontal sled tests; quantify the neck response of human volunteers and PMHSs in low-speed frontal sled tests; quantify the kinetic and kinematic responses of PMHSs and the Hybrid III ATD in high-speed frontal sled tests; characterize thoracic loading as a result of same level falls using a Hybrid III ATD; and quantify the ability of children to swing sword-like toys and the human kinematic response that could be anticipated as a result of forceful impact using a Hybrid III 6-year old head and neck.



External Loading, Human Response, Muscle Bracing, Volunteers, ATD, PMHS, Falls, Thoracic Loading, Children, Toy Swords, Head Impact