Study on Cervical Spine Injuries in Vehicle Side Impact

Shu-Wen Zhou*, 1, Li-Xin Guo1, Si-Qi Zhang1, 2, Chuan-Yin Tang1
1 School of Mechanical Engineering and Automation, Northeastern University, Shenyang 110004, China
2 Traffic and Mechanical Engineering School, Shenyang Jianzhu University, Shenyang 110168, China

© 2010 Zhou et al

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the School of Mechanical Engineering and Automation, Northeastern University, Shenyang 110004, China; Tel: +8624-83691095; Fax: +8624-83691095 E-mail:


This paper presents the development and study of a three-dimensional multi-body model of the 50th percentile male human and discretized neck for the study of cervical spine injuries in vehicle side impact. The neck is composed of cervical spine vertebrae, intervertebral discs, ligaments, and muscles. Following motor crash evaluations, an impactor with a deformable front end representing the front of a car was propelled straight ahead into the sides of the vehicles being assessed. A EuroSID-2 adult male dummy was seated on a sled, restrained using safety belt, and lateral velocity measured from side impact was applied to simulate cervical spine injuries. The results show that the methods used in this paper have the potential to provide a costeffective and versatile platform to examine local loadings on the cervical spine and soft tissues, including the kinetics and the kinematics of the cervical spine and its components, as well as the mechanical response of the intervertebral discs under other complex dynamic loading environment.

Keywords: Cervical spine, multibody model, side impact, biomechanics, soft tissues.