Serpil Acar of the Department of Computer Science, at Loughborough University, Alix Weekes (now at Thatcham MIRRC), and David van Lopik (now at Atkins Aviation and Defence Systems), have worked within a comprehensive research program at Loughborough University to improve pregnant occupant safety.
The overall aim is to produce a pregnant occupant model capable of simulating the dynamic response to impact and predict the risk of injury in automobile crashes.
There are almost three quarters of a million pregnancies in the UK each year and it is fairly certain that a large number of those expectant mothers will at some point during their pregnancy drive, or be a passenger in a vehicle. Thousands are involved in accidents each year and while a relatively small proportion will die, many more will suffer injuries.
The researchers explain that the safety of pregnant women is often compromised because of the changes in their body size and shape that occur during pregnancy. These changes are not limited to the abdominal region, but affect the chest and thigh areas, all of which can affect sitting and driving posture and seat belt use.
Inappropriate seat belt is a significant problem for pregnant women. It is often difficult and sometimes impossible for a pregnant user to get her seat belt into a comfortable position. As such many women take unsafe actions, either hold the belt away from their bodies while the vehicle is moving or do not use a seat belt at all.
Another problem is pressure on the abdomen from the steering wheel in the event of a crash. Researchers have found that more than one in ten pregnant women find the gap between their abdomen and the steering wheel is less than 2.5 cm and for some there is no gap at all. This proximity to the steering wheel may put the placenta at increased risk of abruption from direct impact with the steering wheel.
Acar and Weekes have taken 48 different measurements from 100 pregnant women in different postures and at different terms in their pregnancy to help Acar and van Lopik to create their computer model. The measurements show that even the designers that take into account the measurements of larger men, may still exclude majority of women at the late stages of pregnancy.
‘Expecting’, has been further developed to be the world’s first computational model of a 38-week pregnant car occupant, complete with a detailed representation of a foetus within uterus and it is now used in further research, together with MADYMO, in the simulation of crash scenarios.
Albert Ang | alfa
The car of the future – sleeper cars and travelling offices too?
18.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO
Self-driving cars for country roads
07.05.2018 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology, CSAIL
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly
The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
14.11.2018 | Materials Sciences
14.11.2018 | Health and Medicine
14.11.2018 | Life Sciences