Rear-end collisions are generally considered to be the strongest direction for the human body to tolerate a crash, as long as the head and torso are adequately supported. While some vehicle designs take this into account, others unfortunately do not. In this particular case, two occupants were in a pick-up truck that did not have head restraints. While stopped and waiting to make a turn, they were struck from behind, and both occupants were moved rearward, breaking out the rear glass window. During this rearward movement, the right front occupant’s head struck the upper portion of the window frame, causing severe spine and spinal cord injuries.
ARCCA experts performed an accident reconstruction, a biomechanical analysis, and an analysis of the truck design. The accident reconstructionist determined the forces involved in the crash. The biomechanical analysis showed what forces were transmitted to the body and how those forces resulted in injury, and the design expert developed a safer, alternative design that would have protected the occupant.