The objective of this study was to compare the kinematics of the head-neck, torso, pelvis, and lower extremities and document injuries and their patterns to small female occupants in frontal impacts with upright and reclined postures using an experimental model. Six PMHS with a mean stature of 154 ± 9.0 cm and mass of 49 ± 12 kg were equally divided between upright and reclined groups (seatback: 25°, 45°), restrained by a three-point integrated belt, positioned on a semi-rigid seat, and exposed to low and moderate crash velocities (15 km/h & 32 km/h respectively). The response between the upright and reclined postures were similar in magnitude and curve morphology. While none of the differences were statistically significant, the thoracic spine demonstrated increased downward (+Z) displacement, and the head an increased horizontal (+X) displacement for the reclined occupants. In contrast, the upright occupants showed a slightly increased downward (+Z) displacement at the head, but the torso displaced primarily along the +X direction. The posture angles between the two groups were similar at the pelvis and different at the thorax and head. At 32 km/h, both cohorts exhibited multiple rib failure, with upright specimens having a greater number of severe fractures. Although MAIS was the same in both groups, the upright specimens had more bi-cortical rib fractures, suggesting the potential for pneumothorax. This preliminary study may be useful in validating physical (ATDs) and computational (HBMs) surrogates.

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