Finite Element Analysis of Knee Injury Risks in Car-to-Pedestrian Impacts

Kei Nagasaka, Koji Mizuno, Eiichi Tanaka, Sota Yamamoto, Masami Iwamoto, Kazuo Miki, Janusz Kajzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


In vehicle-pedestrian collisions, lower extremities of pedestrians are frequently injured by vehicle front structures. In this study, a finite element (FE) model of THUMS (total human model for safety) was modified in order to assess injuries to a pedestrian lower extremity. Dynamic impact responses of the knee joint of the FE model were validated on the basis of data from the literature. Since in real-world accidents, the vehicle bumper can impact the lower extremities in various situations, the relations between lower extremity injury risk and impact conditions, such as between impact location, angle, and impactor stiffness, were analyzed. The FE simulation demonstrated that the motion of the lower extremity may be classified into a contact effect of the impactor and an inertia effect from a thigh or leg. In the contact phase, the stress of the bone is high in the area contacted by the impactor, which can cause fracture. Thus, in this phase the impactor stiffness affects the fracture risk of bone. In the inertia phase, the behavior of the lower extremity depends on the impact locations and angles, and the knee ligament forces become high according to the lower extremity behavior. The force of the collateral ligament is high compared with other knee ligaments, due to knee valgus motions in vehicle-pedestrian collisions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-354
Number of pages10
JournalTraffic Injury Prevention
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Dec
Externally publishedYes


  • Finite Element Method
  • Lower Extremity Injury
  • Pedestrian-Car Collision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Finite Element Analysis of Knee Injury Risks in Car-to-Pedestrian Impacts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this