COLLISION ON ROADSIDE OBJECTS (GUARDRAIL)

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Ibitoye, A. B. USEP: Journa
l of Research Information in Civil Engineering, Vol 4, No.1, 2007

Hamouda, A.M.S.

Umar, R.S.R.


105

SIMULATION OF MOTORCYCLIST’S IMPACT
COLLISION ON ROADSIDE OBJECTS (GUARDRAIL)


*
A.B. Ibitoye
1
,
A.M.S. Hamouda
2
, R.S. R.

Umar
1

*
1
Road Safety Research Centre, Universiti Putra Malaysia

2

Department of Mechanical and
Industrial System

Engineering,
Qatar
Unive
rsit
y
,

Doha, Qatar


Abstract

In most motorcycling countries in Asia

and Africa
,

where motorcycle are
widely used,

complex safety problems arise as the roads and infrastructures
have not
been
developed at the same pace as motorcycle ownership and
traffic.
P
robability

of the motorcyclists getting injured on collision with
roadside objects, such as
guardrail
,

is higher

compare to other motor
vehicle
s


driver
s
. A standard Hybrid III dummy (50
th

percentile male) was
used to
mimic a worst crash impact a motorcycl
ist could sustain during
collision with roadside objects.
C
rash test s
cenarios were simulated and
some

typical qualitative results on injury criteria and acceleration due to
head, thorax, and femur are presented.
These
results were compared to
human tolera
nce levels as prescribed in ISO

13232.
Injury risks due to
impact with guardrail on curves were found to be more severe than impact
with guardrail along the straight portion of road or links. Also, head injuries
were found to be more severe than those to t
he legs or arms.
Speed was
found to have greater influence on the injury risks to head, neck, chest and
femur. A greater reduction of severe injuries was found when the impact
s
peed changes from 6
0km/h to 3
2
km/h
.



Keywords


Simulation, motorcyclis
ts, roadside, collision, guardrail


1.
Introduction

A review
of relevant

literature revealed a significant safety risk to fallen
motorcyclists
. Some
studies

carried out in USA, Canada, Germany and
Australia
as
published
in

Domhan (1987); Hell and Lobb (1
993); Ouellet
(1982); Quincey et al (1988) and Transport Canada (1980) raised significant
Ibitoye, A. B. USEP: Journa
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Hamouda, A.M.S.

Umar, R.S.R.


106

issues on motorcyclists’ impacts with crash barrier
.
Duncan et al. (2000)

raised a concern on the installation of guardrail that it can expose riders to
increased ris
k of injuries due to W
-
beam guardrail features, especially the
exposed edge of support posts
.

Impacts with guardrail posts are especially
harmful to motorcyclists as they cause injuries that are five times more
severe than an average motorcycle accident (P
ieribattesti et al, 1999).
Ouellet (1982) observed

that every rider that struck
guardrail suffered at
least multiple extremity fractures. Most motorcycle collisions with crash
barriers occur at shallow angles with the rider typically sliding into the
barr
ier at a bend (Quincy et at, 1988).



Most motorcycle accidents occur at relatively low speeds, although fatal
and serious injuries are more likely to be suffered at higher speeds. Pang et
al.,

(2000
) found that the most common causes of crashes are speedi
ng, not
paying attention and loss of control
,

run
-
off the road because of excessive
speed, fatigue or inattention. Majority of motorcycle collisions take place at
fairly low speeds, between 30 and 60 kilometers per hour (EEVC
,

1993).
Mannering et al, (1995
) found that almost all (93%) of the serious and fatal
head injuries occur at spe
eds of up to 64km/h
. Skull fractures may occur at
speeds of 30 km/h or more, but brain injuries may happen at much low
er
speeds, from 11 km/h upwards
. Approximately 75% of mot
orcycle
accidents occur at impact speeds of up to 48km/h and 96% at up to 64 km/h
(Mannering et al, 1995).


However, the greater severity of injuries presented by barriers and posts is
due to the fact that they often present rigid surfaces that are perpen
dicular to
the motion of the rider.

Domhan

(1987) reported that severe injuries are
sustained by two out of three motorcyclists who collide with guardrail with
most dangerous features of guardrail systems being the guardrail posts.

The
chances of injury su
stenance upon hitting a fixed object are related to the
impact area and the rigidity of the object (Gibson & Benetatos, 2000). Thus
,

impacts with small rigid objects are more likely to cause injury because the
small impact area increases the stress upon th
e impact portion of the
motorcyclists (Domhan, 1987). Since motorcyclists lack protection of an
endorsed vehicle, they are likely to sustain serious injury or even get killed
if their motorcycles crash with
rigid object
on road. The most likely areas of
th
e body to be injured for motorcyclists in collisions are in order, the legs,
heads, and thorax (Hell and Lob, 1993).


Ibitoye, A. B. USEP: Journa
l of Research Information in Civil Engineering, Vol 4, No.1, 2007

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Umar, R.S.R.


107

The main purpose of
this study
is to
investigate

the effect of impact speed
and impact angle on the injury risk
s

to

motorcyclists as exis
t in the real
world traffic accidents.
But due to lack of data on such accidents, the impact
scenario of this collision was simulated using computer simulation package.
Outcome of the study may serve as

a basis for designing a more forgiving
guardrail for
safer motorcycling. The
next section of this
paper discusses
the material and methods of achieving this objective and discusses the
implic
ations of the obtained result as

compare
d to human

tolerance levels.


2.
Simulation Models

This study was based mainl
y on a computer simulation developed to
investigate effect of motorcycle impact collision with roadside guardrail on
the motorcyclist.
Simulation process involved modelling of four systems
including road as inertia reference space as well as crash interact
ion of these
systems. The other three systems are the motorcycle, dummy and guardrail
models, which are also described in the following sections.

2.1
Reference S
pace


A plane surface road was used as the reference space on which the
coordinates of other
three systems were connected. The coordinate of the
road surface was defined with three points. The first two points represent
the vertices on one edge of the rectangle and the third point is on the
opposite edge of rectangle. MADYMO program calculates the

remaining
vertices on the opposite edge to complete the rectangular shape. The origin
and orientation of this reference space was selected with

the positive Z
-
axis
vertically upward, positive X
-
axis chosen along the direction of travel and
the positive Y
-
axis is then chosen to the right. The motion of all other
systems was defined relative to this coordinate system.

2.2

Motorcycle M
odel

A KRISS SG motorcycle type of size 110cc produced by Modenas
Malaysia Bhd was chosen as a design motorcycle because it
is most
commonly used motorcycle in Malaysia. This motorcycle was modelled as
a multi
-
body system with four rigid bodies interconnected by kinematics
joints.
In multi
-
body dynamic methods, body fixed coordinate frames are
generally adopted to position each

one of the system components and to
allow for the specification of the kinematics constraints that represent the
Ibitoye, A. B. USEP: Journa
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Hamouda, A.M.S.

Umar, R.S.R.


108

restrictions on the rela
tive motion between the bodies (Ambrosio et al,
1996)
.

For modelling the motorcycle, the body local coordinate system
was chosen
based on the assumption that motorcycle bodies move symmetrically about
the longitudinal axis. This implies that the centre axis of each body is
parallel to the centreline of the road, which is the reference space for the
system. The motorcycle
was then modelled to move with a steady speed on
a straight line prior to impact. Data corresponding to each specific body was
then defined with respect to this body local coordinate system. As the study
is primarily concerned with predicting motorcyclists
’ injuries due to
impacts rather than motorcycle crashworthiness, the assumption is valid as
asymmetrical movement of motorcycle may result in its instability during
impact with guardrail at a predefined impact point. Therefore, this system of
bodies was t
hen defined by
the bodies, surface, kinematics joints and initial
conditions as described
briefly
in the following subsections.

2.2.1

Bodies

Each of the four motorcycle bodies were defined by the mass, inertia matrix
and the location of the centre of gravi
ty. The geometry and mass of the real
motorcycle (
Fig. 1
) were measured in the laboratory and the values obtained
were compared to the manufacturer’s specifications.
The wet weight of
motorcycle (110 kg) was considered in this study and this includes an
in
crease of 14kg added to the specified dry in order to compensate for the
topped up fuel and other fluids as exists in real life situation.










Fig.1. Schematic d
rawing of
m
otorcycle
m
odel
.

1950

1245

550

1050

900

415

545

150

Dimensions in mm

Ibitoye, A. B. USEP: Journa
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Umar, R.S.R.


109

The inertia matrix and location of the centre of gravity wer
e defined in
accordance to MADYMO Reference Manual

(MADYMO,
2
004)
.
The
inertia matrix of each rigid body of motorcycle was determined using the
conventional equations for regular shaped bodies as contain in Ferdinand
and Johnston
(1995)
. Since the local co
ordinate system for each body was
chosen at the location of its joint corresponding to the centre line of the
reference space (road), the location of centre of gravity of each body was
then expressed in the local coordinate system of the body. This implies

that
the local coordinates of body corresponding to the joint coordinates of
bodies were used to calculate the motion of the body coordinate systems
relative to the reference space coordinate system.


In this study, a joint coordinate system was defined p
arallel to the local
coordinate system of the body to which it is attached. The free joint
between the reference space and the frame body allows the motorcycle to
translate parallel to the road. The revolute joint between the front fork and
the frame has a
xis of the joint coordinate system parallel to the rotation axis
by default. The axes of the joint coordinate systems of the front and rear
wheel revolute joints are made parallel to the y
-
axes of the corresponding
body coordinate systems so that they coin
cide with the wheel rotation axes.

2.2.2

Surfaces


As available within the software codes, body surfaces consisting of
rectangular planes, ellipsoids and elliptical cylinders are always attached to
any body of the system to represent its shape.
The surface

of the modelled
motorcycle was then represented with ten regular shapes consisting of two
ellipsoids for main frame, one ellipsoid for upper part of front fork and two
ellipsoids and cylinders for the two wheels as shown in Figure 1. Other
ellipsoids were

used to represent handle bar, foot rest and leg cover.

In this study, ellipsoids of the main frame were attached to the rectangular
plane of the reference space (road) while the ellipsoids of front fork, the rear
and front wheel were attached to the main
frame. The orientation of the
cylinder coordinate system for tyres was specified in accordance to the
codes so that
the motion of the tyre relative to the road was described with
respect to the road coordinate system.
The MF
-
MC Tyre model available in
MADY
MO codes for motorcycle tyres was used to model the wheels. This
tyre model was based on the physical background of the tire, road, and the
tire
-
to
-
road contact for accurate description of the steady
-
state behaviour of
the tyre.
The tyre was represented wi
th a cylindrical disk connected to a
Ibitoye, A. B. USEP: Journa
l of Research Information in Civil Engineering, Vol 4, No.1, 2007

Hamouda, A.M.S.

Umar, R.S.R.


110

modelled rigid body called wheel. The centre of this disk coincides with the
wheel centre.

2.3
Crash D
ummy
M
odel

The dummy used in this simulation model was a non
-
helmeted standard 50
th

percentile adult male Hybrid II
I MADYMO dummy to represent the rider
and to mimic the trajectory, acceleration and impact deformation experience
by a human during crash impact.
MADYMO has been shown to be a very
competent tool for the prediction of human response and the calculation of
occupant injury criteria
(
Troutbeck et al., 2001)
.
The
description of
the used
Hybrid III 50 percentile dummy is summarized in Table
1
.


Table 1

Description of
Hybrid III Dummy

Basis dummy

Overall height

Mass

Bodies

Joints

Ellipsoids

Hybrid III 50 percent
ile
Male

1720 mm

54.9kg

30

29

28


However, the dummy segments were positioned in such a way that
replicates the posture of a real life rider. These segments include; the
dummy’s shoulder, Hips, Knees, and Ankles. In addition, the same initial
velocities
and initial position body acceleration defined for motorcycle were
also defined for the dummy. Thus, the dummy was able to mimic the
trajectory, acceleration and impact deformation experience by a human
during crash impact.


2.4
Guardrail M
odel

The existi
ng w
-
beam guardrail system was composed of w
-
shaped, 12
-
gauge, galvanized steel rail attached to posts embedded into the soil at space
interval of 2m and 4m. The description of this guardrail type shown in
Table
2

was based on the longitudinal barrier desi
gn guidelines produced by
Malaysia Ministry of Public Works (JKR). The guardrail manufacturers in
Malaysia also based their production on this specification.


Ibitoye, A. B. USEP: Journa
l of Research Information in Civil Engineering, Vol 4, No.1, 2007

Hamouda, A.M.S.

Umar, R.S.R.


111

Table
2
.

Description of e
xisting
guardrail m
odel.

Standard

Parameters

Values

Beam

Overall Lengt
h

4318 mm

Effective Length

4000 mm

Beam Thickness

2.67 mm

Effective Depth

312 mm

Posts and

Block
-
outs

Post dimensions

1830 x 178 x 76

(710mm above ground)

Block
-
out dimensions

360 x 178 x 76 (6mm thick )

Post spacing

2000 mm and 4000 mm

(Source:

JKR, Arahan Teknik, 1993)

Since the study’s main aim is to assess the rider’s injury risks rather than
assessment of roadside barriers, MADYMO software was used only to
characterize the dynamic response of guardrail structure while the stress
co
ncentration effect was ignored.


Finite element method was used to reduce guardrail structure to discrete
numerical model. Out of many elements that are available in MADYMO;
trusses, beams, membranes, shells and solids, four
-
node
shell element was
used to
model guardrail surface. This element was chosen because of its
suitability for the analysis of dynamic behaviour of guardrail structure
which results in dynamic response of motorcyclist as investigated in this
study.


Four
-
node shell element is a two
-
dim
ensional quardrilateral element that
connects four nodes and carries in
-
plane loads as well as bending loads.
This element is based on bi
-
linear displacement and rotation interpolation.
In order to prevent element distortion, aspect ratio checks were carri
ed out
on the element shape. Any distortion in element could result in element with
either zero or negative stiffness terms that could cause fatal error in element
subroutine or global solution routine. In addition, an effective hourglass
control algorithm

available in MADYMO was used to suppress the
hourglass modes.
These hourglass modes could occur due to lack of enough
deformation parameters in relation to the nodal degree of freedom

because
of reduced integration.


In MADYMO Lagrange integration method
is used to describe nodes and
elements, which are fixed to the material and thus move through space with
Ibitoye, A. B. USEP: Journa
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Hamouda, A.M.S.

Umar, R.S.R.


112

the material. Material property for steel was then defined for the existing
guardrail while properties of composite materials considered for alternativ
e
designs were also defined.
The finite element mesh of 4.318m length w
-
beam guardrail structure modelled in this study is
as shown in Fig.

2
.



Fig.

2.

Finite e
lement
m
esh for W
-
beam
g
uardrail (4.318m length)


3.
Crash Simulation


Crash simulation was c
arried out to identify problems that may impact
safety of motorcyclists as reported in literatures. This simulation made use
of crash scenario similar to real life motorcycle collision with guardrail.
That is, a motorcycle model with a dummy in an upright
position colliding
with 4m post spacing w
-
beam guardrail oriented at 45
o

to the travel
direction. The complete simul
ated model is as shown in Fig.

3.













Fig. 3.
Complete s
imulation
m
odel

W
-
BEAM GUARDRAIL

DUMMY

ROAD

MOTOR
CYCLE

Ibitoye, A. B. USEP: Journa
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Hamouda, A.M.S.

Umar, R.S.R.


113

The impact speeds of 32km/h, 48km/h and 60m/h were assumed

as impact
forces from motorcycle wheel on the guardrail nodes.
This impact forces
were converted into point loads acting at the nodal points to cause dynamic
displacement of guardrail and subsequent ejection of motorcyclist.

The
contact point on the guard
rail mesh by the motorcycle whe
el is thus
illustrated in Fig.

4.




Fig.

4
.

Motor
cycle wheel impact force on g
uardrail
n
o
des


4.
Simulation Results


The simulation results were evaluated based on rider’s kinematics for the
assessment of potential inj
ury risk in order to establish critical injury risks.
Therefore, only the trajectories of rider were used to illustrate effect of
kinematics on the potential injury risks to rider
while the kinematics of
motorcycle is hidden
.


Fig.

5 illustrate
s

effect of
rider’s kinematics due to motorcycle collision at
various speeds on guardrail which was oriented at angles 45 degree to the
travel direction. The effect of these impact
s with

the guardrail mid span was
tested for
both 2m and

4m post spacing. In the entire
crash scenario rider
was observed sliding and tumbling over the top of the guardrail. The first
contact of rider’s body was with the guardrail surface. This contact was
with the lower extremities which caused forward acceleration of rider due to
loading fr
om the pelvis through motorcycle seat and guardrail surface.
These interactions alter the trajectories of the rider. The first contact
resulted in a turning moment about the centre of gravity of the rider causing
the upper body to arc downward. The next c
ontact point was the ground as
Point load

End Support 1

45
o

End Support 2

Ibitoye, A. B. USEP: Journa
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Hamouda, A.M.S.

Umar, R.S.R.


114

the rider finally landed on ground. The rider landed on the ground with
direct blows on the head or face at various angles to the horizontal due to
decelerating speed




Fig. 5.
Comparing rider’s k
inematics at 45 degree for 4m spacing


From the Figure, the rider can be observed to suffer lower extremity contact
with guardrail surface showing the effect of speed on rider
’s movement.
Also, in each scenario, the dynamics of the rider’s fall to the ground were
different. The orientation of head increases with speed, while the trajectory
time for the head to have ground impact decreases with speed. This implies
0
s

0.2
s

0.
3

s

0.4
s

Landing

Speed






32 k
/h










48 k
/h






60 k
/h

Ibitoye, A. B. USEP: Journa
l of Research Information in Civil Engineering, Vol 4, No.1, 2007

Hamouda, A.M.S.

Umar, R.S.R.


115

that the possi
bility of the rider landing on ground with other part of the
body (hand or leg) during higher impact speed is evidenced.


Since the rider is ejected head forward and has head contact with ground,
the most severe injuries that were generated are related to

the head. Head
injuries appears to be the most life threatening form of injury for
motorcyclists and are predominantly caused by direct impact of head to the
ground.
The impact force on the head is commonly described with HIC and
head acceleration to expr
ess the human tolerance. HIC rates the severity of
head contact and its reduction is associated with reduction of brain shear
stress (Ruan and Prasad, 1995).


The potential injuries risks to the head, neck, chest and lower extremities
were evaluated in t
his study with the associated tolerance levels. Head
Injury Criterion (HIC) of 1000 and head acceleration of 80g as the threshold
for brain trauma.
The injury criteria for the neck were based on tension,
compression, shear and bending moment. The tensile a
nd shear load limit is
with the value of 1100 N (duration > 45 ms); the compression limit of 5700
N while bending limit of 190 Nm in flexion and 57 Nm in extension were
used. Chest injuries are evaluated according to the criterion of 60 g while
femur force

criterion of 10 KN was used to evaluate leg injuries. The
summary of all these injury risk values are presented in Tables 3.


Table 3
:

Potential
injury r
isks at impact angle 45
o

NC = No head c
ontact with ground


Injury
Parameters

Biom.
Limit

Impact Speed

32 km/h

48 km/h

60 km/h

2m
span

4m
span

2m
span

4m
span

2m
span

4m
span

HIC

100
0

2899

2848

3102

2963

25
-
NC

11
-
NC

Head (a
3ms
)

80 g

310

248

332

317

14
-
NC

12
-
NC

3 MS (Chest)

60 g

16

14

27

24

10

9

FNIC_tension
FNIC_shear

FNIC_bendng

1.1KN

1.1KN

57Nm

3.5

0.6

37

2.9

1.2

53

5.8

0.5

37

4.8

0.3

26

0.6

0.3

26

0.5

0.1

19

FFC
L

FFC
R


10

KN

10 KN

1.6

3.3

1.2

0.4

8.6

4.1

4.9

1.7

13.6

2.9

4.2

3.3

Ibitoye, A. B. USEP: Journa
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Umar, R.S.R.


116

Table 3 shows increase in the values of HIC, head acceleration and tension
in the neck as speed inc
reases. This indicates that
the downward impact on
the head has effect on the neck. This impact can either flexes or extends the
neck to fracture or dislocate the vertebrae and damage the spinal cord
(Viano and King, 1996). Thus, the measured injury values

exceeded the
corresponding biomechanical limits of HIC=1000, head acceleration = 80g
and neck tension force =1.1KN. The neck tension force
also increases with
speed except
at
60

km/h
due to
no head contact
of rider on ground. Other
injury risks values to
the chest, neck bending and shear are lower than their
tolerance values. The measured risk values for femur are also less than
biomechanical except for the
left

femur at speed 60 km/h (
13.6
KN) at 2m
post spacing that are higher than the limit of 10KN. Thi
s indicates the
severity of leg interaction with 2m span guardrail at higher speeds.


5.
Discussion

Injuries to head such as HIC and head acceleration were found to be higher
than tolerance level for all impact condition where head impact with
ground. Thi
s result implies that the rider may suffer skull fractures and
brain injuries in agreement to FEMA (2005) report that skull fracture may
occur at speed of 30km/h or more. It also confirms the finding of Hell and
Lobb (1993) that injury risks to the head ar
e more severe than that of other
part of the body. This result also agrees with
the
findings of Tabiei, and Wu,
(2000) that contact of the head and neck with the hard road surface
generally results in fatalities or catastrophic injuries.

Most of these inj
uries
occur as the rider slides and tumbles along the top of guardrail before
landing on the ground with head. This result agrees with the report of
Ouellet (1982) that motorcyclist remaining upright during impact tend to
slide and tumble along top of the
posts supporting safety barrier.



Apart from injuries to head and neck, other part of rider’s body such as
lower extremity also has contact with the guardrail surface as the rider
slides sideway during collision before ejection but they are not as severe
as
head injury risks. Ouellet (1982) in a study noted that although this type of
body contact is frequent, it is not as severe as head contact with the road
surface. The greater severity presented by the guardrail is as a result of their
rigid surfaces whi
ch are perpendicular to the motion of the rider (Ouellet,
1982). The reason for these hazards has been attributed to include non
consideration of motorcyclists in the crash testing standard (EEVC, 1993).
Ibitoye, A. B. USEP: Journa
l of Research Information in Civil Engineering, Vol 4, No.1, 2007

Hamouda, A.M.S.

Umar, R.S.R.


117

Thus, the future evaluation of guardrail performance

needs to consider
motorcycle impact for such guardrail to be used in protecting motorcyclists.


6.
Conclusion a
nd Recommendation

This study has been able to investigate the effect of impact speed and angles
on crash injury due to motorcycle impact with
guardrail using computer
simulation. Thus, this paper has been able to highlight that:




Kinematics of rider
is

similar during the initial stage with the
dummy having leg contact with the guardrail surface and
projecting with head forward. However, the dyna
mics of rider
towards the landing depend on the impact speeds and angles.



Generally, for all impact conditions considered in the crash
simulation, the rider fall to ground with head except for impact
speed of 60km/h. This indicates that head injury risks
is most
critical to motorcyclists and that high vaulting of rider at higher
impact speed can cause rider to land on any part of body rather
than the head.



The study has been able to establish the fact that the severity of
impact increases with speed. This

implies that guardrail orientation
at angle 45
o

with impact speed of 48km/hr at 2m and 4m post
spacing appears to be the worst impact condition.



The injury tolerance level was found to be critical to the head than
any other part of the body. Therefore, t
he tolerance level values of
HIC =1000 and Head acceleration=80g can also be considered as
threshold for
future
assessing
of
potential injury risks to rider.



Therefore, the need to improve certain features of existing
guardrail that impact motorcyclist’s s
afety
is therefore
recommended
.


7.
Acknowledgment

The authors are indebted to the Ministry of Science, Technology and
Environment for funding this work through an IRPA Grant. We would like
to express our deep appreciation to members of Road Safety
Resear
ch
Centre
, Universiti Putra Malaysia

who have contributed in various wa
ys to
the success of this study.


Ibitoye, A. B. USEP: Journa
l of Research Information in Civil Engineering, Vol 4, No.1, 2007

Hamouda, A.M.S.

Umar, R.S.R.


118

8.
References

Ambrosio, J.A.C and Pereira, M.S. (199
6), Multibody D
ynamic
T
ools for
Crashworthiness and I
mpact
,

Proceedings of the NATO Advanced Study

Institute on Crashworthiness of Transportation Systems: Structural Impact
and Occupant Protection. Troia, Portugal
,

pp.
475


521.


Domhan, M
(1978),

Crash barriers and Passive Safety for Motorcyclists,
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