Assessment of standing passenger traumatic brain injury caused by ground impact in subway collisions

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - subway/metro, planning - personal safety/crime, planning - safety/accidents, infrastructure - vehicle


Subway collision, Traumatic brain injury, Biomechanical response, Coupled FE-MB model, Standing passenger


Human head is the most vulnerable region in subway collisions. To design a safer subway, the head impact biomechanical response should be studied first. This paper aims to investigate the standing passenger head-ground impact dynamic response and traumatic brain injury (TBI) in subway collisions. A standing passenger-subway interior dynamic model was numerically developed by using our previous validated finite element (FE)-multibody (MB) coupled human body model, which was integrated by the Total Human Model for Safety (THUMS) head-neck FE model and the extracted remaining body segments pedestrian MB model of TNO. A parametric study considering the handrail type, standing angle, and friction coefficient between the shoes and ground was performed. Results show that the passenger dynamic response could be divided into two categories according to whether the passenger hit handrails. Passenger TBIs severity could be efficiently alleviated by the passenger body (excluding the head) hitting the handrail first before head-ground impact. The probabilities of DAI in the cerebellum and brain stem were low. A statistical analysis of TBIs demonstrated that the risks of TBIs were sensitive to the handrail type in subway collisions, but did not to the standing angle and friction coefficient. This study provides practical help for improving the interior crashworthiness performance of subways.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


Accident Analysis and Prevention Home Page: