Biomechanics is the application of mechanics to the interaction of biological systems with their external environment. When investigating an accident, biomechanical analysis can be used to reconstruct a victim's motion and relate it to his injuries. This can be applied in such diverse cases as determining the post-impact motion of occupants involved in an automobile accident, or calculating the impact force of an elevator door closing on a person's knee. A biomechanical analysis may be accomplished with simplified "stick figure" models or complex 3D computer simulation techniques.
We have extensive experience in many aspects of biomechanics including:
Head-form/windshield impact testing
Head (HIC) and other Injury Criteria
Body size & reach analysis
Extensive Biomechanical Library
Fall from Swing:
A child was swinging on a plastic swing seat when he fell off and suffered a severe head injury. The defense claimed that he must have been standing or otherwise misusing the swing when the accident occurred. We used a biomechanical simulation to demonstrate that the low coefficient of friction (COF) between the swing seat and the child's shorts could have resulted in the fall he described and that an alternate seat design with a higher COF would have prevented the accident.
Dr. Irving Ojalvo was, at the time of this article's publication, the Chairman of Technology Associates (www.technology-assoc.com), a forensic engineering firm with offices in New York City and Connecticut. The firm's technical personnel, all of whom have advanced degrees, perform accident reconstruction involving issues of biomechanics, mechanical, traffic, and human factors engineering.
There are roughly 9,000 golf cart related accidents requiring emergency room treatment in the United States each year. The majority of these accidents are related to either braking, cart rollover or passenger ejection. These problems are common to golf carts due to their open design, lack of seatbelts, poor braking capabilities and the uneven terrains they are driven on.
For those readers who remember Jayne Mansfield, or even know who she was, this is not a story about her Hollywood exploits or bedroom acrobatics. It is a story about a common type of accident - a rear-ender involving an automobile striking a truck or bus - often referred to, in accident reconstruction circles, as "the Jayne Mansfield syndrome."
An end user of a product expects that a given product will not only function as intended, but will be safe from non-obvious hazards. Based upon decades of experience with mishaps during use of common and specialized equipment, thousands of standards have been developed for many consumer products and industrial equipment. Numerous organizations exist, e.g., ANSI, ASTM, SAE, and ASME, that regularly review and update these standards.