International Journal of Automotive Technology

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 25–36 | Cite as

Motorcycle Accidents — A New Head and Neck Safety Device for Riders

  • Massimiliano Gobbi
  • Gianpiero Mastinu
  • Giorgio PreviatiEmail author


This paper is devoted to the design and first implementation of a new head and neck safety device (NHNS) for race of motorcycles. The system aims to mitigate the effects of crash forces acting along almost every direction with respect to the head. The system is composed by a helmet, linked to a jacket by means of a number of cables and a by a number of stop surfaces to limit both the flexion and extension of the neck. Stop surfaces are provided also to limit the lateral leaning of the head. Preliminary numerical simulations, performed by a simplified human model, and experimental tests, ran by using a Hybrid III dummy, show that the NHNS has the potential to actually reduce the neck damage in some relevant crash situations. The effect of the device is reducing the load acting on the passenger’s neck and maintaining the vertebrae rotations within the physiological limits.

Key words

Neck injury Neck protection device Race drivers Motorcyclist Injury prevention 



acceleration, m/s2


force, N


moment, Nm


time, s


velocity, m/s


deformation, m



critical internal (force or moment)




longitudinal direction


lateral direction


sagittal (vertical) direction


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. ACIS CENSIS (2006). VIII Rapporto Due Ruote ACI CENSIS 2006.Google Scholar
  2. Ballo, F., Gobbi, M., Mastinu, G. and Previati, G. (2016). A six axis load cell for the analysis of the dynamic impact response of a hybrid III dummy. Measurement, 90, 309–317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bigi, D., Heilig, A., Steffan, H. and Eichberger, A. (1998). A comparison study of active head restraints for neck protection in rear end collisions. Proc. 16th Int. Technical Conf. Enhanced Safety of Vehicles (ESV), Windsor, Canada.Google Scholar
  4. Bohman, K., Bostrom, O. H., Land, Y. and Kullgren, A. (2000). A study of AIS1 neck injury parameters in 168 frontal collisions using a restraint hybrid III dummy. Stapp Car Crash Journal, 44, 103–116.Google Scholar
  5. British Standars Institution (1985). BS 6658, Specification for Protective Helmets for Vehicle Users.Google Scholar
  6. Chinn, B., Bertrand, C., Siegfried, D., Doyle, D., Dietmar, O., Schuller, E. and Willinger, R. (2001). COST 327 Motorcycle Safety Helmets. Office for the Publication of the European Communities, Luxemburg.Google Scholar
  7. Economic Commission for Europe (2002). ECE Regulation 22: Protective Helmets and Their Visors for Drivers and Passengers of Motor Cycles and Mopeds.Google Scholar
  8. Eppinger, R., Sun, E., Bandak, F., Haffner, M., Khaewpong, N., Maltese, M., Kuppa, S., Nguyen, T., Takhounts, E., Tannous, R., Zhang, A. and Saul, R. (1999). Development of Improved Injury Criteria for the Assessment of Advanced Automotive Restraint Systems - II. NHTSA Report.Google Scholar
  9. European Commission (2015). Transport in Figures 2015. DOI:
  10. FIA (2002). Norme FIA 8858-2002. FIA STANDARD 8858-2002.Google Scholar
  11. FMVSS (2003). Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, Standard No. 218 Motorcycle Helmets.Google Scholar
  12. FMVSS (2012). Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, Standard No. 49 CFR 571.208, Occupant Car Protection.Google Scholar
  13. Galmarini, G., Massimiliano, G., Gianpiero, M. and Giorgio, P. (2013). A method for the assessment of the dynamic performance of neck protection devices. Proc. ASME 15th Int. Conf. Advanced Vehicle Technologies; ASME Int. Design Engineering Technical Conf. and Computers and Information in Engineering Conf., 1–12.Google Scholar
  14. Geigl, B. C., Steffan, H., Leinzinger, P., Roll, P., Mühlbauer, M. and Bauer, G. (1994). The movement of head and cervical spine during rearend impact. IRCOBI Conf. Proc., 127–138.Google Scholar
  15. Gobbi, M., Mastinu, G., Previati, G. and Tarallo, E. (2012). Dynamic performance of neck protection devices: Performance analysis based on a simplified multibody model of the human neck. Proc. ASME Design Engineering Technical Conf., 661–669.Google Scholar
  16. Gobbi, M., Previati, G., Guarneri, P. and Mastinu, G. (2011). A new six-axis load cell. Part II: Error analysis, construction and experimental assessment of performances. Experimental Mechanics 51, 3, 389–399.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gobbi, M., Previati, G. and Mastinu, G. (2015). Neck Protection Device. WO2015136391 A1.Google Scholar
  18. Goldsmith, W. and Ommaya, A. (1984). Head and neck injury criteria and tolerance levels. In Aldman, B. and Chapon, A. (eds) The Biomechanics of Impact Trauma. Elsevier. Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 149–187.Google Scholar
  19. Huang, B. and Preston, J. (2004). A Literature Review on Motorcycle Collisions: Final Report. Oxford University, Transport Studies Unit.Google Scholar
  20. Hubbard, R. P. (2000). Head and Neck Support for Racing. US 6009566 A.Google Scholar
  21. Huston, R. (2008). Principles of Biomechanics. CRC Press. Boca Raton, Florida, USA.CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  22. Iijima, S., Hosono, S., Ota, A. and Yamamoto, T. (1998). Exploratory study of an airbag concept for a large touring motorcycle. Proc. 16th Int. Technical Conf. Enhanced Safety of Vehicles, 2260–2278.Google Scholar
  23. ISO 13232-1 (2005). International Standard, Motorcycles — Test and Analysis Procedures for Research Evaluation of Rider Crash Protective Devices Fitted to Motorcycles.Google Scholar
  24. Kullgren, A., Eriksson, L., Bostrom, O. and Krafft, M. (2003). Validation of neck injury criteria using reconstructed real-life rear-end crashes with recorded crash pulses. Proc. 18th ESV Conf., 1–13.Google Scholar
  25. Lankarani, H. M. (1993). Biodynamics Response for the Evaluation of Aircraft Crash Safety. National Institute for Aviation Research. FAA Technical Center. Technical Report.Google Scholar
  26. Leatt, C. J. (2005). Neck Brace. WO 2005051251 A2.Google Scholar
  27. Linder, A., Schmitt, K.-U., Walz, F. H. and Ono, K. (2000). Neck modelling for rear-end impact simulations: A comparison between a multi body system (MBS) and a finite element (FE) model. Proc. Int. IRCOBI Conf. Biomechanics of Impact, Montpellier, France.Google Scholar
  28. Marar, B. C. (1974). Hyperextension injuries of the cervical spine: The pathogenesis of damage to the spinal cord. J. Bone & Joint Surgery 56, 8, 1655–1662.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Mastinu, G., Gobbi, M. and Previati, G. (2011). A new sixaxis load cell. Part I: Design. Experimental Mechanics 51, 3, 373–388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Mazzarolo, G. and Ballantyne, C. (2012). Adjustable Neck Protective Collar in Particular for Motorcycle Riders. US8291521 B2.Google Scholar
  31. McConnell, W. E., Howard, R. P., Guzman, H. M., Bomar, J. B., Raddin, J. H., Benedict, J. V., Smith, H. L. and Hatsell, C. P. (1993). Analysis of human test subject kinematic responses to low velocity rear end impacts. SAE Paper No. 930889.Google Scholar
  32. Mertz, H. J. and Patrick, L. M. (1967). Investigation of the kinematics and kinetics of whiplash. Proc. 11th Stapp Car Crash Conf., 175–206.Google Scholar
  33. Mertz, H. J. and Patrick, L. M. (1971). Strength and response of the human neck. SAE Paper No. 710855.Google Scholar
  34. Muser, M. H., Walz, F. H. and Schmitt, K.-U. (2002). Injury criteria applied to seat comparison tests. Traffic Injury Prevention 3, 3, 224–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Nightingale, R. W., McElhaney, J. H., Camacho, D. L., Kleinberger, M., Winkelstein, B. A. and Myers, B. S. (1997). The dynamic responses of the cervical spine: Buckling, end conditions, and tolerance in compressive impacts. SAE Paper No. 973344.Google Scholar
  36. Nusholtz, G. S., Di Domenico, L., Shi, Y. and Eagle, P. (2003). Studies of neck injury criteria based on existing biomechanical test data. Accident Analysis and Prevention 35, 5, 777–786.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Ono, K. and Kaneoka, K. (1999). Motion analysis of human cervical vertebrae during low-speed rear impacts by the simulated sled. J. Crash Prevention and Injury Control 1, 2, 87–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Prasad, P. and Daniel, R. P. (1984). A biomechanical analysis of head, neck, and torso injuries to child surrogates due to sudden torso acceleration. SAE Paper No. 841656.Google Scholar
  39. Previati, G., Gobbi, M. and Mastinu, G. (2017). Silicone gels — Comparison by derivation of material model parameters. Polymer Testing, 58, 270–279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. SAE J1460-2 (2008). Human Mechanical Impact Response Characteristics — Response of the Human Neck to Inertial Loading by the Head for Automotive Seated Postures. Technical Standard.Google Scholar
  41. Schmitt, K.-U., Muser, M. H., Walz, F. and Niederer, P. (2002). N km — A proposal for a neck protection criterion for low speed rear-end impacts. Traffic Injury Prevention 3, 2, 117–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Schmitt, K.-U., Niederer, P. F., Muser, M. H. and Walz, F. (2010). Trauma Biomechanics. Springer. Berlin, Germany.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Shankar, U. and States, U. (2001). Fatal Single Vehicle Motorcycle Crashes. U.S. Department of Transportation. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.Google Scholar
  44. Silva, M., Ambrosio, J. and Pereira, M. (1997). Biomechanical model with joint resistance for impact simulation. Multibody System Dynamics 1, 1, 65–84.CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  45. Svensson, M. Y. (1993). Neck Injuries in Rear-end Car Collisions-sites and Biomechanical Causes of the Injuries, Test Methods and Preventive Measures. Technical Report. Chalmers University of Technology.Google Scholar
  46. Svensson, M. Y., Boström, O., Davidsson, J., Hansson, H. A., Håland, Y., Lövsund, P., Suneson, A. and Säljö, A. (2000). Neck injuries in car collisions — A review covering a possible injury mechanism and the development of a new rear-impact dummy. Accident Analysis and Prevention 32, 2, 167–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Szabo, T. J., Voss, D. P. and Welcher, J. B. (2003). Influence of seat foam and geometrical properties on BioRID P3 kinematic response to rear impacts. Traffic Injury Prevention 4, 4, 315–323.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Tarallo, E., Gobbi, M., Mastinu, G. and Previati, G. (2011). Evaluation of the dynamic response of the human neck: State of the art review and considerations on restraint systems applications. EUROMECH 511 Colloquium. Ponta Delgada, Portugal.Google Scholar
  49. Willinger, R., Baumgartner, D. and Guimberteau, T. (2000). Dynamic characterization of motorcycle helmets: Modelling and coupling with the human head. J. Sound and Vibration 235, 4, 611–625.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Korean Society of Automotive Engineers and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Massimiliano Gobbi
    • 1
  • Gianpiero Mastinu
    • 1
  • Giorgio Previati
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringPolitecnico di MilanoMilanItaly

Personalised recommendations