Anyone who has ever seen and even experienced a traffic accident will know: Even if one – hopefully – remained uninjured, one is plagued with sore muscles the next day. The reason: We instinctively prepare for the accident in order to protect ourselves. Just before the collision, people tense their muscles, support themselves on the steering wheel, or perhaps even push the brake pedal through. And finally, it is precisely this behavior that influences the outcome of the accident and the nature and severity of the injuries. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for High-Speed Dynamics, Ernst-Mach-Institute EMI have now for the first time investigated occupant safety on the basis of muscle stiffness using virtual crash test dummies.
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