Moderator's Note: This post was authored by Eve Weiss, MS, who served as the managing director for the Center for Child Injury Prevention Studies (CChIPS). As of October 2017, Ms. Weiss has left CHOP to pursue her career elsewhere.
The Center for Child Injury Prevention Studies (CChIPS) has just launched its 2016-2017 project year with 14 new research studies funded by its Industry Advisory Board (IAB).
How Does CChIPS Work?
Here’s a little view into how CChIPS projects are selected: Each year, the IAB – comprised of industry, nonprofit, and government members – reviews a docket of proposals submitted by scientists from CChIPS’ two research sites – CHOP and The Ohio State University (OSU). Each member company meets with a team of colleagues to read the proposals and determine which ones best meet their company interests as well as the CChIPS’ mission of improving child safety. Then, one or two representatives from each member company travels to Philadelphia each spring to meet with the scientists and observe their presentations. After an extensive discussion on each project presentation, the IAB meets in private to discuss the merits of each proposal and decide which projects will go forward. The board members are limited by the size of the research funding pool, which is supported entirely by membership fees. IAB members report that every year, the board meeting does not end until every board member is satisfied that the funds have been distributed fairly to projects with scientific merit, industry relevance, and a strong commitment to saving children’s lives.
While many projects are one year in duration and explore focused questions that can be answered in this relatively short time period, all projects contribute to ongoing lines of research including advancements in teen driver safety, human volunteer testing, teen driving simulator research, and child passenger safety. The CChIPS IAB has also provided continuation funding to multiple projects to deepen its understanding of specific scientific questions of interest to industry and academia.
2016-2017 Projects: Teen Driving
Several newly funded studies utilize data from the SHRP2 naturalistic driving dataset, a vast database of qualitative and quantitative data recorded from inside vehicles while on the road, chronicling over 50 million drives. Given the potential value of these data for analyzing and understanding adult and teen driver behaviors which lead to crashes, as well as their specific reactions (such as swerving or braking) in emergency situations, CIRP and the CChIPS IAB has invested in a purchase of these data so that Center scientists can conduct ongoing work in this line of research. Along with a project that aims to assess the potential impact of new active safety systems on driving safety, SHRP2 data will also be utilized to identify the specific predictors of crashes and near crashes among young drivers and determine if these predictors vary across age and skill level.
In addition to SHRP2 data, CChIPS researchers will investigate how a driving simulator may be used to better understand driving behavior and human aptitude for regaining control in an emergency, with a focus on novice versus experienced drivers.
2016-2017 Projects: Child Passenger Safety
CChIPS continues to rely on its engineering capabilities to test the design and efficacy of child restraint systems (CRS, or car seats) in cars. Several studies will examine multiple facets of how CRS are used and how they perform in various crash scenarios, including the evaluation of belt-positioning booster seat design in frontal and far side oblique impacts, performance of rear-facing CRS in rear impacts, the role of the vehicle seat cushion design in CRS performance, and the usability of “borrowing” lower anchors to create a “simulated” center seating position when installing CRS using Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH). Additionally, CChIPS is staying relevant to the real world and its many stakeholders with its continuing investigations into how consumers use and perceive CRS.
2016-2017 Projects: Regulatory Tests and Devices
Our scientists continue to examine regulatory tests and how they stand up against real world scenarios, as well as how safety systems such as LATCH help standardize and improve the ease in which CRS are attached to vehicles. A continuing line of research explores how revisions to NHTSA’s Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) 213 Bench, intended for use in regulatory sled tests, compare to real vehicle seats. Another study focuses on the strength and stability of LATCH anchors.
Scientists at OSU have focused on anthropomorphic test device (ATD, or crash test dummy) design and improvement, evidenced in the two studies that will be conducted in the year ahead: one analyzing the interaction of the lower extremity of ATDs with the front seat back during sled testing, and another examining the biofidelity (or how accurately the device mimics the body of a child) of the cervical spine of ATDs.
We are excited to see how these projects unfold over the next year. Please stay tuned into our ongoing work by visiting the CChIPS website to learn more about these projects as well as the 100+ projects CChIPS Investigators have completed over the past ten years!
Read more about the entire 2016-2017 research portfolio on our website: http://cchips.research.chop.edu/research-portfolio2/43-cchips-2016-2017-research-portfolio.html
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