Biomechanical research improves understanding of the human body so that better tools can be built to assess the risk of injury. These tools can be physical crash test dummies or numerical computer simulations. The further development of dummies and humanoid models depends upon improving the characterisation of human biomechanical properties at tissue level and at structural level. Future development of injury assessment functions is expected to depend on experimental approaches using dummies to measure the forces to which the body is exposed and simulations to assess the human responses and the specific nature and locations of injury. In particular:
- Better description of the biophysical characteristics of the variety of human structures, components and subsystems that can be injured are needed.
- Better characterization of the dynamic response of these components and structures to external insult are needed as is better characterization of the mechanisms by which these structures undergo mechanical failure
- Better definition and measurement of the limits at which these structures begin to fail is necessary
- Better account needs to be taken of the variability of human beings in terms of age, sex, race, etc. New biomechanical (biofidelity) data especially for the elderly population and for children are fundamental.
- Materials able to simulate the human body in a more realistic way are needed.
- The applicability of current dummies to advanced restraints needs investigation
- The interaction of crash dummies with sensors (occupant monitoring) is a fertile field for research.
- Knowledge of human body response in pre-crash conditions and how that response can be simulated must be developed.
Various proposal have been made for areas of biomechanical research covering child biomechanics, head and brain injury, neck injury, chest and abdominal injury and injury to the upper and lower extremities International Research Council on the Biomechanics of Impact.