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J Gynecol Obstet Biol Reprod (Paris). 2007 Oct;36(6):577-81. Epub 2007 Apr 18.

[Pregnant woman and road safety: a numerical approach. Application to a restrained third trimester pregnant woman in frontal impact].

[Article in French]

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Laboratoire de biomécanique appliquée, UMRT 24 INRETS/université de la Méditerranée, faculté de médecine secteur Nord, boulevard Pierre-Dramard, 13916 Marseille, France.



The goal of our work is the development of a numerical model of pregnant woman in driving position. We present an application to the study of injury mechanisms during a frontal car crash for a seat belt restrained pregnant woman in driving position.


We integrated a digital representation of a pregnant uterus, foetus and placenta in a previous existing numerical model of non pregnant Human body in driving position, the Humos model. The realization of a numerical simulation of a frontal car crash enabled us to analyze the part played by the safety belt in the organic traumatisms.


Three phases were highlighted. The first phase consists of a translation forwards of the pregnant uterus during the impact. The second phase is a rotation forwards in the sagittal plan of the pregnant uterus with for axis of rotation the posterior wall of the pubis. The third phase is a vertical adjustment coupled to a translation of the uterus towards the back. This translation leads the uterus to impact the spine.


The development of a pregnant numerical model in the field of accidentology allows the analysis of organic traumatisms. That makes it possible to study the role played by the existing safety systems. This model might make it possible to develop safety systems specific to the pregnant woman.

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