Neck Braces and Driving Posture Affect Neck Mobility on Powered Two-Wheelers
Cervical spine injuries are a major concern for motorcyclists in traffic accidents and racing competitions. Neck braces aim to prevent cervical spine injuries during accidents by reducing the neck range of motion, and keeping it under physiological limits. This work aims to evaluate the ability of neck braces to reduce neck mobility for two driving postures associated with PTW configurations. The neck mobility of twelve volunteer subjects testing four neck braces on two powered two-wheelers (scooter and racing motorbike) is measured using an optoelectronic motion capture system. With the tested neck braces worn, neck mobility is significantly reduced as compared to the physiological range of motion in all degrees of freedom. However, only flexion/extension is reduced by all neck braces tested. This suggests that these brace designs do not provide protection against all the cervical spine loading directions that may occur in a trauma. Furthermore, specific type of each powered two-wheeler considered significantly affects the neck mobility in axial rotation, as well as the postero-anterior and caudo-cranial translations, thus underscoring the need to consider the driving posture when evaluating neck brace devices.
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