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Could Woodpeckers Protect Us from Brain Injury?

Brain injuries can be some of the worst effects of a car crash. Whiplash, concussions, and other forms of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can change your life forever. TBI can affect everything from speech to movement to personality. But new research involving woodpeckers could improve car safety systems to prevent brain injury.

Woodpeckers have a natural anti-shock body structure that helps prevent brain damage as they peck away at a remarkable rate of 7 m/s with a force of 1200 g. Their entire bodies are designed to serve as shock absorbers to protect their brains.

Now a research team in China are using elaborate 3D modeling to study the woodpecker and learn its secrets. The team took CT scans of the birds and created a geometric model. Now they’re put their virtual woodpecker to work and watching what happens to its body and brain.

“Most of the impact energy in the pecking is converted into the strain energy stored in the body (99.7%) and there is only a small fraction of it in the head (0.3%),” the researchers reported.

The results of this study could have a big impact on everything from bike helmets to cars to spacecraft – anywhere high-speed impacts occur. They could help prevent traumatic brain injury resulting from car accidents, bike crashes, and other collisions.

Traumatic brain injury should always be taken seriously. The auto industry spends a lot of money to create safety restraints to minimize the risk, but unfortunately TBI is still an everyday occurrence. If you or someone you know has suffered from a concussion or brain injury because of an automobile accident, contact the brain injury experts at Christensen Law. They understand your injury and can help you get the no-fault benefits you deserve to help you heal.