Validation of Madymo Pedestrian Model for Reconstruction of Falling Incidents from Height

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Falls are a significant cause of injury-associated deaths. In cases where the events leading up to a fall are unclear, a forensic investigation may be required to uncover the cause. During the forensic reconstruction process, tools for objective scenario evaluation are needed. Computer simulations appear to be a promising tool for reconstructing falls, being cheaper in terms of both money and time than the alternative of physical scenario reconstruction. Although software packages intended for modelling the kinetics and kinematics of the human body exist, none were found that were validated specifically for fall reconstruction. The aim of the current study was to validate the performance of human body modelling software Madymo, intended for use in car-crash simulations, in reconstructing human falling movements. This was achieved by first performing experiments in which the kinematics and kinetics of participants were recorded during falls from a short height. Next, the initial conditions taken from the experimentally recorded falls were used as input to run corresponding simulations using Madymo. Finally, the results from the simulated falls were compared to those from the real falls, based on the posture just before landing. The results indicate that Madymo is currently not yet suited for use in reconstructing real human falls across multiple types of falls, and is therefore not yet fit for application in forensic investigations into falls.