Browse Publications Technical Papers 2000-01-0845

Acceleration and Speeds of Young Pedestrians: Phase II 2000-01-0845

Collisions with young pedestrians often have serious traumatic and financial consequences. Allegations of negligence are frequently made against the drivers of involved vehicles, on the basis that they failed to take evasive action. A key element in determining the time available to the driver to avoid a collision is the speed of the pedestrian. In some instances, the young pedestrian is initially stationary in full view of the driver and then runs into the path of the vehicle. When this occurs, the acceleration of the pedestrian is an important element in determining the available time.
This paper reports on accelerations from a standing start and associated walking, jogging and running speeds of pedestrians 5 – 17 years of age. Because children can vary considerably in height and weight for a given age, the effects of height and weight on acceleration and speed are also reported.
The characteristics and limitations of the mathematical model used for calculating acceleration are discussed.
Empirical equations have been derived which enable calculation of acceleration and speed ranges for pedestrians of different ages, heights and weights. Similar equations have been derived from United States and German data. Comparisons between the data sets are made.
Errors in accident reconstruction from improper assessment of pedestrian acceleration effects are quantified and discussed. The paper provides a source of base data for analysis of pedestrian accidents.


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