Browse Publications Technical Papers 2001-06-0138

Improved safety for drivers and couriers of coaches 2001-06-0138

According to general accidents statistics a coach is the safest means of transportation with respect to fatalities per billion traveler kilometers. Reasons for this include the existing regulations related to coach safety and the self-regulation of the coach building industry. Most passive safety standards are, however, more related to the safety of the passengers and less to the safety of driver and courier. Their typical position at the front of the coach and the fact that most heavy structural parts of the coach are behind their position in the coach, make the driver and courier vulnerable in case of a frontal collision.
The injury risk in specific frontal collisions can be reduced by applying crash technology within the front structure of the coach. By redesign and reorganizing the structure and the packaging underneath the driver and courier, the kinetic energy developed in a typical coach-to- trailerback collision can be absorbed whilst maintaining a survival space for driver and courier.
This paper describes the development of a procedure for improvement in the frontal crashworthiness of coaches. Starting with analyses of related accident data and heavy vehicle crash experience from truck testing, numerical simulation, component and full-scale testing have been combined to create a new passive safety structural concept. The experience gained has since been used and is demonstrated in the design of a new coach.


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