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.
Peter de Coo, Rene Hazelebach, Eric van Oorschot, Jaap Wessels
TNO Automotive, Delft, Autobusfabriek BOVA bv
International Technical Conference on Enhanced Safety of Vehicles