Foresight Vehicle: Using Accident Data to Develop Advanced Protection for Vulnerable Road Users (APVRU) 2002-01-1122
It is well known that certain road user groups, especially pedestrians and cyclists, are more vulnerable to fatal and serious injury than others. For example, in 1999, 32,552 road users were killed on EU roads, of which, 6,196 (19%) were pedestrians and 1,886 (6%) were cyclists. Safety systems designed to afford vulnerable road user groups greater protection require accident data in order to support and guide their development, and also to quantify their potential benefit.
As part of a project developing a sensing system for cars capable of detecting, and reacting to, the presence of a vulnerable road user, accident data from the UK, Europe, and other international sources were employed to identify common accident and injury types. For example, international data sources showed that when considering pedestrian injuries greater than or equal to AIS 2 (AAAM, 1990) injuries, the main body regions injured were the legs, 36%, the head, 29%, the chest, 11%, and the abdomen or pelvis, 13%. Furthermore, for head injuries greater than or equal to AIS 2, the main injury contact points were identified as the windscreen glass, 44%, the top surface of the bonnet, 28%, and the windscreen frame or A-pillars, 18%. Approximately 62% of leg injuries were attributed to the front bumper, with 14% of femur injuries caused by the leading edge of the bonnet or wing. This information was important to identify the location of potential counter measures on the exterior of the vehicle.
It was found that approximately 80% of fatal or serious pedestrian casualties in Great Britain occurred away from designated crossings, and that in approximately 15% of these cases, the pedestrian was obscured by parked cars prior to impact. Such information was important to determine a performance specification for the sensing technology.