Effect of Vehicle Front End Profiles Leading to Pedestrian Secondary Head Impact to Ground 2013-22-0005
Most studies of pedestrian injuries focus on reducing traumatic injuries due to the primary impact between the vehicle and the pedestrian. However, based on the Pedestrian Crash Data Study (PCDS), some researchers concluded that one of the leading causes of head injury for pedestrian crashes can be attributed to the secondary impact, defined as the impact of the pedestrian with the ground after the primary impact of the pedestrian with the vehicle. The purpose of this study is to understand if different vehicle front-end profiles can affect the risk of pedestrian secondary head impact with the ground and thus help in reducing the risk of head injury during secondary head impact with ground. Pedestrian responses were studied using several front-end profiles based off a mid-size vehicle and a SUV that have been validated previously along with several MADYMO pedestrian models. Mesh morphing is used to explore changes to the bumper height, bonnet leading-edge height, and bonnet rear reference-line height. Simulations leading up to pedestrian secondary impact with ground are conducted at impact speeds of 40 and 30 km/h. In addition, three pedestrian sizes (50th, 5th and 6yr old child) are used to enable us to search for a front-end profile that performs well for multiple sizes of pedestrians, not just one particular size. In most of the simulations, secondary ground impact with pedestrian head/neck/shoulder region occurred. However, there were some front-end profiles that promoted secondary ground impact with pedestrian lower extremities, thus avoiding pedestrian secondary head impact with ground. Previous pedestrian safety research work has suggested the use of active safety methods, such as ‘pop up hood’, to reduce pedestrian head injury during primary impact. Accordingly, we also conducted simulations using a model with the hood raised to capture the effect of a pop-up hood. These simulations indicated that even though pop-up hood helped reducing the head injury criterion during primary impact, it changed the overall pedestrian kinematics in some cases. The specific design with pop up hood evaluated in this study did not prevent pedestrian head secondary impact with the ground or actually led to more severe pedestrian secondary head impact with the ground.