Correlation Between Euro NCAP Pedestrian Test Results and Injury Severity in Injury Crashes with Pedestrians and Bicyclists in Sweden 2014-22-0009
Pedestrians and bicyclists account for a significant share of deaths and serious injuries in the road transport system. The protection of pedestrians in car-to-pedestrian crashes has therefore been addressed by friendlier car fronts and since 1997, the European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP) has assessed the level of protection for most car models available in Europe. In the current study, Euro NCAP pedestrian scoring was compared with real-life injury outcomes in car-to-pedestrian and car-to-bicyclist crashes occurring in Sweden. Approximately 1200 injured pedestrians and 2000 injured bicyclists were included in the study. Groups of cars with low, medium and high pedestrian scores were compared with respect to pedestrian injury severity on the Maximum Abbreviated Injury Scale (MAIS)-level and risk of permanent medical impairment (RPMI). Significant injury reductions to both pedestrians and bicyclists were found between low and high performing cars. For pedestrians, the reduction of MAIS2+, MAIS3+, RPMI1+ and RPMI10+ ranged from 20-56% and was significant on all levels except for MAIS3+ injuries. Pedestrian head injuries had the highest reduction, 80-90% depending on level of medical impairment. For bicyclist, an injury reduction was only observed between medium and high performing cars. Significant injury reductions were found for all body regions. It was also found that cars fitted with autonomous emergency braking including pedestrian detection might have a 60-70% lower crash involvement than expected. Based on these results, it was recommended that pedestrian protection are implemented on a global scale to provide protection for vulnerable road users worldwide.