The injuries of pedestrians involved in collisions with motor vehicles are analyzed in order to detect relationships between injury severity and documented observations. Data on pedestrian injury and involvement were obtained from three sources:
Data on 265 involvements collected by Cornell Aeronautical Laboratories in Toronto, Canada during 1969-70; data on 175 involvements collected by the University of Houston, Houston, Texas, during 1971-73; and 47 cases investigated by NHTSA-sponsored multidisciplinary teams scattered throughout the United States.
The data have been reviewed in order to correlate injuries with pedestrian age, area of body contacted, vehicle or environment contact surface, and impact speeds. The objective was to obtain knowledge to evaluate vehicle design and configurations as a possible means of reducing the severity of injuries inflicted upon the pedestrian when contacted by a motor vehicle.
Some of the findings are: a) impact speed dominates the variables which were explored to determine the injury mechanisms for pedestrian-motor vehicle collisions, b) there is a strong relationship between injury severity and a body area - contracting surface interactive factor, c) injuries to the head have higher probabilities of having critical severity as compared to the other body areas, d) highway and environmental surfaces contacted as secondary impacts to the pedestrian generate lower injury severities, e) fractured necks were observed as a fatal injury in a large percentage of the fatalities, f) pedestrian age may have a minor influence upon the resulting injury severity