Potential Risk for Vulnerable Road Users from Crash Bar Equipped Off-Road Vehicles 942233
In Western Europe, off-road vehicles gain an increasing share in the new vehicle registration. In Germany, about 60% of these vehicles are equipped with crash bars of massive construction. Due to the fact that crash bars represent a new trend in road traffic, accident data are still scarce. In order to get a better understanding of the potential harm of these constructions to vulnerable road users, crash bar equipped off-road vehicles were tested according to the EEVC-WG 10 proposed sub-systems test procedure to evaluate pedestrian protection for cars.
In a first assessment, four different crash bars were tested with the child headform impactor. The tests revealed that HIC values in excess of 1000 (which is the proposed limit at 40 km/h) can already be attained at impact velocities as low as 20 km/h.
In a second test programme, two different off-road vehicles with and without crash bars were tested with all EEVC-WG 10 impactors. As a result, the vehicles without crash bars did not fulfil the test requirements. Equipped with crash bars, they performed even worse with both the child headform impactor and the upper legform impactor. The loadings to the upper legform impactor were up to two times the value, the loadings to the child headform impactor up to six times the values of the cars without crash bars.
In order to improve the protection of vulnerable road users, it is proposed to equip crash bars with deformable tubes, covering the hard supporting elements with impact attenuating material. A prototype bar, designed based on these proposals, is presented.