1996-02-01

Development of Passenger Cars to Minimise Pedestrian Injuries 960098

Aesthetics and aerodynamics are currently the major aspects considered by car stylists. A low, sleek front end may look good but it is usually achieved by minimising the clearance between hard mechanical components and the outer skin of the sheet metal. Producing a vehicle that causes the minimum injuries when it strikes pedestrians calls for a number of design features that challenge the current trends.The European Experimental Vehicle Committee (EEVC) Working Group 10 has devised a series of body segment tests to establish the injury levels that a vehicle would inflict on pedestrians, rather than a test on a whole dummy [1]. The methods proposed for this evaluation are discussed and conclusions drawn on how this will affect the design and construction of cars in the future. Motor manufacturers demonstrated ‘pedestrian friendly’ vehicles in the 1970s, but only a small proportion of the design concepts were adopted for production cars [2]. The challenge for the late 1990s is to significantly improve the safety of vehicles, whilst retaining the essential requirements of practicality, cost and customer appeal.

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