Vehicle Design Changes Can Reduce Pedestrian Crash Deaths and Injuries

This article reports on some engineering work that is designed to make vehicles that are less deadly to pedestrians in crashes. A new analysis by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) determined that a proposed regulation to modify the front of vehicles to lessen the harm they cause to pedestrians can indeed reduce deaths and injuries. Along the same lines, the research is also considering how pedestrian detection systems, which alert a driver to a person in the vehicle’s path, and automatic braking, could also prove beneficial. Some of the design changes to vehicles include crushable hoods and fenders, as well as padding in bumper systems, plastic hood mounts, and headlights that break away on impact. Another strategy discussed is pedestrian airbags, as found in the Volvo V40 hatchback sold in Europe. In the most recent IIHS study, researchers conducted a series of pedestrian head-impact tests on seven 2002-2007 model small cars. They found that both the proposed U.S. and the European regulations would provide benefit, particularly until crash avoidance technology is improved and more widespread. Readers are referred to the full reports at (B.C. Mueller, et al).


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Photos;
  • Pagination: pp 6-7
  • Serial:

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01523649
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 28 2014 6:21PM