This paper focuses specifically on evolving technologies which offer specific benefits for older persons. Some of the exposure and epidemiological characteristics of older persons in terms of their involvement in crashes as car occupants or pedestrians are summarized. Following a discussion of the biomechanical characteristics of older persons, the general principles of crash-protective design and some of the new technologies particularly appropriate for older persons are reviewed. Pedestrian crash protection is also considered. Suggestions are made for improved crash performance of vehicles to recognize the specific requirements of older persons. Finally, there is a short discussion on general policy issues relating to crash protection and future research needs, with some specific conclusions and recommendations for the near-term and long-term perspectives. Near-term recommendations are as follows: 1) review of all FMVSS 200 series by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in terms of their effectiveness in protecting the vulnerable end of the spectrum of the population at risk; 2) NHTSA promulgation of a side-impact performance standard to address car-to-car collisions; 3) air bags and passive seat belts availability acceleration by NHTSA; 4) greater attention by manufacturers to the detailed design of active and passive belts from the point of view of older persons whose joint movements are limited; 5) application of electronics to seat and seat-belt adjustments; 6) development of air-bag sensors to lower the firing levels; 7) NHTSA promulgation of a pro-pedestrian crashworthiness standard; and 8) use of disabilities and reduction in quality-fo-life factors, although still difficult to quantify, in rule making by NHTSA.

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  • Accession Number: 00489615
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0-309-04664-5
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Nov 30 1989 12:00AM