Vehicle design and speed and pedestrian injury: Australia?s involvement in the International Harmonised Research Activities Pedestrian Safety Expert Group
Australia is contributing to the International Harmonised Research Activities Pedestrian Safety Expert Group (IHRA PSEG) through research undertaken at the Road Accident Research Unit, and funded by the Commonwealth Department of Transport and Regional Services. The IHRA PSEG is charged with the development of test procedures for assessing the protection afforded by the vehicle to a pedestrian in the event of a collision. The Group is seeking to develop these test procedures based on field data on pedestrian accidents. Importantly, the test procedures will take into account different vehicle shapes and pedestrian anthropometry. As with procedures developed by the European Enhanced Vehicle-safety Committee, these procedures will be based on sub-systems representing the head, upper leg and full leg. The Road Accident Research Unit has contributed field data collected in the period 1977-2000, showing the importance of protecting the head and lower extremities in a pedestrian collision. The Unit has also participated in an extensive computer simulation task to develop test conditions for different car shapes. A validated MADYMO model of a 50th percentile male pedestrian was positioned in front of vehicles that represented a range of frontal shapes. The results of the computer simulations were analysed to extract the equivalent subsystem test conditions that reproduce the impacts predicted by the model. Parallel studies were undertaken in Japan and the USA with alternative models, and the results have been compiled and compared. The results showed that the test conditions required in subsystem tests depend on the profile of the car. The study will be extended to models of children and adults of different stature, to produce a comprehensive set of test conditions for pedestrian subsystem tests.