Protecting pedestrians in vehicle collisions: Results from 2 years of the Australian New
Car Assessment Program and the analysis of actual accidents.
The Australian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) has included the evaluation of vehicles’ ability to protect pedestrians from injury, should a collision occur, since the year 2000. This work has been carried out in Australia by the Road Accident Research Unit at the University of Adelaide (RARU). The tests consist of sub-system tests that simulate the impact between a vehicle and the head, upper leg, knee and lower leg of a pedestrian, conducted to a protocol consistent with EEVC WG10 procedures. At the time of writing the results from 19 cars tested by RARU have been published by ANCAP, along with results of tests carried out to the same protocol by EuroNCAP. This paper will present a detailed analysis and summary of the results of the ANCAP testing, against the background of the analysis of actual accidents. Cars have generally performed poorly in these tests when measured against the requirements placed on them by ANCAP, although the experience of testing has demonstrated ways in which the designs of cars could be altered to improve the results of ANCAP tests, suggesting future trends in the design of vehicles for pedestrian protection. Meanwhile the analysis of actual accident data would seem to support the focus on these body regions by ANCAP. The reconstruction of actual collisions using the same testing protocol indicates that the risk of head injury predicted by the ANCAP protocol is valid. However, the same reconstruction data suggests that more evaluation is required to validate the test procedures as a measure of the risk of injury to the lower leg.