Safety and Standards

Improvement of pedestrian safety

Requirements on Pedestrian Safety and Injury Risk Functions

The European Commission has defined itself the goal of continuously reducing the number of people killed in road traffic. The EU Commission therefore supports international and national initiatives that include measures to improve transport infrastructure and vehicle safety and to train road users.

In Europe, nearly a quarter of all fatally injured road users are pedestrians. In cities, it is almost a third. Extensive research on pedestrian protection was taken up by the EU Commission and formed the basis for a legal regulation on pedestrian protection in the context of the type approval of motor vehicles. In the so-called Phase I, a head impact on the bonnet, a collision of a leg impactor against the bumper and the impact of a hip impactor against the bumper were required by law from 2005 onwards. This resulted in modified front-end structures and new hood designs with shock absorbing properties. In addition, there are actively deployable bonnets and in some vehicles special pedestrian protection airbags.

These and other measures have contributed to reducing the number of fatal injuries to pedestrians in Europe by about 25 percent in recent years. Similarly positive trends were also noted in Japan, Australia and Canada, which had defined comparable legal requirements. In order to harmonize pedestrian protection legislation worldwide, a Global Technical Regulation (GTR 9) was created in 2009 under the UNECE umbrella. The GTR 9 is divided into a Phase I and a Phase II. Phase I is based on current European legislation and requires the use of the so-called EEVC leg impactor to assess the risk of injury to thighs, lower legs and knees. GTR-9 Phase II uses a new Flexible Pedestrian Legform Impactor (FlexPLI).

At the same time, a new UN Regulation 127 was created on the basis of GTR-9 phase I and phase II, in order to ensure the mutual recognition of type-approvals for pedestrian protection in countries that signed the 1958 agreement. The leg impactor FlexPLI will also be used at Euro NCAP and will replace the previous leg impactor in other consumer protection programs worldwide. At the same time, various countries have adapted their pedestrian protection legislation and since 2015 have allowed the FlexPLI to be used for new type-approvals. From the end of 2017 at the latest, the new leg impactor must be used mandatory.

Injury Risk Functions for Pedestrians in Full Frontal Car Collisions (Study 2016/2017)

In order to further improve pedestrian protection, in addition to the good knowledge of the current accident, the creation and evaluation of injury risk functions is important. Only through the objective assessment of the risk functions can meaningful measures for the further optimization of protective measures be derived. The vehicle manufacturers have therefore, in close cooperation with the “Verkehrsunfallforschung an der TU Dresden GmbH” (VUFO), prepared a study on the "Methods for the creation of injury risk functions based on real world accident data" which, in addition to evaluating various methods for creating these functions, also updates risk-of-injury functions for adults and the elderly defined as a function of collision speed. The database for this evaluation is the analysis of the GIDAS (German In-Depth Accident Study) database with a focus on vehicles that have been launched since the year 2000. The statistical model of binary logistic regression forms the basis for the injury risk function in pedestrian passenger accidents. The collision speed of the car has the greatest influence for the injury severity of the pedestrian in car collision. The age of the pedestrian is also a major factor influencing the severity of injury of pedestrians. It includes several direct and indirect physiological influences, such as body size, bone density, musculature or even reactivity. However, the course of the age influence is not known exactly and individually very different.

In the future, measures to improve the active safety of vehicles will have a relevant impact on accident statistics. Emergency brake assistance systems with pedestrian and / or cyclist recognition will in many cases reduce the collision speed or completely avoid the accident. As a concomitant measure, measures to further improve the infrastructure (for example, pedestrian precincts at intersections or centre islands at wide intersections, crosswalks) must be rigorously implemented in order to ensure a holistic approach to avoiding pedestrian accidents.

Dr. Sascha Pfeifer Technical Officer - Department of Technology
Behrenstrasse 35
10117 Berlin
Tel: +49 30 987842 286 Fax: +49 30 897842 606
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