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Development of a Simplified Vehicle Performance Requirement for Pedestrian Injury Mitigation
Published January 01, 1979 by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in United States
Impacts of automobiles with pedestrians produce approximately 8,000 fatalities and 150,000 injuries in the United States and many more worldwide. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has, over the past six years, pursued a vigorous research program to establish the feasibility and practicability of modifying the exterior structure of vehicles to mitigate the hazard they present to the pedestrian.
The paper describes recent research by the NHTSA to translate these results into a safety standard.
It has been shown that a seven pound leg form can simulate the dynamic interaction of a pedestrian leg with the front of a vehicle; that the response of this leg form when impacting a vehicle has a relationship with the severity of the trauma produced, and that limiting the response of the leg form through modifications of the vehicle frontal structure does effect a reduction of pedestrian trauma. In short, the development of a compliance test and methodology has been accomplished and the feasibility of modifying a vehicle to mitigate injury has been demonstrated.
Translation of these research concepts to changes in production vehicles using automotive type materials and techniques and functioning in the automotive environment is now the task at hand. The results of this effort will determine the future of implementing a pedestrian impact injury mitigating safety standard.