Pedestrians injured by the windshield frame in car crashes

April 5, 2011

Pedestrian disability and fatality as a consequence of car crashes is a large global health problem. A new doctoral thesis from Karolinska Institutet now shows that upper-body collision with the car's lower windscreen is a common cause of severe injuries and deaths in adults, especially in those accidents where the head is struck. Children injured by cars are mostly hit by the hood.

To introduce maximally effective car-based countermeasures it is important to understand which injuries are most common and from which car parts they originate. It is also important to focus on the most severe injuries resulting in disability or death. The aim of the current thesis, presented by Rikard Fredriksson at the Department of Public Health Sciences, was therefore to determine priorities for and evaluate the potential of car-mounted designed to mitigate severe upper-body injuries (including disability and ) of pedestrians in car crashes.

Accident data was collected from two areas: Severe accidents in Dresden/Hannover in Germany and in Sweden. Experimental head-to-hood component tests with succeeding brain simulations were performed to evaluate the influence of the under-hood distance and head impact speed. The results shows amongst other things, that 31% of the injured sustained a permanent impairment of some kind and 5% sustained a more severe impairment, where the head was most susceptible to severe impairment.

The car front frequently caused leg injuries, which is addressed in current European regulations. However, current legal tests do not address the most common upper-body injury source, the windshield, which was found to be the dominating cause of . Chest injuries, frequently caused by both the hood and windshield areas in the severe and fatal crashes in this thesis, are also unaddressed in legal tests.

Children are most commonly head-injured from the hood area, which is addressed in current regulations. Further, regulations do not fully consider brain injury with the current head test methods. Therefore, in this thesis focus was on upper-body injury/source combinations not addressed in the regulations, that is, the head-to-windshield area and chest-to-hood/windshield areas, and the evaluation of brain injury in hood and windshield impacts.

Rikard Fredriksson is a researcher at the safety company Autoliv, which also funded his thesis.

More information: Priorities and Potential of Pedestrian Protection - Accident Data, Experimental Tests and Numerical Simulations of Car-to-Pedestrian Impacts, ISBN: 978-91-7457-242-1. publications.ki.se/jspui/handle/10616/40465

Related Stories

Recommended for you

One in 4 women and 1 in 6 men aged 65+ will be physically disabled in Europe by 2047

October 23, 2017
By 2047 one in four women and one in six men aged 65 and above is expected to be living with a physical disability that will severely restrict everyday activities, reveals an analysis published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Protein regulates vitamin A metabolic pathways, prevents inflammation

October 23, 2017
A team of researchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have discovered how uncontrolled vitamin A metabolism in the gut can cause harmful inflammation. The discovery links diet to inflammatory diseases, ...

New insights into controversial diagnosis of adolescent chronic fatigue

October 23, 2017
Crucial new research could provide some clarity around the controversy surrounding the diagnosis and treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) in adolescents. The research by the Murdoch Children's Research Institute published ...

Do boys really have a testosterone spurt at age four?

October 23, 2017
The idea that four-year-old boys have a spurt of testosterone is often used to explain challenging behaviour at this age.

Our laws don't do enough to protect our health data

October 23, 2017
Have you ever wondered why your computer often shows you ads that seem tailor-made for your interests? The answer is big data. By combing through extremely large datasets, analysts can reveal patterns in your behavior.

New prevention exercise programme to reduce rugby injuries

October 23, 2017
A new dynamic 20-minute exercise programme, performed by rugby players before training and pre-match, could dramatically reduce injuries in the sport according to a benchmark study published today (Sunday 22 October).

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.