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Pedestrian injury patterns in the United States and relevance to GTR

Mueller, Becky C.; Nolan, Joseph M.; Zuby, David S.; Rizzo, Anne G.
Proceedings of the 2012 IRCOBI Conference
September 2012

Global Technical Regulation No. 9 on Pedestrian Protection (GTR 9) was adopted in 2008 to encourage vehicle front-end designs that mitigate the consequences of vehicle-to-pedestrian collisions. The objective of the current study was to compare the types and sources of real-world pedestrian injuries with the parts of the vehicle that would be affected by the tests prescribed by GTR 9. Among the 67 pedestrian crashes in a special Crash Injury Research and Engineering Network (CIREN) dataset, the most frequently injured body regions were the leg and head, the body regions directly addressed by GTR tests and requirements. However, only 5 of the 45 head-injured pedestrians’ heads hit vehicle hoods, the object of GTR 9 head impactor tests. Thirty-one heads hit parts of the vehicle not included in specified test areas. Thirty-two pedestrians had tibia or fibula injuries associated with contact by the bumper, which also is evaluated by GTR 9 procedures. However, for those cases where leg injury data were available, as many as half of the leg fractures involved vehicle locations below the height of vehicle bumpers and below the instrumented portion of the GTR 9 legform testing device, suggesting the tests may not be sensitive to a significant portion of the leg injury problem. Overall, 46 of the 67 pedestrians in this sample may have benefitted if the striking vehicles had complied with GTR 9. However, 59 of the 67 pedestrians had injuries to body regions not addressed by GTR 9 test procedures, indicating that a significant pedestrian injury problem may persist even if GTR 9 completely eliminates the injuries it addresses.