Relationship between pedestrian headform tests and injury and fatality rates in vehicle-to-pedestrian crashes in the United States
Mueller, Becky C.; Farmer, Charles M.; Jermakian, Jessica S.; Zuby, David S.
Stapp Car Crash Journal
Pedestrian protection evaluations have been developed to encourage vehicle front-end designs that mitigate the consequences of vehicle-to-pedestrian crashes. The European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP) evaluates pedestrian head protection with impacts against vehicle hood, windshield, and A-pillars. The Global Technical Regulation No. 9 (GTR 9), being evaluated for U.S. regulation, limits head protection evaluations to impacts against vehicle hoods. The objective of this study was to compare results from pedestrian head impact testing to the real-world rates of fatal and incapacitating injuries in U.S. pedestrian crashes. Data from police reported pedestrian crashes in 14 states were used to calculate real-world fatal and in-capacitating injury rates for seven 2002-07 small cars. Rates were 2.17-4.04 per 100 pedestrians struck for fatal injuries and 10.45-15.35 for incapacitating injuries. Euro NCAP style pedestrian headform tests were conducted against windshield, A-pillar, and hoods of the study vehicles. When compared with pedestrian injury rates, the vehicles’ Euro NCAP scores, ranging 5-10 points, showed strong negative correlations (-0.6) to injury rates, though none were statistically significant. Data from the headform impacts for each of the study vehicles were used to calculate that vehicle’s predicted serious injury risk. The predicted risks from both the Euro NCAP and GTR 9 test zones showed high positive correlations with the pedestrian fatal and incapacitat-ing injury rates, though few were statistically significant. Whether vehicle stiffness is evaluated on all components of vehicle front ends (Euro NCAP) or is limited to hoods (GTR 9), softer vehicle components correspond to a lower risk of fatality.
Profile of fatally injured pedestrians and bicyclists in the United States with high blood alcohol concentrations
Eichelberger, Angela H.; Cicchino, Jessica B.; McCartt, Anne T.
Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Alcohol, Drugs, and Traffic Safety (CD-ROM)
In the United States, little research has focused on the problem of alcohol impairment among pedestrians and bicyclists.
The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence, trends, and characteristics of alcoholimpaired fatally injured pedestrians and bicyclists.
The study analyzed 1992-2011 data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), a census of U.S. fatal motor vehicle crashes. Personal characteristics, roadway type, and other factors were examined among fatally injured pedestrians and bicyclists 16 and older who had high blood alcohol concentrations (BACs).
The number of pedestrians killed in motor vehicle crashes decreased and the number of bicyclists killed in motor vehicle crashes increased among ages 16 and older during the study period; however, the percentages with high BACs changed little. Among fatally injured pedestrians, the percentage with BACs =0.08% was 39% in 1992 and 37% in 2011. Among fatally injured bicyclists, the percentage with BACs =0.08% was 26% in 1992 and 25% in 2011. During the most recent 5 years of data (2007-11), 20,326 pedestrians 16 and older were fatally injured, and 37% of them had BACs =0.08%. The percentage of fatally injured pedestrians with BACs =0.08% was higher among males (43%) and ages 21-49 (47-50%), on weekends (49%), and in crashes occurring at night, especially during midnight-2:59 a.m. (60%). During the most recent 5 years of data (2007-11), 2,907 bicyclists 16 and older were fatally injured in crashes with motor vehicles, and 26% of them had BACs =0.08%. The percentage of bicyclist deaths with BACs =0.08% was highest during midnight-2:59 a.m. (49%) and among ages 30-49 (34-36%).
A substantial proportion of fatally injured pedestrians and bicyclists had high BACs, and this proportion has changed little during the last two decades. To the extent that alcohol impairment of pedestrians and bicyclists contributes to their deaths, countermeasures addressing alcohol consumption among these groups are needed.
Beware the Ides of March?
Teoh, Eric R.
This article is in response to “Can Tax Deadlines Cause Fatal Mistakes?” by D.A. Redelmeier and C.J. Yarnell in CHANCE 26(2). The authors examined the hypothesis that increased stress stemming from the deadline for filing tax returns, usually April 15, affects the number of people involved in fatal crashes (drivers, passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, killed, injured, uninjured, unknown). They compared Tax Day with days one week before and one week after, which controls for day of week and seasonality. They found a 6% increase in the number of people involved in fatal crashes on Tax Day, relative to the comparison days. The difference was statistically significant, based on the assumptions of the test they used.
Protecting pedestrians and bicyclists: some observations and research opportunities
Williams, Allan F.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
Pedestrians and bicyclists are commonly referred to as “vulnerable road users,” because in collisions with motor vehicles the lack of a protective structure and differences in mass heighten their injury susceptibility. Protecting them is a challenge, because road systems typically have been built for motor vehicles, with little attention to those on foot or on bicycles who may wish to travel on or alongside roads, or cross them, or change direction at intersections.
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
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.
Primary pedestrian crash scenarios: factors relevant to the design of pedestrian detection systems
Jermakian, Jessica S.; Zuby, David S.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
Vehicle manufacturers are implementing advanced technologies aimed at reducing the severity of pedestrian crashes or avoiding them altogether. The objective of the current study was to determine the most common and injurious pedestrian crash scenarios in the United States to help set priorities for the design of pedestrian detection systems. The study focused on single-vehicle crashes in which pedestrians were struck by the fronts of passenger vehicles.
Crash records were extracted from the 2005-09 files of the National Automotive Sampling System General Estimates System (NASS GES) and the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). Crash descriptors such as vehicle movement, pedestrian movement, and driver view obstruction were reviewed to develop a typology of crash scenarios. Crashes then were classified into various scenarios, and the most common scenarios were identified.
The largest number of pedestrian crash involvements and deaths involved a pedestrian crossing the roadway while the vehicle was traveling straight. This scenario accounted for 43 percent of pedestrian involvements and 46 percent of pedestrian deaths in single-vehicle crashes. The other main crash scenarios involved the pedestrian traveling in-line with traffic while the vehicle was traveling straight and the pedestrian crossing while the vehicle was turning. A larger proportion of fatal pedestrian crashes occurred in nondaylight conditions and on roadways with speed limits higher than 40 mi/h, when compared with pedestrian crash involvements of all severities.
Vehicle technologies that can quickly and accurately detect pedestrians in the three most common crash scenarios potentially can mitigate as many as 65 percent of pedestrian involvements and 58 percent of pedestrian deaths in single-vehicle crashes in the United States. There is great potential for pedestrian detection systems, but they must function in low-light conditions and at higher vehicle speeds to address a large proportion of pedestrian deaths.
Pedestrian crashes in Washington, DC and Baltimore
Preusser, David F.; Wells, JoAnn K.; Williams, Allan F.; Weinstein, Helen B.
Accident Analysis and Prevention.
Police crash reports were obtained for pedestrian-motor vehicle crashes in Washington, DC (N = 852) and Baltimore (N = 1234) for the year 1998. Reports were coded using procedures developed and applied in these two cities during the 1970s, including the determination of pedestrian crash type, primary precipitating factor, and culpability. Results indicated substantial differences between crash patterns observed during the 1970s and those observed during 1998. Midblock dart-dash crashes, which typically involve a precipitating factor or critical error by a child pedestrian, decreased (from 37% to 15% in Washington). Across all crashes in both cities, the number of drivers who made a critical error leading to the crash was nearly equivalent to the number of pedestrians who made a critical error. Overall, pedestrians were slightly more likely to be judged culpable (50% vs. 39%). Turning vehicle crashes, which typically involve a driver's failure to grant a pedestrian the right of way at a signalized intersection, increased (from 9% to 25% in Washington). Countermeasures to reduce the number of pedestrians hit by turning vehicles are discussed.
Daylight saving time and motor vehicle crashes: the reduction in pedestrian and vehicle occupant fatalities
Ferguson, Susan A.; Preusser, David F.; Lund, Adrian K.; Zador, Paul L.; Ulmer, Robert G.
American Journal of Public Health
Fatal crashes were tabulated for 6-hour periods around sunrise and sunset, from 13 weeks before the fall change to standard time until 9 weeks after the spring change to daylight saving time. Fatal-crash occurrence was related to changes in daylight, whether these changes occurred abruptly with the fall and spring time changes or gradually with the changing seasons of the year. During daylight saving time, which shifts an hour of daylight to the busier evening traffic hours, there were fewer fatal crashes. An estimated 901 fewer fatal crashes (727 involving pedestrians, 174 involving vehicle occupants) might have occurred if daylight saving time had been retained year-round from 1987 through 1991.
A study of fatal crashes involving pedestrians and trucks in four cities
Retting, Richard A.
Journal of Safety Research
Crashes between pedestrians and large trucks, which were fatal to the pedestrians and occurred during 1986–90 in four cities, were studied using Fatal Accident Reporting System (FARS) data. Comparisons were made with similar fatal crashes between pedestrians and vehicles other than large trucks. Data for truck crashes were supplemented with narratives and diagrams from police reports to develop a crash typology. Pedestrian fatalities in crashes with trucks were more likely than those involving other vehicles to occur at intersections, at traffic signals, during daylight hours, and to involve older pedestrians. Fifty-one percent of pedestrians killed in collisions with trucks were over the age of 60, compared with 37% killed in collisions with other vehicles. Obstruction of truck driver visibility, caused by the design of truck cabs, appears to be a major contributing factor in crashes at intersections. The data suggest that greater emphasis should be placed on separating pedestrians and trucks at intersections and on designing truck cabs to improve driver visibility.
A review of fatal injuries to pedestrians induced by urban truck crashes
Retting, Richard A.
Proceedings of the 37th Annual Conference of the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine
Crashes between pedestrians and trucks, which were fatal to the pedestrians and occurred during 1986-90, were studied. Police reports were used to develop a crash typology. Comparisons were made with crashes between pedestrians and other vehicles. Pedestrian fatalities in crashes with trucks were more likely to occur at intersections, at traffic signals, during daylight, and to involve older pedestrians. Most fatal injuries were to the head and chest regions. Obstruction of driver visibility, caused by truck design, appears to be a factor in crashes at intersections. Emphasis should be placed on separating pedestrians and trucks and on designing trucks to improve visibility.
And Keep on Looking: A film to reduce pedestrian crashes among 9 to 12 year olds
Preusser, David F.; Lund, Adrian K.
Journal of Safety Research
A pedestrian safety education film titled And Keep on Looking and aimed at children ages 9 to 12 was evaluated in several cities. The results showed an increase in safe street crossing knowledge among 9- to 12-year-old Connecticut children who viewed the film, and some improvement in safe street crossing behavior among 9- to 12-year-old Seattle, Washington, children. Crash reduction was assessed in a 2-year, citywide field test conducted in Milwaukee. The field test indicated a crash reduction of more than 20% for 9- to 12-year-old children in Milwaukee compared with children in areas surrounding Milwaukee and children in comparison cities.
When motor vehicles hit joggers: an analysis of 60 cases
Williams, Allan F.
Public Health Reports
The present study describes the circumstances under which 60 jogger-motor vehicle collisions occurred. These incidents happened most often after dark. Young males were involved in a majority of cases. And more often than not, joggers were struck while running on roads in the same direction as vehicles. In a substantial minority of collisions, two or more persons were jogging together. The study concludes that, although jogger-vehicle collisions do occur, the expected health benefits of running far outweigh the dangers. Newspaper accounts of joggers struck by vehicles were obtained through a national newsclipping service for a one-year period, from mid-August 1978 to mid-August 1979. The service provides coverage of all daily and weekly newspapers in the United States that are available by subscription. Police reports on collisions were obtained whenever possible. The following guidelines are derived from analysis of the 60 collisions detailed above: First, joggers should not run on roads when it is dark; if they do, light-colored clothing and reflective materials should be worn. Legislation that would prohibit jogging after dark, or require reflective apparel to be worn by nighttime joggers, has been discussed in some jurisdictions but no such requirements are known to have been enacted. None of the police reports acquired during this study mentioned that reflective materials were worn by joggers who collided with vehicles after dark; several of these joggers were reportedly wearing dark clothing. Joggers should run against rather than with traffic. Running against traffic, joggers are better able to anticipate and react to the movement of vehicles in the lane nearest them. The exception to running against traffic is when the jogger approaches a blind curve on a road that has no shoulder. In this case it would generally be prudent to run on the other side of the road. And, of course, all joggers including those running against traffic should be especially alert to vehicles crossing over into the wrong lane. A third guideline is that, whether running with or against traffic, joggers should run on the shoulder or close enough to the edge of the road that vehicles in the nearest lane do not have to alter their paths. If running with others, joggers should run single file if there is not enough room on the shoulder for more than one person. Above all, joggers and drivers need to be alert to the presence of one another. Joggers should recognize that whether running with or against traffic, on or alongside the road, they are susceptible to being struck both from behind and by oncoming vehicles. In turn, drivers should recognize that joggers may be on roads at all hours of the day and in all weather conditions. These guidelines call for no new technology. Nor do they require changes in our traffic laws. They involve common sense adjustments by drivers and joggers to the fact that both parties are sharing the roadways.
Some factors influencing the injuries sustained by child pedestrians struck by the fronts of cars
Ashton, Steven, J.
Proceedings of the 23rd Stapp Car Crash Conference
The relative importance of child pedestrian accidents is first considered by reference to national accident statistics for Great Britain. Data from a study using existing hospital and police records are then used to examine the location of the initial pedestrian contacts with the vehicle and the effects of initial contact on overall injury severity. In particular the incidence of ‘run over’ accidents is examined and it is shown that, contrary to popular belief, the very young child is rarely run over by the striking vehicle.
Patterns of injury in pedestrian accidents
Ashton, Steven J.; Bimson, S.; Driscoll, C.
Proceedings of the 23rd Annual Conference of the American Association for Automotive Medicine
Data obtained from existing hospital and police records are used to describe the general pattern of injury sustained by pedestrians. It is shown that although head, leg and arm injuries are the most frequent injuries sustained the exact pattern of injury is influenced by many factors. In particular pedestrian age, vehicle type, location of initial pedestrian contact with the vehicle and overall injury severity are shown to influence the injuries sustained. The severity of the injuries considered in describing the pattern of injury is also shown to have an effect on the pattern of injury.
Motorcyclists, pedestrians, and alcohol
Baker, Susan P.
Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Alcohol, Drugs, and Traffic Safety
In connection with highway travel, the ultimate goal is to reduce the number of highway deaths and the number and severity of injuries that are at least partly attributable to alcohol and other drugs. It is important that we should keep sight of the wide variety of available approaches. They can be divided into four categories, none of which is sufficient by itself, none of which should be excluded: first, reductions in the amount or changes in the patterns of use of alcohol and other drugs; second, reductions in the degree of impairment produced when alcohol and other drugs are used; third, reductions in the amount of travel or changes in the characteristics of travel by people who are impaired by alcohol and other drugs; and fourth, reductions in the probability of injury and severity of its consequences when impaired people use our roadways, either as vehicle operators or as pedestrians.
Influence of vehicle design on pedestrian leg injuries
Ashton, Steven J.; Pedder, J.B.; Mackay, G.M.
Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Conference of the American Association for Automotive Medicine and the 7th Conference of the International Association for Accident and Traffic Medicine
Data from two different types of pedestrian accident studies are used to examine the influence of vehicle front end design on pedestrian pelvic and leg injuries. First, data from a study using existing hospital and police records are used to describe the general pattern of injury sustained by 1560 pedestrians who were struck by the fronts of cars or light goods vehicles, the fronts of which were based on car designs. The effects of variations in bumper height and bonnet height on lower leg fractures, serious knee injuries and pelvic fratures are considered. Secondly, data from in-depth studies of pedestrian accidents are used to examine in more detail and effects of impact speed, bumper height and bumper lead, and bonnet height on pedestrian pelvic and leg injuries. The potential for improvement in vehicle front end design is examined by considering the reduction in the number of pedestrian casualties with non-minor non-fatal injuries that would occur if there were no pelvic or leg injuries.
The man in the street: a tale of two cities
Baker, Susan P.
Johns Hopkins Magazine
The plight of the pedestrian
Baker, Susan P.
The Sun Magazine, The Baltimore Sun
April 7, 1974
Fatal pedestrian collisions: driver negligence
Baker, Susan P.; Robertson, Leon S.; O'Neill, Brian
American Journal of Public Health
Over 10,000 pedestrians were killed in the United States in 1972. Traditional approaches to the problem have emphasized the need to understand and modify pedestrian behavior. Development of programs that will effectively reduce pedestrian injuries also requires a better understanding of the drivers whose vehicles have injured and killed pedestrians. This paper describes drivers involved in pedestrian fatalities in Baltimore. Prior driving record, driving behavior at the time of the "accident," and subsequent administrative action were of particular interest. Many types of negligent driving behavior have been reported in connection with pedestrian injuries and deaths. Lindensjo and others found that in Sweden 15 per cent of pedestrian accidents involving children occurred at marked pedestrian crosswalks, and they labeled the behavior of the drivers as "astoundingly ruthless." Many drivers either assumed children would stop, passed other cars that had stopped for children, turned corners where pedestrians had the right of way, or drove through red lights. A report by Yaksich showed that 14 per cent of the pedestrians killed in Baltimore in 1953-1958 were crossing with a green light or standing in safety zones. In 1934, Heise tested a series of 42 drivers who injured or killed pedestrians and found that seven had concentrations of alcohol in the blood or urine in excess of 0.01 per cent, with an average of 0.14 percent. Many pedestrian fatalities involve "hit and run"drivers, who have been shown both by Heise and by Birrell usually to have been drinking heavily. A major goal of the present study was the determination of the proportion of pedestrian fatalities in Baltimore that show evidence of driver negligence, in one form or another. Other specific objectives were to examine the relationship between previous driving records and driver negligence in these crashes, and to determine the proportion of cases that resulted in traffic and criminal court convictions and restriction of driving privileges. Records of drivers considered probably negligent in the pedestrian fatalities were compared with those of nonnegligent drivers, of drivers killed in crashes, and of all Maryland drivers. The relationship between negligent behavior on the part of drivers and pedestrians and other variables such as age, race, and alcohol will be discussed in a separate paper.
Pedestrian deaths in Rio de Janeiro and Baltimore
Baker, Susan P.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
The pedestrian death rate for Rio was found to be four times the rate for Baltimore. In contrast to pedestrians killed in Baltimore -- most of whom were very young or elderly or intoxicated -- the majority in Rio were adults of working age who had not been drinking. For this latter group, the death rate in Rio was approximately twenty times the Baltimore rate. There are three major implications of this research. First, in Rio, a city where infectious diseases have traditionally been of paramount importance as a cause of death, motor vehicles' now claim far more lives, than dysentery, typhoid, meningitis, whooping cough, diphtheria, and polio combined. It is essential that the magnitude of the problem of vehicle-related deaths and injuries be recognized, and reflected in the allocation of needed funds and the attention of relevantly trained scientists. Second, the results have led to development of a concept that should be useful in many types of injury research: namely, that the presence of a substantial proportion of able-bodied persons among those injured or killed can point to unusual or excessive environmental hazards. Although such evidence is not definitive, when combined with relatively high death or injury rates it should suggest profitable avenues for research and eventually lead to preventive measures. Finally, it is suggested that wherever pedestrian deaths are numerous, 'consideration be given to a policy designed to ensure that pedestrians choose 'the safest way of coping with an environment they share with vehicles; namely, to establish safe routes that pedestrians will perceive to be easier and more attractive than the more hazardous alternatives.
Drivers involved in fatal pedestrian collisions
Baker, Susan P.; Robertson, Leon S.; O'Neill, Brian
Proceedings of the 16th Annual Conference of the American Association for Automotive Medicine
Drivers involved in 180 fatal collisions with Baltimore pedestrians were studied. Eighty-three drivers (46%) were judged to have been probably negligent and 66 (37%) were probably not negligent; negligence was not known for 31 (17%). Driver negligence was correlated with poor driving records. The study drivers 'had more points for traffic convictions than the average Maryland driver. Their driving records resembled those of drivers killed in crashes. Subsequently, 46 drivers (25%) were convicted of traffic violations. For the 22 drivers whose licenses were revoked, the median length of time until revocation was 8 months. Recommendations include chemical tests for alcohol of all drivers who kill pedestrians and swifter suspension of licenses of those drivers believed to pose a substantial hazard to society. Since the behavior of high-risk drivers may prove to be as difficult to modify as that of high-risk pedestrians, ultimate solutions probably lie in modifying roads, vehicles, and traffic patterns 1n order to reduce pedestrian injuries and deaths.
The man in the street -- pedestrian accidents in the empire state
Proceedings of the 15th Annual Conference of the American Association for Automotive Medicine
New York State pedestrians are involved in 28,000 motor vehicle accidents each year, and 1,000 of these pedestrians receive fatal injuries. This paper presents the results of a study of many of the characteristics of this type of accident, based on punch card resumes of the Department of Motor Vehicles accident reports for the year ending July 1970. A general descriptive outline of host, vehicular, and environmental factors is followed by a demonstration of the relationship between many of these factors and the pedestrian's degree of injury, as assessed by the National Safety Council's A, B, C, D injury severity scale. Examples of interacting effects of several of these factors are presented to emphasize the need for caution before claiming any such relationship to be causal.