Around 15% of traffic accident casualties in Europe are pedestrians. To date, most of the studies carried out only provide statistical information on the problem and few in-depth studies provide countermeasures which might correct it.
There are many studies concerning pedestrian protection, which can be grouped into ‘pedestrian modelling’, ‘biomechanical limits for pedestrians’ and ‘statistical analysis for pedestrian accidents’. Despite these studies, there is no predictive analysis of the benefits of pedestrian protection systems based on their intrinsic capabilities applied to a real accident sample.
This paper describes a methodology for the evaluation of pedestrian protection systems based on the analysis of a wide sample of urban pedestrian accidents. All of them are analysed indepth and reconstructed with PC-Crash®. The effects of the frontal structure of the vehicles and several active systems, such as BAS and Pedestrian Detection Systems are evaluated.
The paper includes the description of the methodology followed for a sample of approximately 140 pedestrian urban accidents in three cities of Spain (Madrid, Barcelona and Zaragoza) and the corresponding reconstructions generated with PC-Crash®. Then, a methodology to simulate the passive and active improvements (including pedestrian friendly structure, BAS and Pedestrian Detection Systems) is defined and applied to all sample accidents. The results of these new simulations are used to evaluate the benefits of these systems. The main conclusions are discussed, accounting for the limitations of the study, which basically lie in the modelling of the Pedestrian Detection Systems.
The methodology proposed in this paper can be applied to other vehicle safety devices to evaluate their effectiveness, based on the analysis of real accidents. All the results presented here come from a project partly funded by the Spanish Ministry of Industry.