A comparison is made between two different strategies for reducing the severity of the injuries sustained by pedestrians struck by the fronts of cars or car derivatives. The benefits obtainable from each strategy are determined by first assessing the effect on a sample of real accidents and then weighting the results to estimate the effect on the total population. It is shown that one of the strategies, aimed at reducing the frequency of serious head injuries, would result in a less than 5% reduction in the number of casualties with non-minor injuries, whereas the other strategy, aimed at reducing the frequency of serious leg and pelvic injuries, would result in a reduction of at least 25% in the number of casualties with non-minor injuries.
It is concluded that the adoption of full face compliant front structures offers the best initial approach to the problem of pedestrian injury mitigation.
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