Head Injuries in Child Pedestrian Accidents-In-depth Case Analysis and Reconstructions
Journal article, 2007
Objective. The aim of this study was to investigate head injuries, injury risks, and corresponding tolerance levels of children in car-to-child pedestrian collisions.
Methods. An in-depth accident analysis was carried out based on 23 accident cases involving child pedestrians. These cases were collected with detailed information about pedestrians, cars, and road environments. All 23 accidents were reconstructed using the MADYMO program with mathematical models of passenger cars and child pedestrians developed at Chalmers University of Technology. The contact properties of the car models were derived from the European New Car Assessment Program (EuroNCAP) subsystem tests.
Results. The accident analysis demonstrated that the head was the most frequently and severely injured body part of child pedestrians. Most accidents occurred at impact speeds lower than 40 km/h and 98% of the child pedestrians were impacted from the lateral direction. The initial postures of children at the moment of impact were identified. Nearly half (47%) of the children were running, which was remarkable compared with the situation of adult pedestrians. From accident reconstructions it was found that head impact conditions and injury severities were dependent on the shape and stiffness of the car front, impact velocity, and stature of the child pedestrian. Head injury criteria and corresponding tolerance levels were analyzed and discussed by correlating the calculated injury parameters with the injury outcomes in the accidents.
Conclusions. Reducing head injuries should be set as a priority in the protection of child pedestrians. HIC is an important injury criterion for predicting the risks of head injuries in child pedestrian accidents. The tolerance level of head injuries can have a considerable variation due to individual differences of the child pedestrians. By setting a suitable speed limit and improving the design of car front, the head injury severities of child pedestrians can be reduced.
Keywords: Child Pedestrian; Passenger Car; Head Injury; Accident Reconstruction