Comparing motor-vehicle crash risk of EU and US vehicles
Journal article, 2018
Objective: This study examined the hypotheses that passenger vehicles meeting European Union (EU) safety standards have similar crashworthiness to United States (US) -regulated vehicles in the US driving environment, and vice versa. Methods: The first step involved identifying appropriate databases of US and EU crashes that include in-depth crash information, such as estimation of crash severity using Delta-V and injury outcome based on medical records. The next step was to harmonize variable definitions and sampling criteria so that the EU data could be combined and compared to the US data using the same or equivalent parameters. Logistic regression models of the risk of a Maximum injury according to the Abbreviated Injury Scale of 3 or greater, or fatality (MAIS3+F) in EU-regulated and US-regulated vehicles were constructed. The injury risk predictions of the EU model and the US model were each applied to both the US and EU standard crash populations. Frontal, near-side, and far-side crashes were analyzed together (termed “front/side crashes”) and a separate model was developed for rollover crashes. Results: For the front/side model applied to the US standard population, the mean estimated risk for the US-vehicle model is 0.035 (sd = 0.012), and the mean estimated risk for the EU-vehicle model is 0.023 (sd = 0.016). When applied to the EU front/side population, the US model predicted a 0.065 risk (sd = 0.027), and the EU model predicted a 0.052 risk (sd = 0.025). For the rollover model applied to the US standard population, the US model predicted a risk of 0.071 (sd = 0.024), and the EU model predicted 0.128 risk (sd = 0.057). When applied to the EU rollover standard population, the US model predicted a 0.067 risk (sd = 0.024), and the EU model predicted 0.103 risk (sd = 0.040). Conclusions: The results based on these methods indicate that EU vehicles most likely have a lower risk of MAIS3+F injury in front/side impacts, while US vehicles most likely have a lower risk of MAIS3+F injury in llroovers. These results should be interpreted with an understanding of the uncertainty of the estimates, the study limitations, and our recommendations for further study detailed in the report.