Toward designing pedestrian-friendly vehicles
Authors: Jingwen Hu, Kathleen D. Klinich
In this study, we present a literature review and provide insights into vehicle designs to improve pedestrian safety. Field data show that pedestrian injuries are highly correlated with impact speed, pedestrian age, and vehicle type. The increased proportion of older pedestrians and SUVs will likely result in more pedestrian injuries, especially those involving the torso. Adding energy-absorbing materials to the vehicle front-end structures is cost-effective, but often conflicts with other design considerations. Deployable passive safety designs and active safety designs have demonstrated considerable benefits for reducing pedestrian injuries. Integrated passive and active systems are recommended for a further enhancement of pedestrian protection. However, the benefits from different pedestrian-safety designs vary with different types of vehicles and pedestrians with different statures and ages. Consequently, it is important to consider vehicle-specific safety designs, and population-age profile may also play an important role in selecting the pedestrian safety features.