Federal Highway Research Institute


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Protection of pedestrians

The protection of pedestrians and other -vulnerable road users in the event of a collision with a vehicle front is one of the most important contributions of passive vehicle safety to the injury mitigation of road traffic accidents. Subsequent to passenger vehicle occupants and motorcyclists pedestrians provide the third-largest group of traffic fatalities. However, the number of killed pedestrians has been significantly reduced since the year 2001.

Passive vehicle safety measures for pedestrian protection significantly contribute to the improvement of crashworthiness. The test specifications for pedestrian protection developed by the working group Pedestrian Safety of EEVC (European Enhanced Vehicle-safety Committee) form the basis for the homologation tests according to European legislationas well as for consumer tests according to Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme). Both test series are performed at BASt. BASt owns a pedestrian test facility and is accredited by Euro NCAP and designated as a technical service for the legally prescribed type approval tests by the Federal Motor Transport Authority to carry out the corresponding pedestrian protection tests.

The graphic shows the different impactors of the component tests Pedestrian protection - component tests

Component tests

The photo shows the pedestrian-protection test stand of the BASt. Pedestrian-protection test stand of the BASt (Photo: BASt/BGS)

The component tests are performed with impactors representingthe different body regions of a pedestrian. Tests with head, legand upper legform impactors are performed on different vehicle front areas under certaintest conditions. The test results have to meet . defined biomechanical limits. These pedestrian component tests are used to evaluate the existing vehicle-related measures with regard to their pedestrian compatibility and to improve the protection potential of vehicles in the event of a collosion with pedestrians.

The pedestrian component tests include:

  • Tests with child and adult head impactors against the bonnet and the windscreen.
  • Tests with the upper leg impactor against the bonnet leading edge.
  • Tests with the leg and upper leg impactor against the bumper.

New, active protection systems

In recent years, active systems for passive vehicle safety have been increasingly applied in addition to the conventional, passive systems. In particular pop-up bonnetsor windscreen airbags offer additional deformation space and options for energy absorption in case of a pedestrian head impact.

The section "Passive Vehicle Safety, Biomechanics" of BASt deals with the protectiion potential of these new systems, and investigates and evaluates their proper functionality byperforming the described component tests.