In-car safety

Title: Vehicle mass and injury risk in two-car crashes: A novel methodology

Organisation: University College London (Centre for Transport Studies)
Date uploaded: 25th June 2013
Date published/launched: January 2013

This paper introduces a novel methodology based on disaggregate analysis of two-car crash data to estimate the partial effects of mass on absolute driver injury risk in each of the vehicles involved in the crash.

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This paper introduces a novel methodology based on disaggregate analysis of two-car crash data to estimate the partial effects of mass, through the velocity change, on absolute driver injury risk in each of the vehicles involved in the crash.

The novel aspect of the introduced methodology is in providing a solution to the issue of lack of data on the speed of vehicles prior to the crash, which is required to calculate the velocity change, as well as a solution to the issue of lack of information on non-injury two-car crashes in national accident data. These issues have often led to focusing on relative measures of injury risk that are not independent of risk in the colliding cars.

Furthermore, the introduced methodology is used to investigate whether there is any effect of vehicle size above and beyond that of mass ratio, and whether there are any effects associated with the gender and age of the drivers.

Summary of results
The results confirmed that in a two-car collision, vehicle mass has a protective effect on its own driver injury risk and an aggressive effect on the driver injury risk of the colliding vehicle. The results also confirmed that there is a protective effect of vehicle size above and beyond that of vehicle mass for frontal and front to side collisions.

For more information contact:
Professor Mike Maher
T: +44 (0)113 34 36610

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