SWOV Catalogus

332243

Shielding from harm [: a new airbag concept aimed at improving cyclist and pedestrian safety.]
20110940 ST [electronic version only]
Schijndel-de Nooij, M. van
Public Service Review: Science and Technology, 2009, No. 4, 1 p.

Samenvatting About 200 cyclists are killed in traffic annually in the Netherlands, with about 50% of the fatalities occuring due to impact with a passenger vehicle. Unfortunately, despite several measures being taken, this number has remained constant over the years while other accident fatality figures show a decreasing trend. On request of the Dutch Ministry of Transport and the Dutch Cyclists' Union, in 2008 TNO carried out a study in the field of safety for cyclists in bicycle-car accidents. One of the main conclusions was that in car collisions a cyclist hits the impacted vehicle at a higher location than a pedestrian. This results in the severe impact of the cyclist's head against the windshield and its rigid mountings such as the A-pillar and roof edge. Other recent studies have also shown that it is not valid to regard cyclists and pedestrians as a homogeneous group of road users. Their road behaviour and, for example, kinematics during an impact are very different; safety features and legislation to improve pedestrian safety are not automatically beneficial for cyclists. As a potential measure to save pedestrians' and cyclists' lives, the possibilities of a so-called windshield airbag – an airbag on the outside of a vehicle covering the complete windshield area – were studied for a number of typical cyclist impact scenarios. The results show that with the right specifications such as geometry, gas flow, and trigger time, such an airbag could significantly increase pedestrian and cyclist safety. (Author/publisher)
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