1. Distribution of injuries and sequence of contact

Studies show that most of the pedestrian collisions involve frontal impacts. The sequence of events in a frontal impact is:

• The car bumper strikes either the leg or knee-joint area. This is followed by a thigh to hood edge contact.

• The lower extremity of the body is accelerated forwards, and the upper body is rotated and accelerated relative to the car.

• The pelvis and thorax are struck by the hood edge and top respectively.

• The head will hit the hood or windscreen (at a velocity which is almost equal to that of the striking car)

• The victim then falls to the ground

The point of first contact by the car hitting the pedestrian will vary depending on the height of the car and as well as the height of the pedestrian. For instance, a modern raised vehicle may hit the head of a child pedestrian because he or she is short.

2. Factors influencing severity of injury

Usually, it is the direct impact with the striking car that causes most serious injuries, not due to the impact of the pedestrian being thrown to the road.

The severity of injuries to the head, brain, thorax, pelvis and extremities is influenced by

• Car impact speed

• Type of vehicle

• Stiffness and shape of the vehicle

• Nature of the front (bumper height, hood height and length, windscreen frame)

• Age and height of the pedestrian

• Standing position of the pedestrian relative to the vehicle front

Source: Review of Injury biomechanics in car-pedestrian collisions. Report to European Passive Safety Network. Provided by the Crestview Police Department.

Pedestrian/bicycle fatalities since 2012
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