Pedestrian Safety Through Vehicle Design - Reducing Pedestrian Injuries - Protecting The Limbs

Protecting The Limbs

Most limb injuries occur due to a direct blow from the bumper and the leading edge of the hood. This leads to contact fractures of the femur and the tibia/fibula and damage to the knee ligaments due to bending of the joint. Thus, attempts at reducing these injuries involve reducing the peak contact forces by making the bumper softer and increasing the contact area and by limiting the amount of knee bending by modifying the geometry of the front end of the car. Computer simulations and experiments with cadavers show that when cars have lower bumpers, the thigh and leg rotate together causing the knee to bend less and thus reducing the likelihood of ligament injuries. Deeper bumper profiles and structures under the bumper (such as the air dam) can also assist in limiting the rotation of the leg.

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