A comparative evaluation of pedestrian kinematics and injury prediction for adults and children upon impact with a passenger car

Lex Van Rooij, Mark Meissner, Kavi Bhalla, Jeff Crandall, Douglas Longhitano, Yukou Takahashi, Yasuhiro Dokko, Yuji Kikuchi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

9 Scopus citations


Studies show that the pedestrian population at high risk of injury consists of both young children and adults. The goal of this study is to gain understanding in the mechanisms that lead to injuries for children and adults. Multi-body pedestrian human models of two specific anthropometries, a 6year-old child and a 50th percentile adult male, are applied. A vehicle model is developed that consists of a detailed rigid finite element mesh, validated stiffness regions, stiff structures underlying the hood and a suspension model. Simulations are performed in a test matrix where anthropometry, impact speed and impact location are variables. Bumper impact occurs with the tibia of the 50th percentile adult male and with the thigh of the 6-year-old child. The head of a 50th percentile male impacts the lower windshield, while the 6-year-old child's head impacts the front part of the hood. Due to the complex geometry of vehicle and human body the changing kinematics results in different injury mechanisms and injury values between adult and child. At 40 km/h a high probability of injuries exists for head, neck, torso, tibia and ankle for both anthropometries, while the adult's knees and the child's thigh area are at increased risk. Furthermore, it is shown that a change in impact speed does not alter the pedestrian kinematics, but the effect on injury values is substantial. The presented method for simulating pedestrian to car impact shows that kinematics and injury prediction are sensitive to changes in anthropometry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSAE Technical Papers
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes
Event2004 SAE World Congress - Detroit, MI, United States
Duration: Mar 8 2004Mar 11 2004


Other2004 SAE World Congress
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityDetroit, MI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Pollution
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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