German Insurers Accident Research (UDV)
Car rear and side collisions with pedestrians and cyclists
Within the publication “Car rear and side collisions with pedestrians and cyclists” of the German Insurers Accident Research (UDV), published in August 2017, the results from the analyses that have been performed on rear and side collisions between cars and unprotected road users (pedestrians and cyclists) will be shown. The efforts made thus far to design cars with a pedestrian-friendly shape have been focused, above all, on the front of the vehicle. This will remain the primary goal with regard to cyclist safety. Consequently, the currently available passive and active safety features for cars are designed for collisions of pedestrians or cyclists with the front of the vehicle, including the wings. It has long been clear from the accident research that this is the right approach, and that these areas of the vehicle have the highest priority and require the most work. However, the findings from the accident research also show that collisions between cars and unprotected road users include not just frontal collisions but other accident patterns that also need attention, particularly since technical measures can be taken to address these accident patterns.
The study is based on an analysis of the accident data of German insurers. The UDB accident database used for this contains a representative cross-section of all third-party claims reported to the GDV in the years 2002 to 2012. Only personal injury claims of at least 15,000 euros were included. The accident material takes into account all types of road users. For the purposes of this study, all the collisions of cars with cyclists and pedestrians were taken from a total of around 5,000 accidents involving cars. The underlying data pool consists of 416 involving cars and cyclists and 390 involving cars and pedestrians.
There are already technical solutions available on the market for the door-opening scenario. These warn the driver when there are vehicles or cyclists approaching . Much more promising, however, are systems that pre- vent the door from being opened in the event of danger. The time period required to allow a cyclist is relatively short, so there is no reason to expect it would be difficult for vehicle occupants to accept this (see figure 18). For example, a cyclist at a distance of 6 meters from the door traveling at 20 km/h would have passed the car in about 1 second. Even for a slow cyclist (15 km/h), the door would only have to remain blocked for a maximum of 1.4 seconds. It can be assumed that drivers’ acceptance of the system would increase once they had experienced its benefits directly.