Feasibility of Occupant Protection Measures

Federal Office of Road Safety - Contract Report 100

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Benefit cost analysis is often used in setting road safety priorities. The concept of Harm was developed for assessing injury mitigation benefits from vehicle safety improvements. This study builds upon previous work in the area. Harm reductions were determined for a range of vehicle safety measures for front seat occupants involved in frontal crashes. These included supplementary driver and passenger airbags (both fullsize and facebags), belt tighteners and webbing clamps, seatbelt warning systems, improved seat and seatbelt geometry, padded steering wheels, better design of lower instrument panels, kneebars, padded head protection, and structural improvements. Injury reductions were estimated by body region and AIS improvement using available literature, unpublished data, and where necessary, expert group assessment. Likely costs for these measures were determined from discussions with local automobile manufacturers, part suppliers, and vehicle importers, from overseas prices costed for Australian vehicles, and derived from first principles. Industry plans for the introduction of these measures were also sought from the automotive industry. Likely BCR'S, NPWS, and percent of total trauma were then determined for each countermeasure and for packages of vehicle safety measures.