Side Impact Regulation Benefits

Federal Office of Road Safety - Contract Report 154

Authors: B. Fildes, K. Digges, D. Carr, D. Dyte & P. Vulcan

Full report in .pdf format [1.9MB]


Analysis of the benefits of new countermeasures are commonly used when setting road safety priorities. This study set out to estimate the likely benefits if Australia was to adopt a new dynamic side impact regulation similar to the current FMVSS 214 regulation in the USA or the proposed ECE Regulation 95 in Europe. These two standards are fundamentally different and likely to result in different countermeasures and benefits. Harm reduction analysis has been used previously for estimating occupant protection benefits from new countermeasures and was used again here. An existing Australia-wide database provided the baseline trauma patterns and a number of assumptions were made based on overseas published figures on the likely injury reduction effects of these two regulations. The total benefit for FMVSS 214 was estimated to be $136 million annually with a unit benefit per car of $147 assuming a 7% discount rate and historical sales and scrapage figures. The equivalent ECE 95 benefit was $147 million annually with a unit Harm figure of $159. These represent occupant trauma reductions of 4.7% and 5.1% respectively. Implementation costs were not available, however, these figures would not seem unreasonable extra costs given the likely injury savings for occupants of Australian vehicles. On this basis, the study recommends that in the short term, the Australian Design Rule system include a revised regulation mandating that all vehicles sold in Australia be required to meet either FMVSS 214 or ECE Regulation 95 with a suitable implementation lead time. The study also recommends additional research into a possible hybrid standard with other possible supplementary regulations to ensure additional long term benefits for occupants involved in side impact collisions.