Benefits of a Frontal Offset Regulation

Federal Office of Road Safety - Contract Report 165

Authors: B. Fildes, K. Digges, D. Dyte, S. Gantzer & K. Seyer

Full report in .pdf format [462KB]


Australia currently has a dynamic full frontal crash standard ADR 69, similar to the US FMVSS 208 with provisions for restraining the test dummies. The European road safety community have outlined a proposed EEVC frontal offset requirement, due to be introduced in Europe during 1998. The question is whether this additional standard is warranted in Australia and would it be cost-effective. A study was undertaken for the Federal Office of Road Safety to address this question. An analysis was performed initially of 215 hospitalised drivers who sustained a lower limb injury in a frontal crash, comparing full frontal with offset frontal outcomes. This finding supported the need for further countermeasures for frontal offset crashes, especially those which addressed lower limb injuries. A one-day workshop of international specialists was then held to determine the likely injury reductions of the proposed EEVC offset standard. Using these findings, a Harm Reduction analysis was undertaken to arrive at the benefits of Australia mandating the proposed EEVC offset regulation in addition to ADR69. The findings revealed considerable additional benefits of between A$297 million and A$460 million each year, depending on the level of airbag usage in 1998. This equates to a unit Harm benefit per car of between A$296 and A$576. On this basis, it would seem highly desirable for Australia to mandate for the standard as outlined by Lowne (1994). Any attempt to remove the lower limb injury criteria from this proposal would severely compromise these benefits and make it difficult to support.