Future research directions in injury biomechanics and passive safety research

There has been an increasing trend within the safety environment for funding to be directed towards applied research or towards research developing commercially-exploitable systems. Funding mechanisms such as the EU’s 6th Framework Programme and many national programmes focus on research of likely immediate social benefit, reflecting the use of public finances. These programmes will continue to play an important role in funding safety research, but they typically do not have guidelines specifically directed towards fundamental research questions. Additionally, impartial advice is not always available to help programme managers identify research priorities. This review of biomechanics and passive safety research is intended for use by researchers who may be contemplating research in certain areas and wish independent guidance on specific research questions. It is also intended for use by research funding groups and programme managers who would like impartial guidance on basic research to be supported. It covers engineering research directed at improving vehicles and safety systems for all types of road user. It includes the main research and development tools such as dummy development and humanoid modelling and the important area of crash injury data.