Struck side crashes involving post-regulatory European passenger cars - crash characteristics and injury outcomes

This study examines some characteristics of struck side impact crashes involving post-regulatory passenger cars. The UK National Accident Database (STATS 19) and UK In-depth Accident Database (CCIS) were analysed to determine crash characteristics and injury outcomes in struck side impacts. UK national accident data shows that clear improvements in injury outcomes in side impacts have been observed when a sample of ‘older’ vehicle designs are compared to ‘newer’ vehicle designs. Analysis of the characteristics of crashes in which serious injury occurs suggests that the conditions in terms of collision speed and height of impact (on the struck vehicle) do not usually match those of the UNECE R95 test specification. Mitigation of serious head and chest injuries remains a challenge in struck-side impact crashes; head injuries are most frequently associated with a contact with an external object and chest injuries with the intruding side door.