Effectiveness of ADR 69: a case-control study of crashed vehicles equipped with airbags
journal contributionposted on 15.03.2006, 13:27 by Andrew MorrisAndrew Morris, Jo BarnesJo Barnes, Brian Fildes, Fulvio Bentivegna, Keith Seyer
Australian Design Rule (ADR) 69 called for all new passenger cars to comply with a dynamic full frontal barrier crash test requirement, similar to US safety standard FMVSS 208 but with restrained test dummies. This study set out to evaluate how effective ADR 69 has been at preventing injuries and Harm to passenger car occupants in Australia since its introduction. A case-control study of real-world crashed vehicles equipped with and without Supplementary Restraint Systems was conducted. Data included 253 drivers in airbag-equipped vehicles and 130 drivers in non-airbag vehicles, involved in a frontal collision. The analysis revealed reductions in the numbers of injuries to the head, face, chest and neck in the airbag-equipped vehicles although the numbers of upper extremity injuries increased. At higher injury severities (AIS2+) reductions were also observed in injuries to the head, face, neck and chest. Further analysis using Harm as an outcome measure found that the mean Harm per driver (in terms of $AUD) was 60% greater in the non-airbag vehicles compared with the airbag-equipped vehicles. The main conclusion from the study was that the results offer a strong indication that the Australian Design Rule (ADR) 69 requirement has been successful in addressing some of the outstanding issues that remain for injury prevention for drivers involved in frontal impacts.