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Some effects of Australian Design Rule (ADR) 69 on frontal crash outcomes

journal contribution
posted on 18.05.2012, 14:12 authored by Andrew MorrisAndrew Morris, Jo BarnesJo Barnes, Brian Fildes
This study presents some results from a case-control study of crashed vehicles equipped with Australian airbag technology (Supplementary Restraint Systems). Vehicles were inspected and occupants interviewed according to the National Accident Sampling System (NASS). Data were available for 383 belted drivers involved in frontal crashes including 253 drivers in airbag-equipped vehicles and 130 drivers in non-airbag vehicles. 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) were 60% greater in the non-airbag vehicles compared with the airbag-equipped vehicles. Thus airbags in Australia would appear to offer a significant saving in terms of costs to society. The body regions which portrayed the most significant Harm reduction were the head, neck and chest. In general, the main conclusion form the study was that the results offer a strong indication that the Australian Design Rule (ADR) 69 requirement has been successful at addressing some of the outstanding issues that remain for injury prevention for drivers involved in frontal impacts.



  • Design


MORRIS, A., BARNES, J. and FILDES, B., 2001. Some effects of Australian design rule (ADR) 69 on frontal crash outcomes. International Journal of Crashworthiness, 6 (4), pp. 499 - 510


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This paper is Closed Access and the definitive version is available at: The study presents results from a case-control study of crashed vehicles equipped with Australian airbag design technology (Supplementary Restraint Systems). The results of this research, disseminated at the International Crashworthiness Conference, were seen as a major measure of the success of Australian technological design systems since the vehicle fleet in Australia contains vehicles that are designed and produced in Australia and are generally unique to Australian roads. The study also had major implications for the New Zealand vehicle fleet where many vehicles are imported without an airbag as standard. An associated report studying the cost-benefits of retro-fitment of Supplementary Restraint Systems in New Zealand was then conducted.







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