Comment 6462

By Ted Mitchell (registered) | Posted April 20, 2007 at 13:13:39

Two points of clarification. Do those death stats vs speed refer to the average speeds the vehicles are travelling or the speed at impact with pedestrian?

Hitting a small child at 25 km/h is very likely to be fatal, because car bumper height is at the child's centre of gravity and launches the child forward like a pool ball. An adult hit at this speed will have their legs taken out but critical parts like the head, thorax and pelvis fall into the relatively soft hood and windshield, thus much less serious trauma.

Point 2 leads from this. If hit by a pickup truck or SUV with their higher/squarer bumpers, adults are launched forward like the child, throwing their critical parts into pavement or other unforgiving structures. I have seen a stat (forget exactly where) that the risk of pedestrian death is 2-3 times higher for these vehicles versus cars at the same speed.

Interesting to note from the TLC report that 5/6 of this years ped fatalities involve trucks or SUVs. Front end configuration or driver behaviour or both? Certainly not just a statistical anomaly.

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