An evaluation of the association between vehicle type and the source and severity of pedestrian injuries

Bahman Sayyar Roudsari, Charles N. Mock, Robert Kaufman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


To evaluate the effect of vehicle type (passenger vehicle vs. light truck vehicle) on crash trajectory and on the consequent source and severity of pedestrian injury, we analyzed data from the Pedestrian Crash Data Study (PCDS), conducted by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) from 1994 to 1998. While 62% of the adults in PV (passenger vehicle)-related crashes were carried by the vehicle, such pedestrian-vehicle interaction was observed only in 28% of LTV (light truck vehicle)-adult crashes. Being thrown forward or knocked down were the most common (65%) type of pedestrian-vehicle interactions for LTV-adult crashes. For children, 93% of those struck by LTVs and 46% of those struck by PVs were thrown forward or knocked down. For adults, LTVs were more likely than PVs to cause thorax (37% vs. 20%) and abdomen injuries (33% vs. 18%). For children, LTVs were more likely than PVs to cause injuries to the upper extremity (71% vs. 56%) and abdomen (14% vs. 8%). For adults struck by PVs the most common sources of injury were windshield for head injuries (63%), hood surface for thorax (67%), abdomen (58%), spine (30%), and upper extremity (36%) injuries, and bumper for the lower extremity injuries (60%). The leading causes of injury for adult-LTV crashes were ground for head (39%) and upper extremity (37%) injuries, hood edge for thorax (48%) and abdomen (56%) injuries, hood surface for spine injuries (36%), and bumper for lower extremity injuries (45%). For child-PV crashes, ground was the most common source of face (37%) abdomen (83%), spine (43%), and upper extremity injuries (54%). For children hit by LTVs, 52% of face, 67% of abdomen, 100% of spine, and 60% of upper extremity injuries were attributed to ground contacts. Altogether, the major sources of injury were hood surface and windshield for PV-pedestrian crashes and hood surface and hood edge for LTV-pedestrian crashes. Changes in design, such as altering the geometry and stiffness of front-end structures, might be associated with considerable decrease in the frequency and severity of pedestrian injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-192
Number of pages8
JournalTraffic Injury Prevention
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Injury
  • Pedestrian
  • Safety
  • Vehicle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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