Bicycle safety in bicycle to car accidents.

Rodarius, C. Mordaka, J. & Versmissen, T.

Much attention is being paid to pedestrian safety by international working groups such as EEVC WGI7, in research projects such as APROSYS ( and consumer organisations like Euro NCAP ( In addition legal requirements are in place, like the EU directive 2003/102/EC. However, it can be seen from the BRON (Bestand geRegistreerde Ongevallen Nederland) accident database that in the Netherlands more people get killed or injured while riding a bicycle than as a pedestrian. This is a main concern of the Fietsersbond, the Dutch Cyclists' Union that campaigns for better cycling conditions in the Netherlands. From a preliminary study performed by TNO for the Fietsersbond it was found, that parameters like impact speed and angle as well as car geometry are likely to have significant influence on obtainable injuries. The main objective of the current study was to investigate these issues more in detail. This study is build up in four steps: 1. Literature study and an analysis of actual accidents to investigate most common injuries and impact scenarios in bicycle to car accidents (Chapter 2) and related questions on bicycle to car accidents. 2. Extensive numerical parameter study to indicate the most important parameters influencing injuries (Chapter 3) as well as injury severity, impact speeds, and main impact locations. 3. Development of an assessment methodology proposal based on the results of step 1 and 2 to be used in current or future regulations and testing protocols (Chapter 4). 4. Indication of possible safety measures on vehicles for improved cyclist safety. (Chapter 5). The parameter study has been performed using numerical simulations in MADYMO (MAthematical DYynamic MOdel), a simulation software program that is widely used in the automotive safety field. For the simulation set up an easily scalable car built up trough 8 planes representing the most important surfaces of a vehicle wasused. In order to be able to draw conclusions on different seating positions and smallercyclists, the study was carried out with two cyclists (Dutch 50th percentile male, and standard 5th percentile female) both on a hybrid and on a granny bicycle. In Chapter 6 conclusions and recommendations are provided. (Author/publisher)

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Library number
20080556 ST [electronic version only]

Delft, TNO Science and Industry, 2008, 46 p., ref.; TNO Report TNO-033-HM-2008-00354

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This publication is one of our other publications, and part of our extensive collection of road safety literature, that also includes the SWOV publications.