Crash-based Evaluation of Australian Design Rule 69 (Full Frontal Impact Occupant Protection)

In-depth data at MUARC was used to evaluate Australian Design Rule 69 (ADR 69), Full Frontal Impact Occupant Protection, with respect to both injury risk and cost of injury for drivers of passenger cars. The effectiveness of frontal airbag deployment was also examined. ADR 69 was introduced in Australia in mid-1995 and was based largely on the US occupant protection standard, FMVSS 208.

The results of this evaluation indicate reductions of 80% and higher in the likelihood of sustaining AIS 2+ head and face injuries, with even greater gains associated with frontal driver airbag deployment. The frontal driver airbag was particularly important in reducing the probability of chest injuries.

The average injury cost savings for drivers of post-ADR 69 manufactured passenger cars was found to be as high as AUD$19,000 depending on the body region, while the combined injury cost saving associated with head, face, neck and chest injuries combined was AUD$27,000 on average per driver.

The findings do however point the way forward for improvements in vehicle safety design for the further protection of the spine and the lower extremity in particular, where the regulation has had little impact among this sample of belted drivers. Limitations of this research and implications of these findings are discussed. Recommendations to build on the success of ADR 69 are made.

Type: Research and Analysis Report

Sub Type: Grant

Author(s): Michael Fitzharris, Brian Fildes, Stuart Newstead, David Logan, Monash University Accident Research Centre

ISBN: 0 642 25557 1

Topics: Occ protection, Seat belts, Vehicle design

Publication Date: 15/12/06