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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 41  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 165-166

Why India needs crashworthy vehicles

Biomechanics and Occupant Protection, Thorbole Simulation Technologies LLC, Rogers, Arkansas, USA

Date of Web Publication26-Feb-2016

Correspondence Address:
Chandrashekhar K Thorbole
Biomechanics and Occupant Protection, Thorbole Simulation Technologies LLC, Rogers, Arkansas
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-0218.177537

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How to cite this article:
Thorbole CK. Why India needs crashworthy vehicles. Indian J Community Med 2016;41:165-6

How to cite this URL:
Thorbole CK. Why India needs crashworthy vehicles. Indian J Community Med [serial online] 2016 [cited 2021 Dec 3];41:165-6. Available from: https://www.ijcm.org.in/text.asp?2016/41/2/165/177537


Crashworthiness is the ability of a vehicle's design to protect its occupant during a crash scenario. In the past, Dehaven (1952) and Franchini (1969) [1],[2] have shown the importance of maintaining the structural integrity of the occupant compartment for enhanced occupant protection during a crash. The main focus involves stronger structure with enhanced compartment safety countermeasures.

As per the report from the World Health Organization (WHO), [3],[4] road traffic injuries will be ranked third after heart disease and depression by 2020. India is among the leading countries for traffic-related deaths that costs a lot to India per year. [5] Social losses to India on account of these crashes are estimated at over 100,000 crores annually or 3% of its gross domestic product (GDP). These casualties are rising by 5.5% annually.

The Haddon Matrix provides valuable information regarding the factors involved in the precrash, crash, and postcrash phases of an accident dictating the injury outcome. [6] It is clear from this framework that during the crash phase, it is the crashworthy features of the vehicle design that dictate the occupant protection level. For example, the crash data collected by an Indian automotive manufacturer on the Mumbai-Pune Express Highway show vehicle rollover as a leading accident type in 2011. [7] The data conclude that high speed and tire burst are the leading precrash factors causing rollovers. The data show a higher percentage of occupant injuries in these accidents, clearly showing the lack of crashworthy vehicle design that would have protected occupants in rollover crashes. Stronger roof structure and an enhanced restraint system preventing an occupant's partial ejection are the preferred crashworthy features to enhance occupant protection in rollover crashes. Advanced features such as rollover-activated seatbelt pretensioner, curtain airbags, "all belts to seat" (ABTS) seatbelts, and a stronger roof are proven to increase occupant protection in rollover crashes. [8],[9],[10]

I would like to emphasize again that it is the crashworthy vehicle design features that prevent occupant fatality or disabling injury and not the precrash conditions causing the accident. Certainly, crashworthy vehicle design ensures the reduction of loss of productivity arising from crash-induced disabling injuries. This is why crashworthy vehicle design is a necessity for India and its growing economy.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

De Haven H. Accident survival - Airplane and passenger car. SAE 1952;716:1-7.  Back to cited text no. 1
Franchini E. The Crash Survival Space. International Automotive Engineering Congress. Detroit, MI: SAE Publication; 1969. SAE Technical Paper 690005. p. 1-12.  Back to cited text no. 2
World Health Organization. World Report on Road Traffic Injury Prevention: World Health Organization; 2004. p. 1-216.  Back to cited text no. 3
World Health Organization. A 5-Year WHO Strategy for Road Traffic Injury Prevention. Geneva: World Health Organization (WHO); 2002. p. 1-17.  Back to cited text no. 4
Bloomberg Philanthropies. Leading the Worldwide Movement to Improve Road Safety. New York: Bloomberg Philantropies; 2012. p. 1-28.  Back to cited text no. 5
Thorbole CK, Kumaresh G, Bendre S. Traffic accident injury causation analysis for implementing injury prevention strategies in India. Technical Reference Bulletin, Symposium on International Automotive Technology. Pune: ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India); 2015. p. 99-105.  Back to cited text no. 6
Ravishankar S, Vaidya NV, Gogate VS. Accident Research - Pilot Study on an Indian Express Highway. 5 th International Conference on ESAR "Expert Symposium Accident Research". September 2012 at Hannover Medical School: Fachverlag NW in der Carl Schuenemann Verlag GmbH; 2013. p. 87.  Back to cited text no. 7
Thorbole CK, Renfroe DA, Batzer SA, Beltran D, Herndon G. Computational Analysis of a Near and Far Side Front Occupant Kinematics in a Vehicle Rollover with Different Restraints. 21 st International Safety Conference on the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles (ESV). Stuttgart, Germany: NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration); 2009. p. Thorbole1- Thorbole8.  Back to cited text no. 8
Harberl J, Ritzl F, Eichinger S. The Effect of Fully Seat-Integrated Front Seat Belt Systems on Vehicle Occupants in Frontal Crashes. Goteborg, Sweden: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; 1989. p. 1138-1145.  Back to cited text no. 9
Thorbole C, Deshpande S. A Study to Address the Failure Mechanism of the Conventional 3-Point Restraint in Protecting the Far Side Occupant in a Rollover Accident. SAE Technical Paper 2015-26-0161: SAE International; 2015.  Back to cited text no. 10


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