Detection of the toughest: Pedestrian injury risk as a smooth function of age

2017-01-17T18:38:26Z (GMT) by Tobias Niebuhr Mirko Junge

Objective: Though it is common to refer to age-specific groups (e.g., children, adults, elderly), smooth trends conditional on age are mainly ignored in the literature. The present study examines the pedestrian injury risk in full-frontal pedestrian-to–passenger car accidents and incorporates age—in addition to collision speed and injury severity—as a plug-in parameter.

Methods: Recent work introduced a model for pedestrian injury risk functions using explicit formulae with easily interpretable model parameters. This model is expanded by pedestrian age as another model parameter. Using the German In-Depth Accident Study (GIDAS) to obtain age-specific risk proportions, the model parameters are fitted to the raw data and then smoothed by broken-line regression.

Results: The approach supplies explicit probabilities for pedestrian injury risk conditional on pedestrian age, collision speed, and injury severity under investigation. All results yield consistency to each other in the sense that risks for more severe injuries are less probable than those for less severe injuries. As a side product, the approach indicates specific ages at which the risk behavior fundamentally changes. These threshold values can be interpreted as the most robust ages for pedestrians.

Conclusions: The obtained age-wise risk functions can be aggregated and adapted to any population. The presented approach is formulated in such general terms that in can be directly used for other data sets or additional parameters; for example, the pedestrian's sex. Thus far, no other study using age as a plug-in parameter can be found.