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Accid Anal Prev. 2013 Jan;50:155-66. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2012.04.005. Epub 2012 May 11.

Vehicle mass and injury risk in two-car crashes: A novel methodology.

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Centre for Transport Studies, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK.


This paper introduces a novel methodology based on disaggregate analysis of two-car crash data to estimate the partial effects of mass, through the velocity change, on absolute driver injury risk in each of the vehicles involved in the crash when absolute injury risk is defined as the probability of injury when the vehicle is involved in a two-car crash. The novel aspect of the introduced methodology is in providing a solution to the issue of lack of data on the speed of vehicles prior to the crash, which is required to calculate the velocity change, as well as a solution to the issue of lack of information on non-injury two-car crashes in national accident data. These issues have often led to focussing on relative measures of injury risk that are not independent of risk in the colliding cars. Furthermore, the introduced methodology is used to investigate whether there is any effect of vehicle size above and beyond that of mass ratio, and whether there are any effects associated with the gender and age of the drivers. The methodology was used to analyse two-car crashes to investigate the partial effects of vehicle mass and size on absolute driver injury risk. The results confirmed that in a two-car collision, vehicle mass has a protective effect on its own driver injury risk and an aggressive effect on the driver injury risk of the colliding vehicle. The results also confirmed that there is a protective effect of vehicle size above and beyond that of vehicle mass for frontal and front to side collisions.

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