Car collides with bicycle

08 Nov 2020 Examples of accidents & crash tests

DEKRA crash test

Crash setup:
In this crash test, a car was accelerated to 40 km/h before colliding into the lefthand side of a bicycle crossing its path. From the perspective of the car driver, the bicycle was approaching the point of the collision from the right at an angle of less than 110 degrees and a speed of 20 km/h. The “Hybrid III” crash test dummy (50 percent) used to represent the cyclist was wearing an airbag helmet, which was worn around the neck like a scarf. In case of a collision, this is designed to trigger an airbag that envelops the head in order to protect the whole head area.
Sequence of events during crash:
After the initial contact between the car and the bicycle, the dummy was thrown from the bicycle, it then hit the hood of the car, and its head broke through the windshield. After the car braked, the dummy was thrown off to the side, where it fell against the floor of the crash facility. The airbag helmet did not trigger at any point during the crash sequence.
Vehicles involved:
One bicycle, one car
Crash test results:
At the point of the impact with the windshield, the load values measured in the head area far exceeded the biomechanical limits. The load values measured in the head area during the secondary impact, when the dummy hit the floor of the crash facility, were even higher. In a real-life accident scenario, a human being would have almost no chance of surviving such a crash without a helmet. It was not possible to determine through reconstruction the reasons why the airbag helmet failed to trigger during either the initial crash or the secondary impact against the floor.
Avoidance measures, mitigation of consequences/ strategy for road safety measures:
A bicycle helmet would have provided protection during both the primary impact against the windshield and the secondary impact against the floor of the crash facility, and significantly increased the chance of survival. In many crash scenarios, the airbag helmet demonstrates a higher level of protection than conventional bicycle helmets. However, as demonstrated by a further DEKRA crash test, there still seem to be problems with the trigger algorithm in case of collisions between bicycles and cars. Improvements in this area would be welcomed.