Vehicle Aggressivity Vs. Vehicle Crash Worthiness

Vehicle manufacturers have been studying the concept of vehicle aggressivity for decades. In 1972, a Renault engineer introduced the idea of vehicle aggressiveness in an ESV (Experimental Safety Vehicle) paper – “taking account of all of the people in an accident, not just those in one of the vehicles.” Hence, the concept of vehicle aggressivity focuses on the bullet or striking vehicle, whereas vehicle crashworthiness focuses solely on the occupants of the struck vehicle.

Also in 1972, Enzo Franchini of Fiat presented several papers at international conferences arguing that vehicle manufacturers should make certain their vehicles were compatable with each other as well as with roadside features.

In 1974, Jerry Kosser of the NHTSA wrote that “we must give attention not only to the safety of the occupant of our vehicles but also to the safety of the human cargo aboard the vehicle with which they collide.”

Vehicle Aggressivity concept related to CrashworthinessCarl Ragland with the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) wrote in 1979 that “vehicle aggressivity in frontal collisions has long been considered a safety problem.” That same year, the NHTSA concluded in its special study of multi-purpose vans that it planned a 5 year research effort to develop “a non-aggressive, crashworthy full-size car.

The NHTSA defined vehicle aggressiveness in 1980 to mean “the characteristics of a particular motor vehicle which determines the design to which injury is inflicted upon the occupants of another vehicle with which it collides in a particular crash configuration.

In 1984 Calspan published its “Study of Light Truck Aggressivity” paper and concluded that “light trucks are more aggressive, on average, than passenger cars.”

Clearly [vehicle aggressivity] has the attention of the industry. It’s talked about in board meetings. It’s talked about in engineering meetings. It’s even talked about in sales and marketing meetings. I can’t think of any engineers right now that are not interested in or conversant with this issue.” -Jerry Hirshberg, President of Nissan North America Design Operations.

Motor vehicle crashes in the United States killed 41,821 individuals and injured 3,189,000 others in six million crashes in 2000. In addition to the terrible personal toll, these crashes make a huge economic impact on our society with an estimated annual cost of $230.6 billion dollars in medical and lost earnings. Most of these fatalities and catastrophic injury victims were occupants in smaller vehicles that were impacted by a sport utility vehicle, light truck or van (LTV’s). The question that must be asked is: Why are so many people being killed or maimed following an impact with an LTV? The short answer is due to the aggressivity and incompatibility of LTV’s with smaller vehicles.

The Tracy Firm in Dallas TX assert the rights of individuals injured in vehicle accidents due to manufacturing design, safety system failures, vehicle aggressivity and vehicle crashworthiness throughout the United States. If your injuries were the result of a defective automobile or car part, we can help you assess your legal options.

Contact us online, or, call us today at 214-324-9000 if you or your loved ones are seriously injured in an accident, and, find out if you have a Vehicle Crash worthiness Case.

Thursday 13th February, 2013 | The TRACY firm in Dallas, Texas

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