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Publication Details

TitlePerformance of bull bars in pedestrian impact tests
AuthorsAnderson RWG, Van Den Berg AL, Ponte G, Streeter LD, McLean AJ
AbstractThirteen bull bars and the five models of vehicle were tested to measure their performance in pedestrian impact tests. Three tests were used in the assessment: two tests using an impactor representing the upper leg of an adult pedestrian, and a test with an impactor representing the head of a child. The headform impact and one of the upper legform impacts were with the top rail of the bull bar, and the second upper legform impact was with the bumper section of the bull bar. Equivalent locations on the vehicle that the bull bars were attached to were also tested. The tests were conducted at 30 km/h. Two rating systems were developed to summarise the results. The first rates the performance of the bull bars and the fronts of the vehicles according to the New Car Assessment Program consumer rating system used in Europe and Australia. The second system rates the performance of the bull bars relative to the front of the vehicle to which they are attached. Overall, steel bull bars are significantly more hazardous for a pedestrian in the event of a collision than the front of the vehicle, as are the aluminium/alloy bull bars, but to a lesser extent than the steel bull bars. Overall, the polymer bull bars slightly improve the safety of the front of the vehicle.. This study demonstrates the practicability of reporting the performance of bull bars in pedestrian impact tests. The system developed herein could form the basis of a consumer-oriented bull bar testing program.
Report NumberCASR020
PublisherCentre for Automotive Safety Research
Publisher CityAdelaide
SponsorMotor Accident Commission
Page Count43

Anderson RWG, Van Den Berg AL, Ponte G, Streeter LD, McLean AJ (2006) Performance of bull bars in pedestrian impact tests (CASR020), Centre for Automotive Safety Research, Adelaide.