A population based estimation of the driver protection provided by passenger cars: France 1996-2005

Jean-Louis Martin, Erik Lenguerrand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


The technology used in cars to protect occupants is constantly developing. Demonstrating the beneficial effects in the field is complex as the most recent vehicles are generally used by drivers who differ from other drivers and who drive in different traffic conditions. This paper presents an overall estimation of the consequences of changes in the secondary safety of cars, taking account of most of these factors. The data come from information collected about injury road traffic crashes by the police in France between 1996 and 2005. The risk of the driver being killed has been evaluated for the 144,034 drivers involved in two-car crashes and for the 63,621 drivers involved in single-car crashes. The study shows that when a recent car is in collision with an older car the driver of the former is better protected than the driver of the latter. These improvements in secondary safety are not observed in the case of single-car crashes, very probably because of higher impact speeds. Our findings also confirm the need for protection systems to be better adapted to the specific characteristics of users and for an improvement in the crash compatibility of vehicles, in particular to overcome the consequences of differences between the masses of vehicles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1811-21
Number of pages11
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008


  • Accidents, Traffic
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Air Bags
  • Automobile Driving
  • Automobiles
  • Female
  • France
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk
  • Safety
  • Seat Belts
  • Sex Factors
  • Wounds and Injuries
  • Young Adult


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