Students in Canada have developed a crash test dummy to enable emergency services and collision investigators to better understand exactly what happens when a cyclist is struck by a motor vehicle.
According to CBC News, which has a video with footage of a trial earlier this week, the study was devised after a student at Carleton University in Ottawa, 27-year-old Krista Johnson, was killed while cycling in autumn last year.
Students from Carleton’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering designed and assembled the electronic components for the test, with their counterparts from Algonquin College’s Mechanical Technician-Toolmaking course responsible for the mechanical side.
An article on the Carleton Newsroom says: “On average, there are 311 reported collisions involving vehicles and cyclists each year in Ottawa. Between 2007 and 2011, there were 1,556 vehicle/cyclist collisions with 1,253 injuries and 12 fatalities.
“To date, there is very little research or findings to assist collision investigators in gathering evidence from vehicle/cyclist collisions scenes and to reconstruct the events.”
Detective Alain Boucher, project liaison officer at Ottawa Police, commented: “By observing and collecting data about this simulated crash test, Ottawa Police collision investigators expect to have a better understanding of what occurs during a low speed (30 km/h) collision between a vehicle and bicycle.”
JP Trottier, a spokesman for the Ottawa Paramedic Service, said: "When we arrive at scenes where there was a collision between a car and bike, our paramedics really have to take a look at the damage on the vehicle, the point of impact on the vehicle and the severity of those points of impact. That would determine where we look for injuries on the patient."
This YouTube video, taken at an earlier demonstration last month by Chris Mikula of The Ottawa Citizen shows the dummy in action.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.