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Headlamps and pedestrian injuries

This study examined existing U.S. data on the contribution of headlamp hardware to pedestrian injuries in crashes. Three sets of pedestrian crash data were used. The first set included all police-reported pedestrian crashes from five states. The analyzed variable was the initial point of impact on the front of a vehicle, coded as left, center, or right. The second set (General Estimates System) consisted of a nationally representative sample of all pedestrian crashes. This set also included the initial point of impact on the front of a vehicle; here we analyzed the frequency of impacts at the left and right corners. The third set (Pedestrian Crash Data Study) consisted of a sample of crashes investigated on-site in six cities. Among the variables coded in this data set was injury source, with one option being headlight. The advantages and disadvantages of each data set were outlined. Given those considerations, our conclusions are based on the analysis of the Pedestrian Crash Data Study. The best available (but limited) evidence suggests that headlamps contribute to injuries of about 4% of pedestrians involved in crashes.