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Not patented ideas
Not patented ideas    Technologies of maintenance safety A MEANS OF PROTECTING THE VEHICLE AND PEDESTRIAN IN THE EVENT OF A ROAD ACCIDENT


Author: Boris Leonidovich Smirnov


Passive safety involves the protection of the health and life of people in cases when it is too late to act, and the driver has no choice but to passively wait for the outcome of the road accident (More in detail: and


Passive safety gains increasingly more relevance with each passing year, as the life of the drivers, passengers, and pedestrians is given top priority. When buying a car, its future owner chooses not only a beautiful and convenient car, but also the one that is safe.


Currently, designers in the car-making industries the world over confine their efforts to cushioning the impact from the collision with an obstacle. It is possible to make the impact less abrupt and traumatizing at the expense of the car body (its front or rear part), which can help save the driver and passengers. One of the major problems is also saving the life of the pedestrian hit by a car.


The following approach is proposed as a solution to the abovementioned problems.


To this end, the car safety system must be equipped with an additional system that cushions the impact from – or prevents altogether – the collision of the car with an obstacle and – when a pedestrian has been hit by a car – saves the life of the pedestrian.


This can be achieved by means of equipping the car with an additional cushioning bumper that automatically ejects from the main bumper of the car within the space of time since the beginning of emergency braking until the moment of collision with an obstacle. With a view to eliminating an abrupt impact of the car with an obstacle and preventing the damage to the expensive car as well as avoiding serious harm to the pedestrian, a safety airbag should be embedded into the bumper.


The technical result is achieved by the fact that the key elements in the construction of the automatically ejecting cushioning bumper are one-way shock-absorbers or telescopic pneumatic cylinders that contain capsules with doses of diesel or other fuel. The rear part of this assembly is attached to the side-members of the car, while the front part is located in the lower part of the main front bumper at the level of the sills of the car body. The assembly is equipped with a gas generator that moves the bumper into its active position.


In the event of a road accident, the car and pedestrian protection system operates as follows.


In an emergency situation, when the driver anticipates a collision with an obstacle – especially on a slippery road surface – the driver hits the brakes abruptly and with an effort. (In such circumstances, the pressure on the brake pedal can reach up to 70-100 kg, while in the case of normal or sporting type of driving it does not exceed 30-40 kg.)


In the event of such emergency braking, the signal from the brake pedal passes to the electronic control unit, from which the signal in the form of an electronic pulse triggers the gas generator, which, in turn, engages the telescopic bumper, which slides out from the main bumper into its active position. When the cushioning bumper touches the obstacle, the car continues to move, and the shock-absorbers contract, as a result of which the impact is cushioned, and the collision with the obstacle is not abrupt.


When the telescopic pneumatic cylinders are used, at the end of their compression stroke the fuel capsule bursts igniting the fuel. As a result, the car is repulsed from the obstacle undamaged. (A similar process takes place during pile driving when the diesel hammer is repulsed from the pile).


A cushioning bumper located at the level of the sill increases safety in the event of a lateral collision. In this case, the cushioned impact is not directed at the central pillar of the car body or the door, but at the sill, which is very durable and bound with the bottom of the car body. Notably, passengers who are inside the car at the moment of collision will not be damaged by the impact from the collision.


When the car is about to hit a pedestrian – when its ejected bumper touches the pedestrian’s lower limbs – the safety airbag, its length equal to that of an adult and its width equal to the length of the bumper, is inflated. The airbag (which resembles a mattress) consists of three equal lengthwise enclosures. The two lateral enclosures are connected with the middle enclosure by means of inverted valves. The middle enclosure has a self-sticking surface facing the hood, and the two lateral enclosures have self-sticking edges.


The pedestrian, hit by a moving car, slants against the safety bag and falls on the hood. The middle enclosure of the bag sticks to the hood. Pressure inside it increases (as a result of which the impact is cushioned and the body does not rebound from the hood), the inverted valves open, and the gas passes from the middle enclosure into the lateral enclosures and inflates them. Filled with the gas from the middle enclosure, the lateral enclosures link with their sticking edges and wrap the passenger preventing him from rebounding and hitting the road.


It should be noted that this safety method is not a universal solution and cannot ensure safety at all speeds. However, at average speeds it will reduce considerably the number of damaged cars and injured pedestrians.




There are cases when the car’s braking distance is merely 2-3 meters longer than the distance to the obstacle. As a result, the car with its beautiful and fragile finish is damaged in a road accident. As a result, the driver suffers a mental stress and the car is in need of costly repairs.  

Note: the abovementioned ideas have been arranged in the form of an application for an invention patent of the Russian Federation.

Publishing date: August 19, 2003

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