When a pedestrian is hit by a car, the impact can cause serious injuries. The first contact typically occurs between the bumper of the car and the leg or knee-joint area of the pedestrian, followed by thigh-to-bonnet edge contact. The lower extremity of the body is then accelerated forwards, while the upper body is rotated and accelerated relative to the car.
As a result of the impact, the pelvis and thorax are struck by the bonnet edge and top, respectively. The head can also hit the bonnet or windscreen at a velocity that is at or close to that of the striking car. The force of the collision can cause the victim to fall to the ground, leading to additional injuries.
The speed of the vehicle is an important factor in pedestrian accidents because of the greater force involved at high speeds. However, even at low speeds, serious injuries can occur.