Project: Knee Injury Prevention for Pedestrians (KIPP)

Reference: S221B/VF

Last update: 08/09/2003 14:09:02


The purpose of this study was to describe the type of knee injuries and group characteristics of those sustaining them. This would feed into the knowledge base of pedestrian injury mechanisms, which will provide sound scientific support for the UK position during European negotiations on improved requirements for pedestrian protection.


Pedestrians are among the most vulnerable road users. Current guidelines used by motor vehicle designers require them to minimise the chance of a lower leg fracture occurring on impact. Anecdotal evidence, however, indicates that in an attempt to minimise such fractures, there is an increase in the likelihood of an injury to the knee joint itself. Knee joint injuries, particularly those involving the joint surface and ligaments, are often more disabling in the medium and long term than a lower leg fracture.

Using databases at Nottingham University Hospital, 374 patients aged 16 years and over, who had sustained knee injuries as pedestrians struck by the front end of a car, were identified over a 7-year period. All 374 case notes were reviewed by experts with respect to presentation and follow up knee injuries. Their management was separated, as far as possible, from any other injuries they had sustained.


University of Nottingham
Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, Division of Orthopaedic and Accident Surgery, Nottingham, NG7 2UH

Contract details

Cost to the Department: £10,160.00

Actual start date: 01 October 1999

Actual completion date: 31 December 2000


Knee injuries in pedestrian road traffic accidents
Author: University of Nottingham
Publication date: 01/12/2000
Source: Contact

Summary of results

  1. This study has noted that one in five pedestrians struck by a motor vehicle, who sustain a significant knee injury (i.e. more than a superficial soft tissue injury), still required ongoing treatment with limitation of function at six months following the initial accident. On average significant knee injuries require over 2 weeks in hospital and need to be seen in the out-patient (usually fracture) clinic 4 times. Two in five undergo an operation.