Many thanks to members and guests of Lincoln and Boston IAM, who came to the meeting on Tuesday and gave a great welcome to Professor Angus Wallace who spoke about his research into improving vehicle safety, the Board of Trustees and the recent changes and adoption of the RoadSmart brand and image.
Angus described how he became involved in the IAM 6 years ago when the IAM Motoring Trust replaced the AA Motoring Trust research. Angus was a Consultant Orthopedic surgeon at Queen's Medical Centre and was asked to help on the night of the Kegworth plane crash when a Boeing 737 en-route from London to Belfast came down across the M1.
Angus was so affected that he set out to examine, what has been described as a unique accident, why it was that so many passengers survived and how best they could reduce the injuries in any future crash.
It transpired that 50% of the passengers suffered broken legs because the passenger seats came off their fixings when the floor of the plane disappeared and people's legs came into contact with the ground at impact. The other area of concern were the injuries sustained as a consequence of the seats moving forward and crushing, in a concertina effect, many of the passengers at the front of the plane. Angus and his team spent 7 years researching plane safety and they successfully developed the UK Brace Position which was adopted by the CAA as the standard in 1995. When the team asked the Civil Aviation Authority for further funding after 7 years, they were refused because there were so few crashes that the extra money couldn't be justified so it was then that the team decided to look at injuries sustained in other vehicle crashes.
Angus described the devastating effect that leg injuries can have on quality of life and as a consequence of his research, set up LLIMP – Lower Limb Injury Method of Protection specific for car crash research. In vehicle accidents there are many survivors but they sustain a great number of injuries and in particular leg impact injuries. Angus was keen to discover how cars could incorporate designs that would serve to minimise impact damage. As a result of his and his team's research, clutch and brake pedals have since been redesigned to take into consideration potential effects from severe impact as well as the design of bumpers and other areas of potential contact.
Once the AA learned of his results, Angus was invited to join the AA research which was when he became involved with the Association and then moved to the IAM sometime later when the Institute took over the AA research branch.
Angus is fully involved with the Board of Trustees and he updated us with the fact that the sale of the office in Chiswick has been completed and also the lease of the building in Albany Place Welwyn Garden City which should be fully functioning by November together with a satellite office in London as an administrative base.
While our meeting with CEO, Sarah Sillars in July gave us some understanding of the concept and introduced us to the changes, it was interesting to have a bit of a refresher from another member of the board of trustees particularly as we have had a couple of months in which we have been implementing the changes ourselves.
Angus spoke about the recognition the board has that if needs to attract a younger membership and in our branch although the average age is just over 47 years, we will be endeavoring to encourage more of our younger membership to join in with our meetings and events by introducing a wider variety of topics and interest over the coming year so please watch this space.
You can find out more about Angus and the other IAM RoadSmart Board of Trustees at https://www.iamroadsmart.com/about-us/our-people/trustees