Vehicle Crash Reconstruction: Principles and Technology

Crash reconstruction is a scientific process that utilizes principles of physics and empirical data to analyze the physical, electronic, video, audio, and testimonial evidence from a crash to determine how and why the crash occurred. This course will introduce this reconstruction process as it gets applied to various crash types - in-line and intersection collisions, pedestrian collisions, motorcycle crashes, rollover crashes, and heavy truck crashes. Methods of evidence documentation will be covered. Analysis methods will also be presented for electronic data from event data recorders and for video. Finally, the course will cover photogrammetry, simulation, and uncertainty analysis. Each topic will be covered to a level of detail that will be useful for practicing accident reconstructionists and that will prepare the students to dive into each topic in more detail either through their own research or through SAE's other course offerings. Attendees of this course will receive a copy of the book Vehicle Accident Analysis and Reconstruction Methods by Raymond and Matthew Brach.

This course has been approved by the Accreditation Commission for Traffic Accident Reconstruction (ACTAR) for 20 Continuing Education Units (CEUs). Upon completion of this seminar, accredited reconstructionists should mail a copy of their course certificate and the $5 student CEU fee to ACTAR, PO Box 1493, North Platte, NE 69103.

What Will You Learn

By attending this seminar, attendees will be able to:
  • Describe the basic evidence documentation techniques
  • Recognize the different types of evidence produced by the different collision types
  • Describe the basic mechanics of collision
  • Summarize the principles of planar impact mechanics and crush analysis
  • Describe the forms of analysis applicable to each collision type
  • Summarize the empirical data available in the literature for each collision type

Is This Course For You

This course is well-suited for individuals just beginning to work in the area of crash reconstruction as well as persons already in the field who want to establish a firmer foundation in current crash reconstruction technology.

Materials Provided

This data is not available at this time

Course Requirements

This data is not available at this time

Topics

DAY ONE
  • General Principles of Crash Reconstruction (1 hour)
    • NHTSA 9-cell matrix
    • Types of evidence
    • Goals in reconstructing a crash
  • Evidence Documentation and Photogrammetry (1.5 hour)
    • Basic photography
    • Priority photos
    • Scanners/drones
  • Acceleration, Braking, and Friction (1 hour)
    • Measuring/estimating friction
    • Vehicle braking performance
    • Acceleration performance
    • Identifying tire marks/causation
  • Inline Collisions (Momentum and Crush Analysis) (2 hours)
    • Conservation of momentum
    • Crush analysis
  • Intersection Collisions (Planar Impact Mechanics and Simulation) (1 hours)
    • Planar impact mechanics
    • Crush analysis
DAY TWO
  • Intersection Collisions (Planar Impact Mechanics and Simulation) (1 hours)
    • Planar impact mechanics
    • Crush analysis
  • Motorcycle Crash Reconstruction (2 hours)
    • Physical evidence from motorcycle crashes
    • Braking, cornering, and swerving
    • Motorcycle crashes on curves
    • Motorcycle crashes with other vehicles
  • Pedestrian Crash Reconstruction (2 hours)
    • Physical evidence from pedestrian crashes
    • Empirical speed-throw distance relationships
    • Theoretical modeling
    • Simulation
  • Rollover Crash Reconstruction (1.5 hours)
    • Physical evidence from rollover crashes
    • Loss-of-control phase
    • Trip phase
    • Rollover phase
DAY THREE
  • Rollover Crash Reconstruction (0.5 hours)
    • Physical evidence from rollover crashes
    • Loss-of-control phase
    • Trip phase
    • Rollover phase
  • EDR Data Analysis (2 hours)
    • Analyzing pre-crash data
    • Analyzing Delta-V data
    • Utilizing EDR data in a reconstruction analysis
  • Heavy Truck Crash Reconstruction (2 hours)
    • Physical evidence from heavy truck crashes
    • Brake force and deceleration rate calculations
    • Heavy truck acceleration
    • Heavy truck maneuvering capabilities
    • Heavy truck event data recorders
  • Video Analysis (1 hour)
  • Simulation (1 hour)