Vehicle Crash Reconstruction: Principles and Technology C1728


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.
Learning Objectives

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

Who Should Attend

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.

You must complete all course contact hours and successfully pass the learning assessment to obtain CEUs.

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)
Neal Carter and Jason Zeitler
Neal Carter


Neal Carter is the Vice President and Principal Engineer at Luminous Forensics, a Denver-based accident reconstruction, forensic engineering, and forensic visualization firm that he founded in 2019. Prior to that, he was a Principal Engineer, a Senior Engineer, and an Engineer at Kineticorp, another accident reconstruction firm. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Utah. Neal is an accredited accident reconstructionist through the Accreditation Commission for Traffic Accident Reconstruction (ACTAR) and a licensed Professional Engineer (PE). He has offered expert testimony as an accident reconstructionist in court. He has authored numerous papers in the areas of tire modeling, crush analysis, simulation, motorcycle dynamics, video analysis, photogrammetry, event data recorders, and the use of small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) for accident reconstruction. Neal is currently an organizer for the Accident Reconstruction sessions at SAE World Congress.

Jason Zeitler


Jason Zeitler is a Senior Accident Reconstructionist at Luminous Forensics, a Denver-based accident reconstruction, forensic engineering, and forensic visualization firm. Prior to that, he was a Senior Accident Reconstructionist at Kineticorp, another accident reconstruction firm. Jason is a retired law enforcement Sergeant and has been investigating vehicle collisions since 2005. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Engineering and a master’s degree in Bioengineering (Biomedical) from the Florida Atlantic University. Jason is currently studying Forensic Medicine at the University of Florida. Jason is an accredited accident reconstructionist through the Accreditation Commission for Traffic Accident Reconstruction (ACTAR). He has offered expert testimony as an accident reconstructionist in court. Jason is currently conducting research in a variety of topics, such as event data recorders, chip-swaps, modeling, crush analysis, simulations, the use of small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS), video analysis, photogrammetry, and motorcycle dynamics.

Duration: 3 Days
CEUs: 2.0

Format: Classroom

Event ID: 6948

Location: Oxnard, California

Session Info:

8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.


Fees: $1449.00

Members save up to 10% off list price.
Log in to see discount.

If paying by any other method or if you have general enquiries, please contact SAE Customer Service.

X