Crash Testing with a Massive Moving Barrier as an Accident Reconstruction Tool 2000-01-0604
Damage analysis methods in accident reconstruction use an estimate of vehicle stiffness together with measured crush to calculate crush energy, closing speed, and vehicle delta-V. Stiffness is generally derived from barrier crash test data. The accident being reconstructed often involves one or more conditions for which vehicle stiffness is not well defined by existing crash tests.
Massive moving barrier (MMB) testing is introduced as a tool to obtain additional and accident specific stiffness coefficients applicable for reconstruction. The MMB impacts a stationary vehicle of similar structure as the accident vehicle under accident-specific conditions like impact location, angle, over-ride / under-ride, offset and damage energy. A rigid or deformable structure is mounted to the front of the MMB, representative of the impacting structure in the accident.
Four illustrative tests are presented. A 1984 Honda Civic frontal impact (2x), a 1988 Dodge Caravan rear impact and a 1992 Isuzu Rodeo frontal offset / over-ride impact were conducted using the MMB. The tests demonstrated that the MMB testing method is an efficient means to attain stiffness, crush energy and acceleration data for specific accident conditions.