Techniques for the Reconstruction of Rollover Accidents Involving Sport Utility Vehicles, Light Trucks and Minivans 2000-01-0851
Rollover Accidents account for almost 50 percent of fatalities that occur in sport utility vehicles, pickups and minivans, such that increased attention is being paid to these types of accidents. This paper discusses the common types of situations that lead to vehicle rollover of multipurpose passenger vehicles, and the mechanisms that precipitate these situations.
Techniques to reconstruct the actual rollover process are presented, and examples are provided to illustrate common rollover trajectories. Parameters that affect variations in these trajectories are discussed. For example, the spacing or distance traveled between touch downs can vary substantially. Identification of these distances is necessary to accurately estimate vehicle rollover speeds, number of rolls and severity of each roll. Vehicle inspection techniques are provided which allow the orientation of the vehicle at the start of the rollover sequence to be established, together with the orientation of the vehicle at each subsequent touch down. Scene survey techniques are also discussed to show how in combination with the vehicle inspection a rollover trajectory can be reconstructed. Finally, techniques are presented which enable the speed of the vehicle at rollover to be calculated and the pre-rollover trajectory to be analyzed. Reconstruction of a number of actual rollover accidents are provided to illustrate the techniques.