Application of Force Balance Method in Accident Reconstruction 2005-01-1188
In the field of accident reconstruction, there has been a significant amount of effort devoted to the calculation and derivation of vehicle crush energy and vehicle stiffness. Crush energy is usually calculated with a crush profile and crush stiffness. But, oftentimes, crush profiles and/or crush stiffnesses are not available and accident constructionists face the situation of insufficient information. In some such cases, the force balance method can be used to reduce the uncertainty. The method follows from Newton's Third Law, i.e., the impact force exerted on one vehicle is balanced by the force exerted on the other vehicle. With the help of this method, crush profile or crush stiffness can be derived.
As a result, the crush energy can then be calculated with improved accuracy. This ultimately increases the accuracy of the overall accident reconstruction. In this paper, examples will be given to illustrate the use of such a methodology.