Development of a Variable Deceleration Rate Approach to Rollover Crash Reconstruction 2009-01-0093
The goal of this paper is to advance rollover crash reconstruction techniques beyond the assumption typically made that a rolling vehicle decelerates at a constant rate. The paper presents and applies a planar vehicle-to-ground impact model to explore the manner in which a vehicle’s deceleration rate would be expected to vary over the course of a rollover. Based on this analysis, several possible variable deceleration rate profile shapes are then suggested for rollover crash reconstruction. Then, two rollover crash tests are analyzed to determine the extent to which these suggested variable deceleration rate profiles can be expected to yield accurate reconstructions of the translational and angular velocity histories for actual rollovers. Overall, each of the suggested variable deceleration rate profiles represented a significant improvement over using a constant deceleration rate.