Browse Publications Technical Papers 2017-01-1410

Driving a Car with a Body Wedged Underneath 2017-01-1410

It can happen, following a collision between a car and a pedestrian or in a deliberate assault with a motor vehicle, that the pedestrian comes to be caught or wedged beneath the car, and that the driver then travels on for a considerable distance, afterwards claiming to have been unaware of the presence of the person. However, police, lawyers and jurors are often incredulous that the driver should not have been able to “feel” that there was something underneath his car. The authors have investigated the matter by carrying out practical tests with suitable cars and dummies. This paper describes instrumented tests performed by the authors following one such incident, and gives accounts of two previous incidents investigated in a more subjective fashion. The general conclusion is that the effect on the behavior of the car is very small and that a driver might indeed be unaware that there was a person trapped beneath them.


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