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Technical Paper

Determination of Vehicle Velocities and Collision Location by Means of Monte Carlo Simulation Method

“collision from the right-hand side of the center line” – “collision from the left-hand side of the center line”, or “the accident could have been avoided” – “the accident could not be avoided”). The aim of the paper was to present a method of collision reconstruction calculation using the principle of conservation of momentum, the principle of energy conservation, and the principle of kinetic energy and work equivalence (energy balance) (Marquard), taking into consideration Monte Carlo simulation method. ...The aim of the paper was to present a method of collision reconstruction calculation using the principle of conservation of momentum, the principle of energy conservation, and the principle of kinetic energy and work equivalence (energy balance) (Marquard), taking into consideration Monte Carlo simulation method. The applicability of the method in determination of distribution function for vehicle collision velocities was proved and, what is more important, its practical uselessness in determination of collision location. ...In road accident analysis the problem of uncertainty of calculation results becomes essential particularly when modification of input values within the adopted ranges leads to diametric change of the answer to the question posed by the court of justice (e.g.

Ethics for Accident Investigation and Reconstruction

The purpose of this SAE Recommended Practice is to promote the highest professional and personal conduct of practitioners in the fields of accident investigation and reconstruction. It encourages the continuous application of high ethical principles to one’s own endeavors. ...It also encourages the application of these same principles to others associated with accident investigation and reconstruction.
Technical Paper

Automated Accident Reconstruction

The Simulation Model of Automobile Collisions (SMAC) computer program was developed by Calspan Corporation as an aid with which to accurately reconstruct road accidents. Part of the overall objective of the research has been to make the system “user oriented” so that users without an engineering background can operate it with ease. ...This has necessitated developing a START program which automatically runs the SMAC program from a minimum of input data and an iteration routine designed to optimize the input values of velocities to provide a “best fit” reconstruction to the available scene data. A summary of how the START program works is given; however, emphasis is placed in the paper on the development of the iterative routine. ...For each example the results of each successive iteration are given to illustrate the manner in which the program converges to an acceptable reconstruction. This paper is based on research performed under Contract No. DOT-HS-5-01124 with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Technical Paper


This paper provides an overview of safety situations of commercial vehicles on the basis of databank concerning more than 4500 accidents. Different safety points of view are analysed and evaluated. A special accident reconstruction program (CARAT) is interpreted which is able to solve the traffic and accident questions in practical approach. ...A special accident reconstruction program (CARAT) is interpreted which is able to solve the traffic and accident questions in practical approach. It summarises conclusions and proposals on road safety of heavy vehicles in Europe.
Technical Paper

Photogrammetry and Accident Reconstruction: Experimental Results

A controlled experiment involving road marks was conducted to compare various photogrammetry practices currently in use in the accident investigation community. The experimental controls and results are discussed for three variations of one 2-D scheme and for six 3-D photogrammetric schemes applied to a similar set of road marks and points. ...For measurements related to the most frequent issues in traffic accidents, all of the methods are capable of providing usable data. The experimental photographs and corresponding data represent a reference set for developing skills and for comparison with other photogrammetry schemes.
Technical Paper

The Role of the Highway Environment in Accident Reconstruction

The highway environment is an integral part of highway safety from the standpoints of collision causation and severity-increasing factors. Highway designers are faced with the problem of providing highway safety without sufficient information about the compatibility of current design standards with either driver or vehicle factors. Collision data collection efforts have not provided specific roadway performance data. Thus, many designs have been based on intuitive ideas rather than on specific performance information. The manufacturers of the rapidly changing vehicle fleet currently do not either provide input to the highway designer or consider vehicle-roadside appurtance interaction during the vehicle design process. This has led to the less than desired performance of some roadway and roadside design features. This paper identifies the problems faced by the roadway designer, and gives suggestions for solving these problems with real-world roadway performance data.
Technical Paper

Introduction to Traffic Signal Data Loggers and their Application to Accident Reconstruction

Until relatively recently, investigators were limited by the absence of any recording devices within the systems used for traffic signal phasing and timing. Accident reconstruction methods have long relied on the generalized signal phasing and timings programmed for that intersection by the responsible jurisdiction, combined with the vehicle dynamics calculated for the collision sequence in conjunction with witness testimony regarding signal indications and phase changes. ...This paper also presents how to obtain, analyze, and interpret the data logger data and possible applications of such data to accident reconstruction.
Technical Paper

Accident Reconstruction with Data Recorded by Electronic Control Units in Vehicles with a Pre-crash Safety System

Data recorded by vehicle-mounted electronic control units (ECUs) are highly useful in traffic accident reconstruction. In this context, event data recorders (EDRs) are airbag ECU components used to log information from crash events, typically providing data on speed, accelerator operation, RPMs and brake lamp activation for a period of around 5 s before a collision. ...Thus, it is important to check the accuracy of EDR speed data in accident reconstruction. Meanwhile, pre-crash safety systems (PCSs) are also becoming more widespread in automobile usage today. ...Such systems automatically apply braking in hazardous situations, and the relevant data recorded in the ECU are promising in the field of accident reconstruction. This study involved physical tests in the form of simulated rear-end collisions and the collection of recorded PCS data at the post-test stage.
Technical Paper

Identification and Interpretation of Directional Indicators in Contact-Damaged Paint Films - Applications in Motor Vehicle Accident Reconstruction

The informed accident investigation and reconstruction professional who can identify the patterns within these damage features, and interpret them correctly, has an added tool for determining the relative motions between the vehicle, and the event which produced the damage. ...The majority of motor vehicle accidents do create damage to at least one of the painted exterior surfaces of the involved vehicle.
Technical Paper

Three-Dimensional Reconstruction and Simulation of Motor Vehicle Accidents

This paper describes the use of 3-D technologies for reconstructing and simulating motor vehicle accidents involving humans (occupants and pedestrians) and vehicles (passenger cars, pickups, vans, multi-purpose vehicles, on-highway trucks and vehicle-trailers). ...Various reconstruction and simulation models are illustrated. The features and limitations of each model are addressed.
Technical Paper

Reconstruction of Accidents Involving Highway Barriers

Police reports provide only a limited amount of information that is useful in reconstructing roadside impact accidents. Physical evidence is the most reliable source of data for reconstruction and it is such evidence that is the concern of the analysis in this paper.
Technical Paper

Computer Program for Reconstruction of Highway Accidents

In one of the presented applications to a staged collision, the initial conditions were kept unknown until completion of the reconstruction process. Results of sample applications to actual highway accidents are included. ...The Simulation Model of Automobile Collisions (SMAC) computer program has been developed for the purpose of achieving uniformity in the use of analytical techniques for interpretation of physical evidence in investigations of highway accidents. The comprehensive output information of the SMAC program (kinematics, tire tracks, and vehicle damage) permits extensive, detailed comparisons with physical evidence in the iterative runs used to achieve a “best fit,” and the predicted vehicle responses provide a basis for relatively refined categorization of occupant exposures. ...Computer graphics displays of reconstructed accidents, including rest positions, tracks, and damage, are presented.
Technical Paper

Overview on Use of In-Depth Accident Data

While in-depth accident data do provide the desired level of detailed information, their use are limited by such factors as high costs associated with data collection, resulting in small sample sizes and lack of representativeness, and difficulty and expenses associated with reconstructing the accidents. This paper provides an overview on how in-depth accident data can be used for assessing issues related to highway safety, citing examples from previous and ongoing studies. ...Accident data play an important role in the identification and evaluation of issues relating to highway safety. ...In-depth accident data are collected by highly-trained investigators and contain the detail needed to address complex safety issues.
Technical Paper

SMASH – Program for Car Accident Simulation

In the paper SMASH - a computer program for road accident simulation is presented. Besides the logic of the program the models of vehicle, tire and crash itself are analyzed briefly.
Technical Paper

Results of a Study to Determine Accident Causes

Results of an accident investigation project conducted by the Indiana University Institute for Research in Public Safety for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are presented. ...The study focused on the statistical determination of the relative roles played by human, environmental and vehicle deficiencies in automobile accident causation. This paper emphasizes the examination of the role of the vehicle. The study was based in Monroe County, Indiana. ...Data were collected on three levels: baseline data were assembled to allow definition of the project universe; accidents were investigated on-site at the time of occurrence by technicians; and a sample of these accidents was independently examined by a multidisciplinary team.