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Technical Paper

The Effect of Using the Same Tire Friction for Both Vehicles in Impact Speed Reconstructions

2021-04-06
2021-01-0899
Most collision reconstructions implicitly assume the same tire/road friction coefficient for all vehicles, despite evidence that friction varies between tires, surfaces, and individual trials. Here we assess the errors introduced by an assumption of a single, universal friction coefficient when reconstructing a collision where vehicles actually had different tire frictions. We used Monte Carlo methods to generate 20,000 synthetic two-vehicle impacts and rest positions using different, randomized friction coefficients for each vehicle and randomized impact speeds. These rest positions were then used to reconstruct both vehicles’ impact speeds assuming a single, common friction coefficient. High and low bounds on the impact speeds were reconstructed using high and low bounds on the common friction. We found that more than 97% of the true impact speeds were in the ranges reconstructed using upper and lower friction bounds.
Technical Paper

Pycrash: An Open-Source Tool for Accident Reconstruction

2021-04-06
2021-01-0896
In this paper, the current capabilities of Pycrash are illustrated and its accuracy is assessed using matching PC-Crash simulations performed using PC-Crash. The results indicate that Pycrash is well-equipped to perform fundamental accident reconstruction analyses, including impact related effects, but its simplified suspension model is a limitation.
Journal Article

Validation of a PC-Crash Multibody Sport Bike Motorcycle Model

2021-04-06
2021-01-0893
PC-Crash is an accident reconstruction program allowing the user to perform simulations with multibody objects that collide or interact with 3D vehicle mesh models. ...The current motorcycle models in PC-Crash are generic and do not resemble a sport bike type motorcycle. They are only globally scalable such that you cannot adjust length, width, or height independently. ...The test results were compared to parameters calculated in PC-Crash. Results such as Delta-V, yaw rate and overall post impact trajectories of the motorcycle, rider and movement of the target vehicle were compared to the data from the instrumented test vehicles.
Technical Paper

Characterizing Regenerative Coast-Down Deceleration in Tesla Model 3, S, and X

2020-04-14
2020-01-0883
Tesla Motors vehicles utilize a regenerative braking system to increase mileage per charge. The system is designed to convert the vehicles’ kinetic energy during coast-down into electrical potential energy by using rotational wheel motion to charge the batteries, resulting in moderate deceleration. During this coast-down, the system will activate the brake lights to notify following vehicles of deceleration. The goals of this study were to analyze and quantify the regenerative braking behavior of the Tesla Model 3, S, and X, as well as the timing and activation criteria for the brake lights during the coast-down state. A total of seven Tesla vehicles (two Model 3, three Model S and two Model X) were tested in both Standard and Low regenerative braking modes. All three Tesla models exhibited similar three-phase behavior: an initial ramp-up phase, a steady-state phase, and a non-linear ramp-down phase at low road speeds. Phase 1 was less than one second in length.
Technical Paper

Accuracy and Sensitivity of Yaw Speed Analysis to Available Data

2019-04-02
2019-01-0417
Accident reconstructionists rarely have complete data with which to determine vehicle speed, and so the true value must be bracketed within a range. Previous work has shown the effect of friction uncertainty in determining speed from tire marks left by a vehicle in yaw. The goal of the current study was to assess improvements in the accuracy of vehicle speed estimated from yaw marks using progressively more scene and vehicle information. Data for this analysis came from staged S-turn maneuvers that in some cases led to rollover of sport utility vehicles. Initial speeds were first calculated using the critical curve speed (CCS) formula on the yaw marks from the first portion of the S-maneuver. Then computer simulations were performed with progressively more input data: i) the complete tire marks from the whole S-maneuver, ii) measured vehicle mass, iii) measured suspension stiffness and damping, and iv) measured steering history.
Technical Paper

An Analytical Review and Extension of Two Decades of Research Related to PC-Crash Simulation Software

2018-04-03
2018-01-0523
PC-Crash is a vehicular accident simulation software that is widely used by the accident reconstruction community. ...The goal of this article is to review the prior literature that has addressed the capabilities of PC-Crash and its accuracy and reliability for various applications (planar collisions, rollovers, and human motion). ...In addition, this article aims to add additional analysis of the capabilities of PC-Crash for simulating planar collisions and rollovers. Simulation analysis of five planar collisions originally reported and analyzed by Bailey [2000] are reexamined.
Technical Paper

Reconstruction of Pediatric Occupant Kinematic Responses Using Finite Element Method in a Real-World Lateral Impact

2017-03-28
2017-01-1462
Computational human body models, especially detailed finite element models are suitable for investigation of human body kinematic responses and injury mechanism. A real-world lateral vehicle-tree impact accident was reconstructed by using finite element method according to the accident description in the CIREN database. At first, a baseline vehicle FE model was modified and validated according to the NCAP lateral impact test. The interaction between the car and the tree in the accident was simulated using LS-Dyna software. Parameters that affect the simulation results, such as the initial pre-crash speed, impact direction, and the initial impact location on the vehicle, were analyzed. The parameters were determined by matching the simulated vehicle body deformations and kinematics to the accident reports.
Technical Paper

Real-time Crash Detection and Its Application in Incident Reporting and Accident Reconstruction

2017-03-28
2017-01-1419
Characterizing or reconstructing incidents ranging from light to heavy crashes is one of the enablers for mobility solutions for fleet management, car-sharing, ride-hailing, insurance etc. While crashes involving airbag deployment are noticeable, light crashes without airbag deployment can be hidden and most drivers do not report these incidents. In this paper, we are using vehicle responses together with a dynamics model to trace back if abnormal forces have been applied to a vehicle so as to detect light crashes. The crash location around the perimeter of the vehicle, the direction of the crash force, and the severity of the crashes are all determined in real-time based on on-board sensor measurements which has further application in accident reconstruction. All of this information will be integrated to a feature called “Incident Report”, which enable reporting of minor accidents to the relevant entities such as insurance agencies, fleet managements, etc.
Technical Paper

Design and Evaluation of an Affordable Seatbelt Retrofit for Motor Coach Occupant Safety

2017-01-10
2017-26-0018
Prevention of passenger ejection from motor coach seats in the case of rollover and frontal crashes is critical for minimizing fatalities and injuries. This paper proposes a novel concept of affordably retrofitting 3-point seatbelts to protect passengers during these significant crash scenarios. Currently, the available options involve replacement of either the entire fleet, which takes time to avoid extremely high costs, or all seats with new seats that have seatbelts which is still expensive. Alternatively, this paper presents the development of an innovative product that can be installed in seat belt-ready bus structures at a fraction of the cost. The efficacy of the design is studied using finite element analysis (FEA) to meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) 210 standards for conditions involved in frontal and side impacts.
Technical Paper

Measuring and Modeling Suspensions of Passenger Vehicles

2013-04-08
2013-01-0774
Numerical parameters describing suspension stiffness and damping are required for 3D simulation of vehicle trajectories, but may not be available. This paper outlines a simple, portable method of measuring these properties with a coefficient of variation of 5% on stiffness. 24 of 26 vehicles tested were significantly stiffer in roll than pitch, complicating analyses with models that don't include anti-roll. Suspension parameters did not correlate with static wheel load distribution, and damping coefficient did not correlate with natural frequency. Computer simulations of the speed required to initiate rollover in an S-curve were highly sensitive to the suspension parameters used. When pre-impact tire marks and rollover distance were considered, the simulations became almost insensitive to suspension parameters.
Technical Paper

Uncertainty in Calculations Using Lambourn's Critical Speed Procedure

2013-04-08
2013-01-0779
Critical Speed Formula (CSF) belongs to the canon of tools used in reconstruction of vehicle accidents. It is used to calculate vehicle speed at the beginning of tire yaw marks and, together with the entire methodology of processing the information contained in the marks into the data, is often referred to as the Critical Speed Method (CSM). Its great practical importance as well as recurring doubts as to the reliability make it one of the best experimentally and theoretically studied methods. Although the CSF applies in fact to a point mass, it is used with reference to a vehicle, i.e., an increasingly complicated multi-body system. Accident reconstruction experts point out the particular usefulness of Lambourn's research concerning the CSM in respect to a passenger car.
Technical Paper

RASSI: A Systematic Approach for On-site Crash Investigations and In-depth Accident Data Collection in India

2013-01-09
2013-26-0031
India's growing trend of serious road accidents has created an urgent need to understand the primary factors involved in these crashes and in the resulting severe injuries and fatalities. In order to improve the safety of highways and automobiles for all road users, a consortium of safety researchers and vehicle manufacturers has come together to collect first-hand, detailed and consistent crash and injury data for traffic accidents on Indian roads. After three years of pilot studies, a methodology, called Road Accident Sampling System - India (RASSI), has been developed for conducting on-site crash investigations and collecting in-depth accident data on road accidents in India. The processes developed under RASSI to investigate onsite crashes and collect quality accident data suitable for detailed analysis are described. The program includes all types of traffic accidents with injury outcomes.
Technical Paper

Simulating Moving Motorcycle to Moving Car Crashes

2012-04-16
2012-01-0621
There has been little published research into simulating two-moving motorcycle-to-car collisions for the purpose of accident reconstruction. In this paper a series of two-moving crash tests were conducted to study collisions of this type. These tests used a range of speeds for the cars and the motorcycles involved, with perpendicular and oblique intersection collision impact configurations. The tests were then simulated with two popular crash simulation packages which were not designed to simulate motorcycles. The purpose of this study was to evaluate existing techniques and develop new techniques for simulating motorcycles in these software packages and then to examine the ability of each package to simulate a two-moving motorcycle-to-car crash. The results demonstrate that it is indeed possible to simulate a motorcycle in these packages and that both packages can simulate two-moving motorcycle-to-car crashes reasonably well.
Technical Paper

A Comparison Study between PC-Crash Simulation and Instrumented Handling Maneuvers

2011-04-12
2011-01-1121
Lateral acceleration, roll angle, roll rate, and yaw rate vehicle response from PC-Crash were compared to the MSAI sensor data. The authors modeled 26 handling tests. PC-Crash appeared to be a reasonable tool for modeling gross vehicle response. ...This research compares vehicle dynamic simulations in PC-Crash 8.2 to data recorded during instrumented handling tests conducted by Mechanical Systems Analysis Incorporated (MSAI). ...Vehicle weight, center of gravity (c.g) position, suspension stiffness parameters, tire parameters, steering angle, and vehicle speed data provided by MSAI were used as input for the PC-Crash model. Lateral acceleration, roll angle, roll rate, and yaw rate vehicle response from PC-Crash were compared to the MSAI sensor data.
Technical Paper

Computer Simulation of Steer-Induced Rollover Events Via SIMON

2011-04-12
2011-01-1122
This study examines through computer simulation the reconstruction of on-road vehicle rollover accidents induced by a driver steering maneuver. The three-dimensional vehicle dynamics software package SIMON is used to model a set of four test vehicles as six degree-of-freedom sprung masses with up to five degrees-of-freedom for each unsprung mass. The performance of the simulator's physics model, in the context of accident reconstruction, is evaluated through correlation with full-scale vehicle rollover tests. Of specific interest to this study was simulation of the trip phase of the vehicle's motion. The correlation parameters include vehicle trajectory, speed, heading angle, yaw rate, roll angle, roll rate and lateral acceleration. SIMON's capacity to accurately model the physics of a test vehicle's suspension and tire kinetics in the pre-trip and trip phases of motion is evaluated by modeling a set of four instrumented full-scale tests of steering-induced rollovers.
Journal Article

A Bayesian Approach to Cross-Validation in Pedestrian Accident Reconstruction

2011-04-12
2011-01-0290
In statistical modeling, cross-validation refers to the practice of fitting a model with part of the available data, and then using predictions of the unused data to test and improve the fitted model. In accident reconstruction, cross-validation is possible when two different measurements can be used to estimate the same accident feature, such as when measured skidmark length and pedestrian throw distance each provide an estimate of impact speed. In this case a Bayesian cross-validation can be carried out by (1) using one measurement and Bayes theorem to compute a posterior distribution for the impact speed, (2) using this posterior distribution to compute a predictive distribution for the second measurement, and then (3) comparing the actual second measurement to this predictive distribution. An actual measurement falling in an extreme tail of the predictive distribution suggests a weakness in the assumptions governing the reconstruction.
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