These predictions were generated by directly integrating the VCH data and by using the VCH data as inputs to PC-Crash simulations. The predicted positions and headings were then compared to the actual position and heading data measured using differential GPS synchronized to the VCH data record.
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.
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.