The Measured Rolling Resistance of Vehicles for Accident Reconstruction
Knowledge about vehicle rolling resistance is required to calculate speed loss of accident vehicles during portions of their pre-impact and post-impact trajectory when they are not braking or sliding directly sideways. The accuracy of assumed rolling resistance values is most important in accidents with long post-impact roll out distances. Very little hard data are currently available1 and the accident reconstructionist must usually make estimates of drivetrain losses and normal and damaged tire rolling resistance to determine overall vehicle rolling resistance. In the first part of this study, the rolling resistances of various vehicles with different drive configurations are determined, based on accurate measurements made with a 5th wheel. In the second part, sensitivity analyses are done with PC-Crash2, a computer simulation program, to determine what effect the error in assumed rolling resistance has on speed calculations for various types of post-impact trajectories.