Methods of Occupant Kinematics Analysis in Automobile Crashes
Understanding occupant kinematics is an important part of accident reconstruction, particularly with respect to injury causation. Injuries are generally sustained as the occupant interacts with the vehicle interior surfaces and is rapidly accelerated to the struck component's post-impact velocity. This paper describes some methods for assessing occupant kinematics in a collision, and discusses their limitations. A useful technique is presented which is based on free-body analysis and can be used to establish an occupant's path of motion relative to the vehicle, locate the point of occupant contact, and determine the occupant's velocity relative to that contact location.