A Critique of Critical Speed Yaw Mark Research
Critical speed yaw marks are commonly used in collision reconstruction to estimate vehicle speed. Research and laboratory testing have demonstrated that critical speed calculations can be used to accurately estimate vehicle speed. Thus, the principles supporting critical speed yaw analysis are fundamentally and theoretically valid and are not being challenged in this study. However, there are observed and documented limitations with respect to the appropriate application and execution of critical speed yaw analysis. This paper reviews the published research to-date and identifies limitations of critical speed yaw analysis. Examples of collision scenes are provided which quantify the inaccuracies associated with the misuse of critical speed yaw calculations. Areas for further research are identified and detailed.