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Technical Paper

Investigation of Indy Car Crashes Using Impact Recorders

This paper describes the initial phases of an on-going project in the GM Motorsports Safety Technology Research Program to investigate Indy car crashes using an on-board impact recorder as the primary data collection tool. The development of a database consisting of crash investigation data patterned after national highway crash databases is discussed. The data gathered and coded includes track and incident scene information, vehicle damage, and driver injuries, as well as the vehicle decelerations measured by the impact recorder. The paper discusses the development of specifications for the impact device, the selection of the specific recorder and its implementation on a routine basis in Indy car racing. The results from incidents that produced significant data during the 1993, 1994 and 1995 racing seasons are summarized.