The manner in which a motor vehicle fire is initiated and subsequently spreads is dependent on a number of complex, interdependent, phenomena including combustion kinetics, heat transfer and fluid dynamics. Because the damage caused by a fire is coupled to these phenomena, damage patterns can sometimes be used to understand certain characteristics about the fire. In many cases, the goal is to determine the cause and origin of the fire.
Crash reconstruction is a scientific process that utilizes principles of physics and empirical data to analyze the physical, electronic, video, audio, and testimonial evidence from a crash to determine how and why the crash occurred. This course will introduce this reconstruction process as it gets applied to various crash types - in-line and intersection collisions, pedestrian collisions, motorcycle crashes, rollover crashes, and heavy truck crashes. Methods of evidence documentation will be covered. Analysis methods will also be presented for electronic data from event data recorders and for video.