What's Speed Got To Do With It?
The statistical analysis of vehicle crash accident data is generally problematic. Data from commonly used sources is almost never without error and complete. Consequently, many analyses are contaminated with modeling and system identification errors. In some cases the effect of influential factors such as crash severity (the most significant component being speed) driver behavior prior to the crash, etc. on vehicle and occupant outcome is not adequately addressed. The speed that the vehicle is traveling at the initiation of a crash is a significant contributor to occupant risk. Not incorporating it may make an accident analysis irrelevant; however, despite its importance this information is not included in many of the commonly used crash data bases, such as the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). Missing speed information can result in potential errors propagating throughout the analysis, unless a method is developed to account for the missing information.