A Modular Dynamic Simulation Approach to the Reconstruction of Automobile Accidents

[+] Author and Article Information
B. D. Olson

E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Co., Inc., Wilmington, Del.

C. C. Smith

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah

J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control 105(4), 279-286 (Dec 01, 1983) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3140671 History: Received April 09, 1981; Online July 21, 2009


Dynamic computer simulation of automobile accidents can play a significant role in reconstructing vehicular motion. A modular approach, where individual computer modules are used interactively by an investigator to reconstruct the physical events of an accident in separate phases is proposed. This approach presents an opportunity for widespread application and therefore influence on automobile safety due to its simplicity, costs, accuracy, and ability to meet size limitations on small computers. Modular algorithms to analyze trajectory and impact phases of accidents and a series of nondimensional graphs applicable to the impact phase are developed and applied to two different accidents. The example reconstructions and comparisons with results from trying to reconstruct the accidents using a large “general purpose” program indicate the utility, viability, and promise of a modular algorithm reconstruction approach.

Copyright © 1983 by ASME
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