There are a lot of misconceptions
about the use of crush analysis in accident reconstruction.
Some investigators believe it’s a reliable tool,
while others may not and call it “voodoo science”.
Just as in many other aspects of accident reconstruction,
crush can be “garbage in, garbage out”.
If used properly and in applicable crashes, crush analysis
can be a very reliable and valuable tool. Of course,
many accident reconstruction cases require the investigator
to determine the speed of the vehicle(s) involved. The
speed of a vehicle can be determined in many ways. In
recent years, a lot more attention has been given to
using crush or the damage received to help reconstruct
the speed of vehicles.
When using crush analysis, we are determining the
amount of energy required to do the damage. A lot of
investigators believe that true impact speed can be
calculated from crush measurements. This is one of those
misconceptions that several people believe. Estimating
speed from damage is only one tool for reconstructing
a traffic accident. Thorn Consulting Services uses or
looks at both a momentum and crush analysis in applicable
accidents. By doing this, a good reconstruction analysis
will be completed by comparing the final speeds of the
vehicle(s) by both a momentum and energy solution.
Of course, by using momentum and energy-based solutions,
an investigator will need to know the vehicle specifications
and stiffness coefficients. Become a member of the ARC
Network and get unlimited access to their vehicle
specs and crush stiffness database.