Thorn Consulting Services - Certified Accident Reconstructionist

Crush Analysis

Crush AnalysisThere 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.

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