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Basics of Auto Accident Reconstruction

An auto accident is quite catastrophic. Not only does it result in severe injuries but in fatalities too. It leaves the victims too flabbergasted to react quickly.

In the unfortunate event of an accident, it becomes imperative to find out the cause and identify those who are responsible for the accident. This is where accident reconstruction becomes relevant.

Accident reconstruction is the method of implementation of scientific processes and principles to determine the contributing factors and the circumstances associated with the accident. The purpose of accident reconstruction is to determine what happened at each of the several points of time during the accident.

This field requires a working knowledge of a variety of disciplines including Physics, Mathematics, Computer etc. Accident reconstruction is a complex procedure that involves a host of steps. Let’s take a look at these in details.

Determining Vehicle Dynamics

Simply put, vehicle dynamics is the motion of the vehicles under the action of the force of impact. Therefore, it is a crucial part of the process of reconstructing the accident. This process involves determining the speed and the motion of the vehicle before and after the collision. This is done using the data accumulated from the scene of the accident.

Some of the factors to determine the vehicle dynamics involve the speed of the vehicle, points of impact, analysis of the damage resulting from the crash, rotation of the vehicles, application of the brakes, ejection points of the occupants and so on.

An important part of vehicle dynamics involves speed change. This determines the severity of the collision. The speed change is the difference between the pre-impact and the post-impact speed of the vehicle. Since this change occurs in a split second, the head and body of the occupant could be jerked with massive impacts. Low-speed collisions can cause moderate or severe back and neck injury.

Retrieval of Important Data

The severity of the impact of an accident lies on a number of factors. These factors are determined by the accident reconstruction experts at the scene. The risk of an accident can result from several factors. Some of these include speed change during a collision, the predisposition of the victims to injury, the age of the victim, victim’s posture, other occupant kinematics and so on.

Apart from these, the characteristics and the safety features of the vehicle also contribute to the impact of the accident. For example, the presence of functional airbags, proper usage of seat belts, the position of head restraints and so on. An accident reconstruction expert documents this information from the accident scene. This data is useful in the reconstruction process.

Image Acquisition

One of the most accurate ways to gather data from the accident scene is by securing aerial images of the accident scene. In addition to aerial photos, horizontal images are also taken. It goes without saying that these photos are taken before the accident scene is cleaned up. The aerial photography is usually done with the help of a drone.

The vertical and the horizontal images are then overlayed to map the scene of the crash. This mapping can be used to digitize and animate the accident scene by generating a scaled three-dimensional model of the accident scene using computer applications. This is an important piece of evidence in court since this is extremely demonstrative.

Therefore, image acquisition is a highly effective part of accident reconstruction.

Injury Analysis

The injury analysis portion of accident reconstruction involves determining all the physical factors that may have contributed to the injuries of the victims of the accident. The primary purpose of injury analysis is to determine how the injuries were produced.

One of the common injuries in accidents is the whiplash injury. In this accident, the occupant’s body is accelerated forward and the head is left behind owing to the inertia. The quick impact makes the neck extend backward. Right after this, the head is jerked forward. As a result, the neck is flexed forward beyond its normal position, thus resulting in a whiplash injury.

In the unfortunate event of an accident, accident reconstruction experts can help determine the cause easily. This helps immensely in establishing your case. If you live in Texas and have been a victim of a vehicular accident, you can contact a Texas accident reconstruction expert to help with your case.


This blog is written by Katie Smith for Auto Fire & Safety Consultants

Written By

Katie Smith is a fire expert and her areas of interests and expertise include forensic science and accident or crime scene investigation related matters. She often conducts fire investigation in Houston. Blogging is her hobby and she is also a consultant blogger, having well-accepted write-ups on a wide range of topics, such as general safety, security and safety equipment.

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