Automotive Accident Reconstruction

This project involved a passenger car stopped in the roadway, while a garbage truck allegedly backed into the front of the vehicle.  The driver claimed she observed the garbage truck backing up for approximately 30 seconds and that the truck was traveling at approximately 30 mph.  The damage to the passenger car was limited to the passenger side headlamp assembly and the hood.  The garbage truck sustained no damage.

The first approach ESi took in performing this accident reconstruction was to determine the maximum speed the garbage truck could travel in reverse. Through using the drive axle gear ratios, weight of the truck, and maximum engine speed in reverse, ESi was able to calculate the maximum speed of the garbage truck in reverse (pedal fully engaged) was approximately 5 mph.

Using the speed and approximate crush measurements from scene photos of the passenger vehicle, ESi was able to determine a delta V range likely experienced by the driver. This information was then passed on to a biomechanical engineer to perform a review to determine potential for injury to the driver. ESi routinely uses multidisciplinary teams to investigate automotive incidents. 

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