Automobile accident reconstruction, also known as vehicular accident scene reconstruction, is a scientific method whereby a professional can investigate, analyze, and draw conclusions of how the accident was caused and what occurred. For the reconstruction to be performed, professional reconstruction technicians and forensic analyzers conduct an analysis of the collision and reconstruct the scenario to determine all factors that contributed to the scene. The factors can include the roles played by the vehicles and the drivers, the path driven, and the external environment surrounding the crash. Of course, this is a simplistic explanation of auto accident scene reconstruction and the article will provide more information on how the procedure is performed.
The laws and principles on which auto accident reconstruction is based stem from engineering and physics including work-energy relations, linear momentum, and kinematics. While there are several auto accidents each year, the vehicle reconstruction is typically conducted when there are fatalities and several injuries involved. The reconstruction providers a comprehensive analysis using computer software that professional witnesses can present at a trial. Furthermore, the data collected from the reconstruction can be useful for developing safer roads and highways, as well as improving vehicle safety mechanisms.
In 1985, the United States’ National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provided the first national regulations for training professionals in auto accident reconstruction. As a consequence, an accreditation group was formed known as the Accreditation Commission to Traffic Vehicle Reconstruction. The scientist Hugh H. Hurt used research to help explain issues of vehicular accident reconstructions and how the information could help improve safety mechanisms, such as safety helmets, to reduce injuries. This is why motorcyclists require training to drive motorcycles as many vehicles are involved in motorcycle accidents.
The investigation and visitation of vehicle collisions involve scenario inspection with data retrieval. Collecting evidence such as videos, photographs, testimonies of witnesses, legal depositions of witnesses, and physical measurements, are all a part of the investigation. Witnesses are interviewed during the procedure of reconstruction and material evidence of skin marks is analyzed to determine alignment of words with physical factors. This is important because vehicular velocity can be misjudged by a driver; therefore, the individual estimation of speed will need to be examined.
Other issues that need to be considered include road surface and structure, especially when the tire grip was lost due to mud, ice, debris or obstacles in the road. Data gathered by a data recorder can provide the significant information such as the speed of the automobile a few seconds before the collision occurred.
Analysis of the vehicular reconstruction includes data collection, data processing, model creation, a recreation of scenarios, software simulation, and an evaluation of all collision possibilities. The use of powerful computer software has made reconstruction simpler, particular when utilizing computer-aided software designs with collision simulation software and photogrammetric programs.
Once all the analysis is completed, forensic engineers will collate the police reports, computer-generated simulations and the diagrams to build a conclusion of the scenario. This often depicts the accident sequence in a visual form, such as videos or images, so that non-technical individuals can understand the procedure.