Accident Reconstruction Defined

The Accreditation Commission for Traffic Accident Reconstruction defined accident reconstruction as "a systematic process of evaluating the evidence associated with a particular collision sequence and applying accepted physical principles in order to ascertain how the collision occurred."

The Society of Automotive Engineers Paper No. 870425 stated "automobile accident reconstruction has been defined as the best or most probable explanation of how an automobile accident occurred, based upon physical evidence."

Accident Reconstruction Applied

Accident Reconstruction is an engineering based science that provides analysis, consultation, and expert witness testimony regarding what happened in a subject accident and why. Case investigations usually involve review of police documented evidence, inspection of the subject vehicles and accident sites including 3D surveys and 3D scans, and download of Electronic Data Recorders (EDRs). Analytical methods include photogrammetry, application of physics and engineering principles, review of scientific literature, interpretation and application of experimental test data, and mathematical modeling and simulation. Results provide answers to forensic questions regarding vehicle and collision dynamics, accident causation, and influence of driver, vehicle, and environmental variables.

VSI Accident Reconstruction Areas of Expertise

VSI’s accident reconstruction expertise primarily involves motor vehicle accident reconstruction of car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian collisions. Collision severities range from low-speed to high-speed impacts and collision types include frontal, rear-end, lateral, sideswipe collisions, and high-speed rollovers. Typical forensic questions include how and why an accident occurred and related issues such as speed, impact severity, perception/reaction, and time/speed/distance analyses to evaluate relative positions at various key times during an accident sequence.

Rapid Response Evidence Preservation

VSI has responded within a few hours or few days to the scene of numerous catastrophic accidents to quickly preserve physical evidence before it is lost. In these situations our accident reconstruction experience helps us identify important physical evidence that is often only available at the scene for hours or days after the accident, which can be critical to assessing causation and liability issues. Accident scene and vehicle evidence is typically documented and measured using photography, 3D surveys, 3D scans, and Event Data Recorder (blackbox) downloads. Documenting key evidence early reduces future analysis costs, improves results, and may even prevent litigation.