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|High and Low Speed Accident
Between July 2005 and December 2007, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigated
5,471 injury crashes that took place across the country. The investigation allowed a first-hand comparison of physical
evidence and interviews of witnesses involved in the accident. NHTSA experts evaluated the data to determine the
factors most responsible for the collisions.
Factors fell into categories, such as errors attributable to the driver, the condition of the vehicle, failure of vehicle
systems, adverse environmental conditions, or roadway design.
Overall, vehicles traveling too fast for conditions accounted for only 5% of the critical (most significant) pre-crash
events. More often observed critical factors included 22% driving off the edge of the road and 11% who improperly
drove across the center line.
This does not mean that speed is not an important factor in accident reconstruction. Speed violations are associated
with 39% of fatal crashes and are the critical causal factor for 14% of deadly accidents.
And while speed may not be the most prevalent causal factor for an accident, many medical experts believe that
rear-end collisions as low as 5 MPH can induce cervical (neck) injury.
|The total speed displaced by a vehicle (S) as it
skids to a stop is equal to the square root of 30 (a
constant) times the vehicle's drag factor (f) times
the skid distance (d).
|To read NHTSA's 2008 National Motor Vehicle
Crash Causation Survey, please click here.
The energy required to cause permanent
deformation of a vehicle can be used to calculate
the speed that the vehicle was traveling at impact.
Accident reconstruction experts can utilize crash
tests performed by manufacturers, NHTSA, or the
IIHS to determine what the stiffness coefficient of
a vehicle is.
These stiffness coefficients allow the crash
reconstructionist to determine the
equivalent speed needed to cause
damage if the crush profile or damage
dimensions are measured accordingly.
The illustration above shows 5 crush
measurements (C1 to C5).
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Disclaimer: Crash Data Services, LLC and crashdataservices.net provide the information in this web site for informational purposes only. The information is not intended to be legal advice or an expert
opinion and should not be construed as such. The use of this site does not create a contractor/client relationship with any employee of Crash Data Services, LLC. Each investigation is different. Case
results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case. The results of any investigation/reconstruction do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case undertaken by Crash Data Services,
|Our experts are always available to fulfill your accident reconstruction needs Call today for a free consultation: (847)-217-6644 or reach our reconstruction experts by email