Applying EDR Data to Accident Reconstruction


A small SUV and a sedan collided at an intersection along a rural highway at night. The SUV was  being operated westbound along a roadway with no traffic control signal. The sedan was  crossing the roadway from the south and had a stop sign. EDR (black box) records were  available for both vehicles. The collision resulted in a fatality for the passenger of the sedan. 


Explico was retained to perform a reconstruction of the incident including analysis of the EDR  records as well as vehicle and site inspections. Explico also utilized the survey data taken by  police on the night of the incident to reconstruct the collision. Explico analyzed the data in  each EDR record, and was able to assess whether or not speed was a factor in the collision,  whether or not the vehicles complied with the traffic control devices at the intersection, and  whether or not the drivers of the vehicles reacted in a reasonable manner to the impending  collision. A Virtual Crash simulation was also conducted, which produced post-collision results  that were consistent with the measured roadway physical evidence and vehicle rest positions,  as well as with the pre-crash data imaged from the two vehicles’ EDRs. 


Careful analysis of all of the available data demonstrated that the driver of the SUV reacted and  applied the brakes in a timely manner, and that the speed of the SUV was not a contributing  factor to the collision. Further, the analysis showed that the sedan caused the collision by  stopping in an inappropriate location, several car lengths behind the stop sign, and disregarding  oncoming traffic and accelerating through the intersection. A timing analysis was performed to  show that because of the actions of the driver of the sedan, the driver of the SUV did not have  an opportunity to avoid the collision. 

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