East Central, IL
Background: The accident occurred when a car attempted to traverse a rough railroad track crossing at high speed. Scene evidence showed that the driver lost control immediately after passing over the crossing and veered leftward into a ditch. Vehicle response to the roughness of the pavement and the condition of the crossing itself were the issues under investigation.
What We Did: To analyze the accident, the HVE (Human Vehicle Environment) accident reconstruction software suite was employed. Two environment models were built for the reconstruction: a complex environment constructed from a total station survey of the actual scene and surrounding landscape and a simplified environment encompassing only the most salient features of the crossing itself. Both environments included the rough railroad crossing but only the complex environment included the undulating ground surrounding the roadway. The simulation showed excellent agreement with the roadway evidence and demonstrated that a driver unfamiliar with the crossing could indeed have lost control of the vehicle due to the roadway roughness.
Relevant Scientific Publications:
- Day, T. D. and Metz, L. D., "The Simulation of Driver Inputs Using a Vehicle Driver Model," SAE Paper No. 2000-01-1313 (2000) [also selected for SAE SP-1491 and in Trans. SAE, J. Passenger Cars – Mechanical Systems, 109: 6, pp. 1763-1769].