Motorcycle Collinear Collisions Involving Motor Vehicles Equipped with Event Data Recorders

The investigation and reconstruction of collinear motorcycle-motor vehicle collisions is often complicated because of difficulties in determining the pre-impact velocity of the motorcycle from the damage to either the motorcycle or the involved motor vehicle. Because of the potentially great disparity in momentum between the motorcycle and the motor vehicle, determining the change in velocity for the motor vehicle is also difficult. However, the event data recorders that are integrated with airbag-related computers in many motor vehicles offer a way to simplify this problem. These systems often record and store the accelerations that are experienced in a collision, including both the vehicle's pre-impact velocity and impact change in velocity. When coupled with vehicle speed sensors, this equipment can be used to contrast acceleration data collected by the sensing and diagnostic module (SDM) with data collected by other means. This paper reports findings from three motorcycle-vehicle instrumented crash tests. Based on data obtained by the SDM and an accelerometer in two of the tests, the SDM underreported the change in velocity by 6-12%. Given that the motor vehicle sustained less than 3.7° of rotation from impact to rest, the effect of the location of the SDM and accelerometer on the recorded crash pulse was negligible. Underreporting in these tests was examined by contrasting the independent accelerometer data against the SDM data. The SDM data works with a forward discriminating sensor and this impact configuration was purposefully narrow. Consistency was observed between the recorded accelerometer data for both devices. That data, when viewed globally with high-speed films and speed trap information, indicates that the SDM underreporting was less than 12%.

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  • Authors:
    • Beck, Roman F
    • Casteel, David A
    • Phillips, Ed
    • Eubanks, Jerry
    • English, Doug
  • Publication Date: 2006-6


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01044672
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 15 2007 1:25PM