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Using EDSMAC4 to Simulate Multi-Vehicle Crashes

The HVE White Paper section of the EDC website Library contains numerous examples of real-world crash reconstructions and research studies performed by HVE users from around the world. Each paper highlights the application of HVE-compatible physics programs to investigate factors that may cause or contribute to a crash.

In the paper below, presented at the 2012 HVE Forum, EDSMAC4 is used to simulate a nine-vehicle collision resulting from the uncontrolled acceleration of a heavy truck down a hill into a parking lot. By comparing the simulated evidence from various impact speeds against the actual physical evidence, the simulation results help to identify if the driver made any attempt at braking or controlling the truck during it's descent.

Using HVE to Simulate a Nine Vehicle Accident Involving a Heavy Truck
Eric Rossetter, Benjamin Ewers III, Bradford Coburn, Yomi Agunbiade
Principia Engineering, Inc.


Multi-vehicle high-speed accidents that have a high number of vehicle collisions and interaction with a fixed obstacle in the environment are ideally suited for simulation. This paper covers a nine-vehicle collision involving a heavy truck and eight passenger vehicles.

Photo of Several of the Passenger Cars Involved in the Multi-Vehicle Crash

Photo of the Heavy Truck and Several Passenger Cars Involved in the Multi-Vehicle Crash

We constructed a 3-D environment in AutoCAD based on survey data, along with custom vehicle geometries not available in the HVE database. The final simulation using HVE's EDSMAC4 algorithm matched the physical evidence remarkably well. In addition, HVE allowed us to compare various impact speeds to show why certain scenarios did not match the physical evidence. The resulting simulations were used successfully in trial.

Crash Site Diagram

EDSMAC4 Simulation Results at 40 mph Initial Impact Speed for Heavy Truck

EDSMAC4 Simulation Results at 57 mph Initial Impact Speed for Heavy Truck

To download this publication, visit the HVE White Paper section of the EDC website Library or just click on the images above. For more information about using HVE and EDSMAC4 for your crash investigations, please contact EDC at 888.768.6216.

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