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Using SIMON to Simulate a Passenger Van Rollover

The HVE Users YouTube Channel contains numerous examples of real-world crash simulations from HVE users from around the world. The latest addition to the channel is yet another excellent example of how HVE simulations, and the extensive capabilities of SIMON in particular, may be used to study the dynamics of a vehicle in response to excessive driver steering inputs.

Scenario Description:

State of Wisconsin • County of Dane • Case No. 10-CV-2897
Bernadine Lozano v. State of Wisconsin and Jimmy D. Boyd

Defendant Boyd was an inmate at a Wisconsin Correctional Institute when he was operating a State of Wisconsin owned Ford E350 passenger van with 9 other inmate occupants. He was traveling on a two lane road during the hours of darkness when an opossum intruded into the roadway in front of him. Mr. Boyd swerved to the left in an evasive maneuver followed by steering back to the right. His corrective steering was too extreme so he followed the right steer with another left hand maneuver. The vehicle traveled onto the right shoulder and rotated counter-clockwise before tripping and rolling over. Two occupants were fatally injured in the crash situation and numerous others were injured. More than half of the occupants were not wearing seatbelts before the collision.

A primary issue in this case was the plaintiff's contention that the van rolled over due to the lack of occupant restraints being utilized by all of the passengers. HVE and SIMON were used to model the rollover collision. A free body diagram of the occupant loading was prepared to locate the center of gravity of all persons in the van. Since the propensity of the vehicle to roll was increased by unrestrained passengers, modeling the occupants as a single mass was conducted and determined to be conservative in nature. The results of the simulation proved that the van would have rolled over regardless of occupant loading conditions. It should be noted that the results of the simulation were effectively terminated after the initial roll had taken place.

The plaintiff called the State of Wisconsin's expert adversely to testify in their initial proceedings. The results of the computer simulation were presented to the judge and jury. The judge ruled on the matter after the plaintiff had rested their initial arguments. The judge dismissed the case against the State of Wisconsin for a lack of cause or evidence of negligence.

To view the movie from the SIMON simulation used by the State of Wisconsin's expert, click on any of the screenshots above, or visit the HVE Users YouTube Channel

For more information about HVE and SIMON, contact EDC by email or call 888.768.6216.

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