What is CRASH?

Questions/Topics Related to the CRASH computer program
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What is CRASH?

Post by MSI »

Q: What is CRASH?
A: The acronym CRASH stands for the Computer Reconstruction of Automobile Speeds on the Highway. but this thread covers the computer program named CRASH:

The CRASH computer program is an crash reconstruction program. With CRASH you input the vehicle properties, the impact and rest positions, and the vehicle damage measurements. The program produces approximations of the vehicle speeds at impact, the impact speed change/Delta-V (DV).

The CRASH computer program was initially created to assist the NHTSA NASS teams in determining first estimates of the impact speeds for the SMAC program.
  • The original CRASH program, which utilized both piecewise-linear trajectory solution procedures and a damage analysis procedure, was created to provide an initial estimate for the SMAC computer program for use in the NHTSA NASS investigations.
The CRASH program was subsequently adopted by NHTSA as an integral part of the National Accident Sampling Study (NASS) investigations.
  • The rationale for the use of the CRASH program by NHTSA was that for their NASS statistical studies, the average error in severity determinations is more important than any individual errors. NHTSA understood the importance in statistical research for the uniform interpretation of crash evidence
The CRASH program had
  • Question and answer mode
    • When first created in the early 1970s, now more GUI orientated,
  • Vehicle categorization,
  • Single step solutions procedure,
    • No need to iterate as it WAS a first approximation technique created for uniform interpretation of damage evidence for use in NHTSA NASS statistical research
  • and...Most importantly
    redirected the NHTSA interest from SMAC towards the CRASH computer program.

    Now fast forward 40+ years and many software vendors and crash reconstructionists use CRASH, without any modifications to improve the accuracy, in individual crash reconstructions.
    For additional information, please see:

    This topic has 4 more posts with additional information

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