A: The acronym CRASH stands for the Computer Reconstruction of Automobile Speeds on the Highway.
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 or Delta-V (DV).
The CRASH computer program was initially created to assist SMAC users in determining first estimates of the impact speeds.
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, with it's question and answer mode, vehicle categorization, single step solutions procedure, and most importantly low cost, redirected the NHTSA interest from SMAC towards the CRASH computer program.
Now fast forward 40+ years and many software vendors and crash reconstrucitonists use CRASH, without any modifications to improve the accuracy, in individual crash reconstructions.
For additional information, please see:
- The Algorithms of CRASH
- NHTSA CRASH3 Technical Manual
- Is CRASH damage analysis a virtual relationship?
- Should a CRASH type damage analysis include induced damage?
- "No Damage Intercept" of CRASH
- Crush Coefficients Conversions: CRASH (McHenry), Campbell, WinSMASH (Prasad)
- And the McHenry Forum subject related to damage analysis, etc: