Will EDRs Replace The Need For Crash Reconstructionists?

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MSI
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Will EDRs Replace The Need For Crash Reconstructionists?

Post by MSI »

Nov 2020: From June 2020 some posts to the thread Should a CRASH type damage analysis include induced damage?.
Now made separate posts. The first was about a Facebook post:
  • And then below was another response by someone to that Facebook Post:
    • In the day and age of all vehicles having EDRs I fear these types of analysis will come to an end. Even mathematical calculations that have been the foundation of all that has been done in crash reconstruction will begin to take a back seat to the new reality of crash investigation.
    OUR RESPONSE:
    • I disagree...EDRs are NOT infallible and also only tell part of the reconstruction story...sure they are a great additional piece of the puzzle however they can and do have issues/failures and don't tell you everything you need to know about a crash...we will always need a good vehicle and site examination and measurements to fully understand what happened in many crashes, etc.

      I've always been wary of using simple 'damage analysis' as a primary reconstruction technique (unless all other evidence not available) since it is a crude first approximation technique and should only be used in concert with other analyses and examinations.

      And funny that NHTSA, for whom Ray invented CRASH and NHTSA embraced CRASH damage analysis for their NASS statistical studies, was using tape measure, strings and plumb bobs to measure which i believe is in their recognition of the crudeness of simple damage analysis:
      • Being within an inch or so of measurements is GOOD ENOUGH FOR DAMAGE ANALYSIS!
        don't kid yourself otherwise.
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Re: Will EDRs Replace The Need For Crash Reconstructionists?

Post by MSI »

on another crash forum a response to a similar question by Rusty Haight, of Collision Safety Institute included the following:
  • The first thing you have to be able to do with a set of data is be able to answer the question: is this data from the crash I'm investigating? To that, you need to be able to say there are enough characteristics in the data to say it is from the crash and not something else. There will rarely be a "100% match" since the data is going to be more detailed than what we can usually see on the car or road; however, where you ignore the human, vehicle and environment, you're going to miss something that basically says "there's something unusual about the data here we need to consider" or "this data needs to be explained more thoroughly to be used effectively."
To which i added
  • I'll add to what you said that the accuracy of EDR also depends on what year and model vehicle (so what EDR flavor) and what type of crash (um...was the EDR in the crush zone or moved etc involved?)
    It's a piece of the crash reconstruction puzzle but never the full picture.
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Re: Will EDRs Replace The Need For Crash Reconstructionists?

Post by MSI »

Excellent summary posted on the other crash forum
  • I remember the appropriate quote from W. Vandiver:
    • The acquisition of EDR data replaces nothing in an investigation.....absolutely nothing.
    • Any EDR data obtained should be considered "more" evidence, not "replacement" evidence.
    • Sometimes extra information raises additional questions.....that's life!
    • Depending on your definition, sometimes the [EDR] data may be wrong
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