In 2021, traffic fatalities reached a 16-year high, with a 10% increase from 38,824 in 2020, making it the highest number of fatalities since 2005. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released that approximately 42,914 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes last year. Behind each death is a person who tragically lost their life and a grieving family who just lost an important person in their life.
It was also reported, among other things, that alcohol-involved and overspeeding-related accidents had increased to an all-time high.
The question of how the government can resolve this is top on the agency’s list to reduce fatalities in the coming year.
While the government agency, NHTSA, works hand in hand with other government parastatals, the judiciary is also working hard to ensure every car crash case is resolved fairly.
Just like like in every court case, the preponderance of evidence tilts the judgment in favor of those who have proven their cases beyond doubt.
Car crash animation is what many people make use of to make their cases clear to every stakeholder in the courtroom.
What is Car Crash Animation?
Car crash animation expresses the intricacies of an accident’s facts in a way that testimony, pictures, and medical records cannot.
Animation can show you what happened while it was happening, such as how a body moved inside the car at the point of impact, which photos cannot.
Car crash animation combines injuries, damage, and other factors into one extensive graphical illustration instead of viewing each aspect of a collision separately. In this manner, a jury and others will remember what happened more clearly and be able to make better decisions.
These and other factors make 3D car crash animation an effective tool that can benefit your client.
Sometimes car crash animation can express the investigative efforts of accident reconstructionists.
Of course, just like in the animation, the reconstruction is based on eyewitnesses’ testimony, the victim’s testimony, data from the black box, and more data like the skid marks, the dents on the vehicle, and many more seemingly trivial facts.
A car crash reconstruction in the case of Cleveland v. Bryant shows how accident reconstructionists gather data.
The expert reconstructionist testified that he visited the accident scene, made measurements, inspected the tractor-trailer, reviewed photographs of the damaged truck and car, witnessed the truck traveling on the roadway in an experiment, and examined a car of the same make as the plaintiff.
Based on all this, he could detect the accident’s location and the degree to which the plaintiff’s car went underneath the defendant’s.
The court ruled that the animation reflected a fair and accurate representation of the facts before the court.
More Use Case For Car Crash Animation
While creating a car crash animation, much data is usually unified into one comprehensive and scientifically accurate representation.
Thus, a car crash animation would be incomplete without factoring in the behavior of the people involved in the car crash incident.
When we talk about behavior, we refer to how the people involved in the crash interacted with their surroundings.
Were they speeding? Were they inebriated while driving? Were they on a call?
Did the driver stop at a red light? Did they cut into an intersection at an alarming speed? Did they pay attention to road signs?
The bottom line is this- car crash animators take the behavior of the drivers of the vehicles into account before the animation is made.
Take, for instance, the car crash animation video below.
An irresponsible truck driver sped towards an intersection without regard for the road signs and warnings, which numbered eight. Without any iota of care, he kept speeding towards the intersection at 68 MPH and tried to slow to 37 MPH at the last minute. It was too late, and he crashed into the coming vehicle. Hence, the animation showed the driver’s lack of attention to the traffic signs around him.
In addition, the animation can enable the audience to see a collision from different perspectives and other telling angles.
For 3D car crash animation to be effective, it must present the viewpoints of drivers and witnesses involved in the collision. This is exemplified in the case of Mintun v. State.
In this case, two drunk friends had decided to go hunting early in the morning. At one point, the car failed to negotiate a curve, causing one friend to die on the spot and the other to sustain life-threatening injuries, which left him unable to remember who was driving whom.
Evidence of the case was reconstructed by the state, and they found that the defendant was driving and, therefore, liable for the accident. They introduced a car crash animation that viewed the incident from three vantage points. The scene was replayed from the helicopter, side, and witness’ view.
Similarly, animators can also imbibe alternative perspectives in animation. The function of the alternative perspective is to show a “ghost car” whose driver did not make a mistake the driver in the case made.
For example, the driver failed to stop at a red light and crashed into another vehicle. An alternative perspective would show the same car stopping at the red light and the effect, which would be that the crash wouldn’t have happened.
Thus, the “ghost animation” shows what would have happened had the driver not done what he did.
The animation can also alter time and show a slow-motion view of the accident from the driver, witnesses’, helicopter, and even the passengers in the vehicle.
Slow motion is sometimes used to show the force at which the crash moved the passengers and how that caused them to sustain specific injuries.
Admissibility of Car Crash Animations
Even though car crash animations are practical tools in court due to their realistic components compared to simulations, you must follow the admissibility rules.
Yes, car crash animation is more exciting for the jury to follow since they already enjoy viewing animations in their modern-day movies, video games, social media, and other media outlets.
But you would have wasted the entire effort if your car crash animation did not meet the admissibility rules.
For admissibility, a car crash animation must represent the evidence fairly and accurately.
In the case of Clark v. Cantrell, the court found the animation attempted to be introduced into evidence to be inaccurate and deemed inadmissible.
Hence, to create car crash animations that are accurate, compelling, and explanatory in court, it is essential to get a car accident expert on board with a car crash animation company.
At Fox-AE, our animators are expert accident reconstructionists which makes the job even more filled with professional insights and experience. Here are some of our success stories with creating admissible car crash animation.