The need for accident reconstruction was clearly stated in a technical report documentation published by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). It explained that “while the majority of traffic crashes involve human error on the part of those involved in the crash, many crashes occur due to engineering issues. Without fully investigating and reconstructing a crash, the true cause or causes of the crash may not be determined.” Vehicular accident reconstruction is the process of investigating, examining, analyzing, and drawing conclusions about the causes and events during a vehicle collision. This scientific process involves conducting collision analysis and reconstruction to identify the cause of a collision and contributing factors including the role of the driver(s), vehicle(s), roadway, and general environment. The rules of physics, fundamental concepts of crash mechanics, vehicle dynamics and kinematics, and a comprehensive examination of the physical data are all used in this procedure. In a case where death or personal injury from an accident occurs, if the evidence is lost, incomplete, or defective, accident reconstruction is essential if not mandatory.
Accident reconstruction is not carried out by people without expertise. In a technical report published in 2015 by The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), it was affirmed that “ in many jurisdictions, the cost of training and equipment prohibits every officer from being a certified crash reconstructionist”. It involves a high level of expertise, understanding established engineering and scientific principles, and the use of advanced equipment and software to gather information and reconstruct the accident events. These specialists, after collecting data, evaluating possible hypotheses, creating models, recreating collisions, testing, and utilizing software simulations are able to give clarity and create events as to what could have happened.
In summary, accident reconstruction can be a difficult process. Not only must information and evidence from many sources be combined, obtaining this evidence can be challenging, even painful at times. Irrespective of how beautifully the reconstruction is put together, it is still simply a model, which will frequently be challenged by specialists representing parties involved in the disaster. Reports from a reconstructed accident scene can be presented in a courtroom as animation. A forensic animation firm like Fox AE can create an animation to show all or part of an accident in a video format so that non-technical parties, such as juries, can readily grasp the expert’s conclusions about the incident.