Event data recorders (EDRs) provide invaluable collision data to assist reconstructionists in their task of determining how a collision occurred. As of 2016, 99% of available automobiles have some sort of EDR that can be interrogated using a publically available tool such as Bosch’s CDR system, or the Subaru, Hyundai, or Kia diagnostic tools.

Unfortunately, to date, this technology has not been widely adopted by motorcycle manufacturers. Currently, only select 2013+ Kawasaki motorcycles are equipped with a true EDR [2]. As such, in the vast majority of cases the analyst will not have access to information captured by a motorcycle EDR.

However, data loggers provide another source of potential data to reconstructionists. These devices are installed at the choice of the owner and may be produced by aftermarket vendors, or the original manufacturer. Ducati’s Data Analyzer (DDA) is one such system, and the workings and accuracy of that system were analyzed in this study, slated for publication in the Accident Reconstruction Journal in 2018. 

The contact area between the roadway and tire changes substantially with the tire’s inflation pressure. Does that change in the contact area affect the coefficient of friction? If so, is that change substantial enough to affect speed calculations?

This 2017 analysis conducted by Louis Peck, Eric Deyerl, and Nathan Rose sought to answer that question. The results were published in the Accident Reconstruction Journal. 

Axiom’s Louis Peck was invited to direct motorcycle crash testing at the world’s largest accident reconstruction conference held to date, WREX2016.

Eleven instrumented crash tests were performed as part of the conference, using seven Harley-Davidson motorcycles and three automobiles. For all tests, the automobile was stationary while the motorcycle was projected into the vehicle, while upright with tires rolling, at varying speeds.

Seven tests were performed at speeds between 30 and 46 mph while four low-speed tests were performed to establish the onset of permanent motorcycle deformation. Data from these tests, and other published testing, was analyzed using available models to determine their accuracy when predicting the impact speed of Harley-Davidson motorcycles. The results of the investigation are slated for publication in SAE 2018. Fellow authors include: Wade Bartlett, Joseph Manning, Charles Dickerson, and Eric Deyerl.

With co-author Mu-Hua Cheng, Mr. Peck developed a practical photogrammetry method for highly accurate vehicular modeling.

The method, which utilizes retroreflective circular and spherical targets, requires only eight photographs of the vehicle, using a consumer-grade DSLR camera, and was shown to result in accuracy of approximately 1 mm when compared to the extremely accurate FaroArm. The method and results were published in SAE 2016, and presented at the World Congress in Detroit, Michigan. The full manuscript can be downloaded here

This research examined 15 actual crashes of motorcycles equipped with frame sliders and established the related drag factor using GPS data acquisition systems. The crashes occurred during track days or races and many were also documented with on-board video, which was synchronized with the GPS data when available.

14 controlled tests were then performed with different motorcycles and the sliding friction values were determined using GPS data acquisition and traditional methods for validation. The average drag factor for the 15 track crashes was -0.45 g’s and -0.48 g’s in the 14 controlled tests, where none of the motorcycles were equipped with frame sliders.

These results align with previously published research. Of importance, this data showed frame sliders do not lower the drag factor of a sport bike, but actually increase it. Moreover, a relationship between certain collision dynamics and the sliding friction became apparent. The analysis was published in the Proceedings of the 10th International Motorcycle Conference, and also presented at the conference, held in Cologne, Germany. The full publication can be downloaded here

Co-authors: William Focha, and Toby Gloekler. 

A long-term series of studies conducted by Louis Peck, Jeffrey Muttart, WadeBartlett, Steven Guderian, Donald Fisher, et al., these projects are designed to better understand motorcycle riders and their behavior while riding, especially compared to when driving an automobile. 

The results to date lend insight into rider’s glancing behavior, which helps us determine where the rider is direction their attention. Moreover, the studies lend information regarding the manifestation of experience, braking response times, and braking efficiency. 

This work has resulted in several publications. Most notably, a paper titled  “Glancing and Stopping Behavior of Motorcyclists and Car Drivers at Intersections,” which became a TRB Transportation Record in 2011. That paper can be downloaded here

Occupants involved in high speed frontal automotive collisions are often victims of knee, hip and thigh
(KTH) injuries. These injuries commonly result in long term or permanent disabilities with high societal costs. In fact, the cost of KTH related injuries caused by frontal automotive collisions is approximately four billion dollars per year.

In order to prevent KTH injuries in high speed frontal automotive collisions, it is imperative understand the biomechanics and failure characteristics of the KTH and all of its components.

This multi-disciplinary project was conducted over several years using sophisticated finite element analysis programs, using data from biomechanical tests, to further understand KTH injuries and how they can be prevented.

The study has resulted in multiple publications, including: “Validation of a New Finite Element Model for Human Knee Ligaments for Use in High Speed Automotive Collisions,” with co-authors Chiara Silvestri, Malcom Ray, and Kirsten Billiar. That paper can be viewed here

3262 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., #208, Westlake Village, CA 91362 lpeck@axiomforensic.com 805.364.5208