Steven M. Schorr, PE, Collision Reconstruction Engineer ::::
Multi-vehicle collisions, sometimes involving dozens of vehicles, frequently occur under adverse weather conditions such as snow, ice, and/or fog. When these collisions occur on high-speed, limited-access highways, there can be severe consequences as a result of the multiple impacts. However, from a reconstruction standpoint, with so many vehicles involved how does one define the dynamics of the collision? As is the case with any collision event, the analysis is based on the available physical evidence and the applicable laws of physics. What makes the reconstruction of multi-vehicle collisions different than a classic two-vehicle collision is simply the number of vehicles involved and the availability/quality of the physical evidence left as a result of the collision.
That said, the reconstruction process for a multi-vehicle collision is the same as any other collision. Ideally, you are able break down the multi-vehicle collision into clusters and so instead of attempting to reconstruct the entire multi-vehicle collision at once, the engineer attempts to reconstruct smaller, more manageable pieces of the overall incident. By separating the larger collision event into smaller, more manageable events, the dynamics of the overall collision oftentimes come into view.
Steven M. Schorr, PE, President of DJS Associates, is a Collision Reconstruction Engineer and can be reached via phone at 215-659-2010 or via email at experts@forensicDJS.com.