US Government Enables NHTSA to Oversee Self-Driving Vehicles
Self-driving cars are on the way, and the United States government is taking action to oversee their safe integration onto our roads. In addition, our civic leaders are aware of the potential of the highly automated vehicles collecting, using, sharing, and storing data about who is in the vehicle, where they are going, how long they stayed, what was their path, and sending this data back to the auto manufacturer. Read more at https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/3388/text?format=txt
Computer-Based Vehicle Simulation and Accident Reconstruction
Another tool added to assist in the analysis of accidents and injuries is HVE-2D by Engineering Dynamics Corporation. It allows for the reconstruction and simulation of events and decisions leading up to vehicle collisions. All types of road vehicles (passenger cars, trucks, articulated vehicles, etc.) can be modeled. The actions of the driver, such as inattention or over-correction, braking and steering can be evaluated in great detail as well as the driver’s view of their environment. This physics based computer tool has been validated and published in numerous peer-reviewed journal articles at SAE.
Safety Tip - Keep out of Truck Blind Spots
Unlike cars, trucks do not have rear view mirrors which therefore limits what the truck driver can see. Because the truck driver is sitting up high he also cannot see directly in front of the hood of his truck. In addition, his side view mirrors will provide a limited view of what is to the left and right of his truck. Because of the number and extent of these blind spots, it can be dangerous to drive next to, directly in front of or to the rear of a truck. Be safe, keep your distance and stay out of the blind spots of trucks. In the adjacent photograph, all of the motorcycles are in the truck driver's blind spots.
GPS Signal Recorder Now Used by Impact Injury Analysis
A satellite based system is now in use by Impact Injury Analysis to precisely measure, record, display, analyze and simulate the motions of moving objects. This Global Positioning System (GPS) uses satellite transmissions to help us understand how cars, trucks, bicycles, construction vehicles and even people can move, recording their position and speed, and performing calculations and plotting the results to assist in the reconstruction of accidents and the display of scientific testing data for reports and as exhibits. Miniature cameras simultaneously record video to be displayed along with the numerical data.
Safety Tip - Safe Hand Placement on Steering Wheel
Many people still drive with their hands at the 10:00 and 2:00 positions on the steering wheel as they were taught many years ago. However, that was prior to the integration of airbags into the steering wheel. If you still drive like this, or drive in any manner where your hands or arms are over the center portion of your steering wheel, and you get into a frontal collision, even a relatively minor one, the airbag could deploy breaking your arm or hand and throwing them back potentially fracturing bones in your face and causing eye trauma. For increased safety, drive with your hands at 9:00 and 3:00, or lower on the steering wheel.
On April 14, 2014 Dr. Mark Strauss opens Impact Injury Analysis, LLC in order to continue to perform accident reconstruction and injury causation analysis services for clients across the country. He has been analyzing accidents and injuries for over 25 years for civil, criminal, FELA, and workers’ compensation cases, in Alaska to Hawaii, and Florida to California.
Human factors research by Dr. Strauss has shown that for the 487 vehicle speed estimates made by pedestrians of passing vehicles, 32% of the estimates were in error by 21% or more of the actual vehicle speed. His research was published and presented at the SAE World Congress meeting in Detroit, MI.