Determine speed of car from result of impact?

  • #1
Greetings,

It's been quite a while since I had to do anything with velocity, friction, mass, and practically any physics over simple calculations. My car was hit yesterday while parked. There were no injuries, and it still drives just fine. The collision was hard enough to deploy the other car's airbag.

I don't need to know the answer for legal reasons, it's all being taken care of by insurance. But out of curiosity, is there a way to calculate the velocity of the car from the data that I have?

I can tell from how offset my car is from straight how much it moved. I know the masses of both vehicles, as well as the road surface where my car was sitting for the friction of the tires.

Can someone noodle this one out? I'd love to know.

Jamie
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Orodruin
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is there a way to calculate the velocity of the car from the data that I have?
No. Accident reconstruction is a very tricky business. Of course you can do some idealised setup where you can input what you know, but it will not be very accurate.
 
  • #3
No. Accident reconstruction is a very tricky business. Of course you can do some idealised setup where you can input what you know, but it will not be very accurate.
I'm happy with making some assumptions and getting a ballpark figure. I suspect they were going faster than 25 mph due to the airbag deployment. I'm wondering if they were going much faster than that.
 
  • #4
berkeman
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Greetings,

It's been quite a while since I had to do anything with velocity, friction, mass, and practically any physics over simple calculations. My car was hit yesterday while parked. There were no injuries, and it still drives just fine. The collision was hard enough to deploy the other car's airbag.

I don't need to know the answer for legal reasons, it's all being taken care of by insurance. But out of curiosity, is there a way to calculate the velocity of the car from the data that I have?

I can tell from how offset my car is from straight how much it moved. I know the masses of both vehicles, as well as the road surface where my car was sitting for the friction of the tires.

Can someone noodle this one out? I'd love to know.

Jamie
As already pointed out, we do not help with accident analysis and reconstruction here. Please consider hiring a specialist to help you with this.
 

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