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Help me out please - Car accident analysis

  1. Sep 11, 2013 #1
    Help me out please -- Car accident analysis

    hey guys, I have a question... If car 1 weighing in at 4400lbs is traveling at 0 degree heading at 55 MPH and is impacted on the right side by car 2 weighing in at 2700 lbs from a 90 degree heading traveling at 5 mph and the departure angle of car 1 is 45 degrees, and the time variable is 1 second. what was the force of the impact?

    This is not a homework question, this is my car and I would like to know the force from the impact.


    let me know if you need any more data. Thanks
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 11, 2013 #2


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    Questions of this sort.are very common on PF. But the "force of the impact" is not knowable. Force is not a consideration in such matters. To put a good legal case, you need the authority of an accepted legal expert, I'm afraid, using the appropriate terminology and academic qualifications. Any Physics you may read here can be as accurate as you like but it will cut no ice in court.
  4. Sep 11, 2013 #3


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    5mph? Given the severity of the damage to the door of the Z (which I'm assuming is car 1 in this question), it looks like the second car was going a lot more than 5mph. As sophiecentaur said though, we can't say anything conclusive or legally useful here - we can speculate, but there's not enough information to say much, and anything we can say would almost definitely not be admissible in court.
  5. Sep 11, 2013 #4
    I'm not sure there's a meaningful answer to the question. As far as I know, forces involved in collisions tend to vary quite wildly during the collision process. The force starts off very small then grows to be huge as compression of the material happens and then drops off to zero, all in the span of a few ms. This is one of the reasons that collisions are often analyzed in terms of momentum conservation rather than a direct application of Newton's 2nd Law.

  6. Sep 12, 2013 #5


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    I guess a good photograph of the damage could appeal to a judge's common sense if you are trying to discredit your opponent's estimation of speed. Does your car insurance cover legal representation?
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