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N/A | National Q&A with Police Crash Investigator

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by creampuff, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. Regular punters may know that I live in England. A week or two ago I was fortunate enough to go to a Q&A session lasting about 90 mins organised by the Thames Valley RoSPA (see below) group. The chap doing the Q&A was a serving police officer in the traffic division, with over 20 years experience investigating crashes. As an FYI all UK police in this category are also trained police motorcycle riders, although how often they ride a bike on the job will vary.

    Anyway, synopsis:
    - He doesn't like speed cameras
    - He felt that mobile phones contribute to many crashes, even if they are used with a hands free kit
    - He felt that texting contributes to many crashes
    - Full gear will help you in a crash and he feels armored leathers are superior to armored textiles
    - A lot of bike crashes result from speeds too fast for rider comfort through a bend, even though the same speed may be within the technical limits of the bike
    - Modern car stability systems are exceptionally good
    - ABS is a good idea on motorbikes
    - Getting in a car with a young male can be dangerous, getting in a car with a young female is much less dangerous and the proportion of fatal crashes he's been to that have been caused by young female drivers is tiny compared to the number caused by young male drivers
    - There was no discussion of speed being a contributor to crashes, except in the case of excessive speeds for the particular situation
    - At this point in time, car airbag systems record the vehicle speed at deployment (which is not necessarily the speed in the period before the collision). Car manufacturers (at least in the UK) will not normally provide this data to the police.

    RoSPA = Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, who also conduct advanced rider and driver training
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  2. our young females are 10 times as dangerous as yours.
  3. look i did enjoy your post and all. but no mention of drivers who have'nt had a bath for a month.
  4. no really i did enjoy it.
    but hey i'm in Victoria, so it's just completely irrelevent. all accidents here without exception can be directly attributed to a nearby flying motorcycle, as we have different laws of physics to the rest of the known universe.
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  5. In fine form there MT1 :rofl
  6. Thanks for posting that, creampuff. :)

    For the Aussies - you might be interested to know that most cars manufactured after about 2002 have a data logger known as the EDR (Event Data Recorder) which works in conjunction with the airbag control module. It's there so that automotive design engineers can recover useful crash data from real wrecked cars, to improve safety in future car designs. It only records the immediate circumstances of a crash which was severe enough for the crash algorithm to wake up and take interest.

    However, in the USA and Canada the crash-reconstruction police often download the data to assist with accident reconstruction. The momentum-exchange data in particular is extremely useful in improving the accuracy of the reconstruction, and therefore helps them get to the truth of how the collision occurred.

    The data recorder logs things like:
    - how much momentum was exchanged during impact and in what directions
    - what protective devices the car chose to activate during the collision, e.g. front airbags, side airbags, seatbelt pretensioners
    - 2.5 to 5 seconds of pre-impact data in 0.5 or 1 second intervals. Wheel speed, engine rpm, throttle position and whether the brake light was on or off. (This data is a little vague because it's not measured at precise intervals)

    It doesn't record anything but crash-related stuff, so fooli sik burnouts and 260kph in a 50 zone won't get recorded (unless they end with a bang). The crash algorithm finds such things quite boring and won't wake up for them.

    At time of writing this post, there are only a handful of car models in Australia from which the EDR data can be downloaded. That said, Bosch is actively working with car manufacturers to expand that support.
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