Approximately 4,500 pedestrians are killed in vehicle collisions each year, and TEEX and the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) are collaborating to train law enforcement officers who investigate these crashes.
“A pedestrian vs. automobile crash is dynamically different from a vehicle vs. vehicle crash,” said David Aguirre, Training Coordinator with TEEX Public Safety & Security. “Our Pedestrian/Automobile Reconstruction Course teaches investigators how to manage the crash scene, to collect and document evidence, and to perform the unique calculations needed to estimate the speed of the striking vehicle.”
Twelve students attending the weeklong course got first-hand demonstrations of a vehicle striking a “crash dummy” pedestrian at a new crash simulation site on the Texas A&M Riverside Campus last week.
Following each simulated crash, course participants collected and recorded evidence at the scene. They took the necessary measurements on-site and from the vehicle to calculate the speed by applying the correct equations. The course also teaches students how to read and understand the Medical Examiner reports that detail injuries sustained by the pedestrian, Aguirre added.
“We partnered with TTI, so we could tap into their vast experience in conducting crash tests,” Aguirre said. “TTI also helped with the design of the rail system and documented the crashes with high-speed camera equipment.
“Using a driverless car on a rail system allows us to safely accelerate the striking vehicle to any speed we desire. With a remote braking system, we can apply braking before, at or after impact. By controlling these variables, we can accurately test the students and validate the calculations.”
The first test on the new crash simulation site was successful, he said. “All 12 students correctly calculated the impact speed of the vehicle.”