Unfortunately, drivers often violate the rules of the road in small ways: driving a little too fast, not coming to a complete stop at an intersection, making a U-turn despite a warning sign. But drivers that ignore these important safety steps do not typically expect to get into an accident. Except for the one man who has single handedly been involved in 958 accidents, all in the name of science.
Miraculously, out of all his accidents, he has only collected a few scratches and bruises from time to time. No, he is not a crash test dummy. He is just a crash test fanatic. Rusty Haight is part of his own company that travels around the country to teach people about auto accident reconstruction.
During reconstruction seminars, Haight often places himself inside one of the automobiles to simulate how a human body might react under the circumstances being tested. Photographs of crashes he has participated in show that often the driver’s side door is entirely removed so observers and photographers can document the bodily impact. Recently, he demoed a crash at a Las Vegas Convention focused on making intellectual gains in the area of reconstruction.
The conference included engineers, police officers, and crash test experts, to name a few. New York had a representative from the Metro Transit Authority who hoped to learn more about the ways people can get hurt in bus accidents.
The bus representative from New York said he was drawn to the event because the company is often sued over bus accident injuries, but does not know much about them. Paying out millions of dollars to victims of accidents, without knowing how to reduce the danger of bus accidents does not help future riders. The Las Vegas convention had a bus crash scheduled, and for a few days following the accident demos, teams would work together to analyze any data gathered from the simulation exercise.
Another interesting thing to take away from the conference is that some
cars have a black box type of device similar to airplanes. The device
records information about the airbag module that can then be used in reconstruction
efforts. At the conference, the device was tested in one of Haight’s
minivan crash simulations.
As experts continue to stage tests of auto accidents outside of the traditional crash test laboratory, reconstruction specialists will gain more data points to work from. Analyzing crashes is a difficult field because there are so many factors to consider. Picture a typical car accident to consider what might be at issue: weather, road conditions, traffic, driver’s condition/fitness to drive, car defects and much more. Reconstruction experts definitely have a lot on their hands when investigating an accident.
Take a recent crash that killed two as an example. The wreck occurred when conditions were relatively clear. A vehicle traveling down a two lane road suddenly veered across the center line and collided with another car head on. According to reports, the vehicle that was hit head on was then struck by another SUV before coming to rest. After the collision, the car that originally veered across the line went up in flames.
Thanks to witnesses and police officers a 7-month-old baby was able to be pulled from the vehicle before it went up in flames. Following the crash, the Indianapolis rural roadway was closed for a few hours so teams could investigate the accident. Road closures after fatal or catastrophic accidents are common so that police and expert teams can document all the evidence at the scene for later inspection.
Data gathered from real life tragic accidents like this one, as well as from conventions like the Vegas event, will help experts to better understand future situations. If you or a loved one is involved in an accident you should contact an experienced auto accident lawyer to secure compensation for your injuries.