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Forensic Engineering Experts: Vehicle Rollover

By: Dr. Irving Ojalvo

Tel: (800) 358-9909
Fax: (888) 358-9901
Email: Technology Associates

In many vehicle rollover investigations, it is necessary to know not only the speeds and motions of the vehicles involved, but the causes of injuries suffered by their occupants as well. Such investigations seek to answer questions regarding occupant ejection, effects of seatbelt use, roof crush and body-interior impacts. Obtaining answers often requires advanced roof structural analyses and three-dimensional computer simulations of the rollover motion itself. When analyzing a rollover accident, computer simulation is an invaluable tool, which allows us to model rollover motion and roof crush and can be used to create animations of the accident.

Expertise

Questions Answered

We have extensive experience in many aspects of computer simulation including:
  • 3-Dimensional modeling using the Articulated Total Body (ATB) simulation code
  • Finite element roof crush analysis
  • Computer simulation and animation
  • An extensive rollover reference library

Case Examples

SUV Rollover:
An SUV lost control and traveled over a portion of highway guardrail before rolling down an embankment, destroying the roll cage's integrity. The defense theorized the driver was killed by intruding guardrail posts as the SUV rolled along the guardrail, and that a stronger roll cage design would not have protected him. We reconstructed the entire accident using computer modeling, which disproved the defense's theory and showed that the driver would have survived if the roll cage had been designed stronger.


Dr. Irving Ojalvo was, at the time of this article's publication, the Chairman of Technology Associates (www.technology-assoc.com), a forensic engineering firm with offices in New York City and Connecticut. The firm's technical personnel, all of whom have advanced degrees, perform accident reconstruction involving issues of biomechanics, mechanical, traffic, and human factors engineering.

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