Using Digital Photogrammetry to Determine Crash Severity

Richard M. Ziernicki, Ph.D., P.E. | Stephen Fenton, P.E | Nathan Rose | Wendy Johnson


This paper presents a new method of determining the severity of vehicular accidents using digital photogrammetry.

A state-of-the-art documentation technique called close-range photogrammetry allows engineers and accident reconstructionists to create a three-dimensional computer model of a damaged vehicle utilizing accident scene photography, Utilizing photogrammetric software, engineers can digitize accident scene photographs to create an accurate three-dimensional computer model that can be used to quantify structural damage.

Critical data such as crush deformation, roof collapse, and occupant compartment intrusion can be analyzed and evaluated to determine the accident dynamics.

Understanding the accident dynamics helps engineers determine the severity of the crash and assists in engineering safer vehicles. Knott Laboratory, Inc. has utilized photogrammetric techniques on cases worldwide including the Princess Diana accident in France (1)(2).

Published By


International Journal of Crashworthiness, REF: 2173, September 2000
2000