Using Digital Photogrammetry to Determine Vehicle Crush and Equivalent Barrier Speed (EBS)

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


This paper presents a method of determining a vehicle crush and equivalent barrier speed using digital photogrammetry.

A state-of-the-art documentation technique called close-range photogrammetry allows engineers and accident reconstructionists to create three-dimensional computer models of damaged vehicles utilizing photographs.

Utilizing photogrammetric software, engineers can digitize accident scene photographs to create accurate three-dimensional computer models of the vehicles, which can be used to quantify structural damage sustained by the vehicles. Crush deformation can be quantified utilizing this process and the resulting crush dimensions can be input into engineering software to determine a vehicle’s equivalent barrier speed.

Knott Laboratory, Inc. has utilized these techniques on cases worldwide including the Princess Diana accident in France [1][2].

Published By


Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), Paper 1999-01-0439, 1999
1999