The crash testing continues!

The end of June saw some more testing at a huge Collision Reconstruction event organised by the UK’s Institute of Traffic Accident Investigators ( ) and held at Bruntingthorpe Proving Grounds ( ) in Leicestershire.

This event has grown to be a regular event that is open to everyone and attracts an audience from across the world. Over a dozen full speed crash tests were conducted during the day involving pedestrians, cyclists, cars and even an Ambulance! Plus there were a series of low speed tests, autonomous  brake testing and HGV visibility tests. There really was something for everyone. These types of crash tests are normally held in secret for internal use by vehicle manufacturers but here everyone can video, photograph what they like and have access to the data from the crashes. The fastest test was a Mazda 6 striking the side of a Ford Mondeo at 76 mph which was spectacular!

I was here to conduct some more testing into how speedometers behave during collisions. This time all the speedometers were from motorcycles. The experiment was a bit of an experiment in itself as the instruments were attached to the car using Velcro which would hopefully allow the clusters to rip free during the impact in much the same way as motorcycle speedometers can detach in real world collisions. I am happy to report that the method worked perfectly with a clean release in every impact.

The impacts were recorded in slow motion by Ix Cameras ( ) and in their footage you can see some of the instrument clusters being released at impact amid a shower of glass.

There is a huge amount of material still to work through but I obtained some useful data and will have a better idea of how motorcycle instruments behave in crashes. Expect to see an article in a journal soon.



In other news I recently went to  the automotive supply exhibition called, Automechanika in Birmingham. It was a great day with lots to see. I found this cut away Jaguar which nicely shows the crash components of the chassis.

Jaguar cut away

Jaguar chassis components

This photo is very useful to show where the various crash components are.

Are you going to WREX2016 ?

WREX 2016

WREX2016 logo

It’s almost 2 weeks until the largest reconstruction conference in the world. WREX, the World Reconstruction Exposition is being held in Orlando, Florida.  You can find the full details at

WREX2016 will be the first World Reconstruction Exposition that has been held since the year 2000. The event is being sponsored by 21 crash associations from the US, Canada, and around the world. WREX 2016 IS the largest training event for crash investigators that has ever been held.

This is a rare event. The next WREX event is not planned until 2025!

I am delighted to say that I have been invited to WREX2016 as one of the guest lecturers.

The subject for my lecture is how speedometers behave during a collision. The lectures are based on eight years of research. The phenomenon of a speedometer and indeed all the gauges within an instrument cluster to apparently lock and freeze at the moment of impact depends on two principle factors. Firstly that the impact must cause the lost of electrical power to the instrument and secondly that the electronic stepper motor used to drive the needle must hold the position of the needle during the shock of the impact.

We have produced a set of criteria to help ensure the principles apply.

As it happens some collisions are excellent at having the right conditions to produce a reliable frozen position while other are quite frankly useless.

It’s the ability to test and determine when to accept or reject the reading that is the subject of the presentations in Florida.

To date the research has produced some excellent results and in 2013 I won an award from the EVU (, the European Association for Accident Research and Analysis for the best research paper.

I am very much looking forward to meeting fellow reconstruction experts from around the world.