Brach, R., Brach, R., and Pongetti, K., "Analysis of High-Speed Sideswipe Collisions Using Data from Small Overlap Tests," SAE Int. J. Trans. Safety 2(1):86-99, 2014, doi:10.4271/2014-01-0469.
Little experimental data have been reported in the crash reconstruction literature regarding high-speed sideswipe collisions. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducted a series of high-speed, small overlap, vehicle-to-barrier and vehicle-to-vehicle crash tests for which the majority resulted in sideswipe collisions. A sideswipe collision is defined in this paper as a crash with non-zero, final relative tangential velocity over the vehicle-to-barrier or vehicle-to-vehicle contact surface; that is, sliding continues throughout the contact duration. Using analysis of video from 50 IIHS small overlap crash tests, each test was modeled using planar impact mechanics to determine which were classified as sideswipes and which were not. The test data were further evaluated to understand the nature of high-speed, small overlap, sideswipe collisions and establish appropriate parameter ranges that can aid in the process of accident reconstruction. An example reconstruction of a small overlap, sideswipe collision using optimization methods based on the planar impact mechanics model is included in the paper. The results of the example reconstruction show that the reconstruction method developed in the paper, using the physical evidence and EDR data, produces useful results.