What should you know about speeding and accidents?

The speed factor in accidents often helps determine liability. Was one of the drivers speeding? Therefore, a case investigation might include having an accident reconstructionist determine how the accident took place. Part of that determination would include whether the other car was speeding. Examining skid marks enables specialists to figure out what happened, but how does that work?

How do skid marks figure into speeding?

When calculating speed, you take each skid mark and measure it in feet and inches. Do this with all the skid marks, add the measurements and calculate the average size.

For purposes of calculations, you must work with decimals. You can convert inches into decimals by dividing the number of inches by 12. This gives you the number of feet and fraction left over in decimals. For example, if the total average was 120 feet and 6 inches, then divide 6 by 12 and it equals 0.5 feet. The total is now 120.5 feet.

What does the drag factor have to do with the speed?

The drag factor relates to the friction caused by the road surface. The surface can slow down a vehicle. For example, asphalt roads have a drag factor of -.50 to 0.90. Gravel roads have a drag factor of 0.40 to 0.80. Icy roads range from 0.10 to 0.25, and the range of snowy roads is 0.10 to 0.55. When an accident reconstructionist investigates an accident, they perform skid tests to determine the drag factor.

How does braking efficiency factor into skid marks?

The number of skid marks left by a car relate to braking efficiency. When cars leave four skid marks, the breaking efficiency is 100%. For each front wheel that does not leave a skid mark, you subtract 20% from the efficiency percentage. For each missing back wheel skid mark, subtract 30%.

How does combining these factors involved result in the final skid speed?

You multiply the drag factor times the braking efficiency times the skid distance times 30. Then take the square root of that total.

(Reference: itstillruns.com)

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