Introduction to Forensic Engineering and Accident Reconstruction

  • Scott D. BattermanEmail author
  • Steven C. Batterman


The purpose of this chapter is to provide a brief introduction to, and general overview of, the field of forensic engineering and accident reconstruction. Forensic engineering is defined as the application of engineering principles to the purposes of the law. Qualified forensic engineers are individuals formally educated in one, or more, engineering disciplines that utilize their knowledge and skills to rigorously analyze engineering issues of interest that can arise in both civil and criminal litigation matters.

Examples and illustrations taken from the field of vehicular accident reconstruction are given in the chapter. Although this chapter focuses primarily on the area of automobile accident reconstruction, the scientific principles and engineering methodologies presented are generally applicable to other areas of forensic engineering investigation and analysis.


Accident Reconstruction Critical Speed Delta-V D-Ring Forensic Engineering Hot Shock Linear Momentum Point Of Impact Occupant Kinematics Seat Belt Product Liability 


  1. 1.
    Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine (1990), The Abbreviated Injury Scale, Des Plaines.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Baker JS (1975), Traffic Accident Investigation Manual, The Traffic Institute, Northwestern University, Evanston.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Baker JS, Fricke LB (1986), The Traffic-Accident Investigation Manual, At-Scene Investigation and Technical Follow-Up, The Traffic Institute, Northwestern University, Evanston.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Batterman SC, Batterman SD (1999), Forensic Engineering,  Chapter 12, Medicolegal Death Investigation: Treatises in the Forensic Sciences, 2nd edition: Caplan YH, and Frank RS, Editors, The Forensic Sciences Foundation Press.
  5. 5.
    Batterman SC, Batterman SD (2002), Forensic Engineering. In: Geller E, et al Editor, McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology, Mcgraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Batterman SC, Batterman SD (2007), Perspectives in Forensic Engineering, (Appeared as Forensic Engineering), Legal Medicine, 7th Edition, Chapter 65, American College of Legal Medicine, Mosby Inc., Philadelphia, PA.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Beer FP, Johnston, Jr. R (1977), Vector Mechanics for Engineers: Statics & Dynamics, Third Edition, McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Crash 3 Technical Manual, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, United States Department of Transportation.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Day TD, Hargens RL (1987), An Overview of the Way EDCRASH Computes Delta-V, Society of Automotive Engineers, SAE paper no. 870045.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Eubanks JJ (1994), Pedestrian Accident Reconstruction, Lawyers & Judges Publishing, Tucson.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Fricke LB (1990), Traffic Accident Reconstruction, Volume 2 of The Traffic Accident Investigation Manual, The Traffic Institute, Northwestern University, Evanston.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Gorski JM, German A, Nowak ES (1990), Examination and Analysis of Seat Belt Loading Marks, Journal of Forensic Sciences Volume 35, Number 1, pp. 69–79.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Halliday D, Resnick R (1974), Fundamentals of Physics, Wiley, New Yok.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Manning L, Bentson L (1984), Highway Speed vs. Sideslip (Critical Speed in a Curve), Journal of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers, Volume I, Number 2, pp. 3–16.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Manning L (1990), Critical Speed in a Curve – Update, Journal of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers, pp. 7–16.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Searle JA (1993), The Physics of Throw Distance in Accident Reconstruction, Accident Reconstruction: Technology and Animation III, SP-946, Society of Automotive Engineers, pp. 71–81, SAE Paper No. 930659.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Stein SK (1977), Calculus and Analytic Geometry, McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Batterman Engineering, LLCCherry HillUSA
  2. 2.School of Engineering and Applied Science, School of MedicineUniversity of Pennsylvania, PA, USA; Batterman Engineering, LLCCherry HillUSA

Personalised recommendations