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Accident Reconstruction

Traffic accident reconstruction is the effort to determine, from whatever resources are available, how an accident happened.

Vehicle Technical Expert & Forensic Mechanic

ASE Certified Master Technician and Expert Witness — Forensic Mechanic and Forensic Mechanical services: mechanical and technical inspections highway, off-road, and industrial vehicles vehicle failure analysis and product liability engines, transmission and drive train electrical and electronic components unintended acceleration or pedal misapplication steering gear and linkage suspension systems and …

Vehicle Black Box Analysis

EDR Introduction Event Data Recorders (EDR’s) are transportation devices which record unique vehicle information pertaining to an accident, crash or event. In surface transportation EDR’s can capture initial vehicle speed, speed change or delta V, brake application and accelerator application. Specific data recorded is a function of the EDR system. …

EDR Backgournd & 2011 EDR Symposium

Highway Vehicle EDR Background   MSVRAC – Motor Vehicle Safety Research Advisory Committee MSVRAC — October 2, 1998 – October 6, 1999   NHTSA Research and Development Event Data Recorder (EDR) Working Group [Private Passenger Car] NHTSA R&D — February 2, 2000 – December 6, 2000 NHTSA Truck and Bus …

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Accident Reconstruction, Vehicle Mechanical, EDR “Black Box” Analysis — Consulting, Second Opinion & Expert Witness

August 23, 2009 Consulting Areas Comments Off on Accident Reconstruction, Vehicle Mechanical, EDR “Black Box” Analysis — Consulting, Second Opinion & Expert Witness

Dr. Robert McElroyDr. Robert C. McElroy is an internationally recognized vehicle technical expert specializing in the scientific use of forensic evidence for vehicle failure analysis and to reconstruct transportation and industrial accidents since 1986. He has participated in approximately 1,000 depositions and 100 trials.

His focus is to consistently provide accurate and technically precise analysis and opinions, authoritatively presented depositions, quality trial exhibits, and reliable expert trial testimony.

Truck ReconstructionHe specializes in technical failure analysis related to automobiles, heavy trucks, and all types of industrial vehicles. Dr. McElroy is a triple certified ASE Master Technician in Automobile, Heavy Trucks, Body & Paint. He is a certified accident reconstructionist through ACTAR and was formerly employed by General Motors as a staff technical instructor. His degree areas are Industrial Safety Engineering, Industrial Education, and Industrial Technology.

Vehicle InspectionHe was a member of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) committee dealing with collision Event Data Recorders (EDR) for both private passenger cars and trucks & busses. Dr. McElroy has worked with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) involving vehicle crash recorder technology and initiatives. He was both a member and treasurer of the IEEE P1616 Committee developing standards for Motor Vehicle Event Data Recorders. Dr. McElroy is the past Chairman of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) EDR Committee developing standards and recommended practices for EDR’s.

Florida Graphic 9To contact Dr. Robert McElroy:

  • 352-633-7696 Office

  • 561-703-3881 Cellphone

  • 561-445-0772 Office Cellphone

  • 1364 E. Schwartz Blvd, Lady Lake, FL 32159

To Email Dr. McElroy use CONTACT at the top of this page.

Accident Reconstruction

August 23, 2009 Consulting Areas No Comments

Traffic Accident Reconstruction

ACTARTraffic accident reconstruction is the effort to determine, from whatever resources are available, how an accident happened. A traffic accident reconstructionist must be familiar with the application of a wide range of mathematics and specialized aspects of vehicle technology.

Because of the wide range of knowledge required by the accident reconstructionist, voluntary certification is available through the Accreditation Commission for Traffic Accident Reconstruction. ACTAR certification includes education, work experience, and successful completion of a comprehensive examination.

Accident reconstruction deals with:

  • kinetic energy
  • conservation of momentum
  • seatbelttime-distance calculations
  • physical evidence from road and vehicle
  • crash scene photography analysis
  • lamp analysis
  • skid analysis 
  • airborne analysis
  • vehicle data and research
  • damage assessment
  • vehicle damage location, qualification and quantification
  • approach, impact and departure angles
  • approach speed calculation,
  • impact calculations and Delta-V calculation
  • post impact speed calculation

Dr. McElroy specializes in motor vehicle technology and accident reconstruction. This typically entails physical inspection of the damaged vehicles, examination of the accident scene, and reconstruction of collision events using engineering calculations based primarily on momentum, energy, and restitution equations.

Vehicles may include passenger cars, light trucks, commercial vehicles, bicycles, and motorcycles. Information on pre-crash, crash, and post-crash (the 3 phases of a crash) is compiled to best determine how the event (accident, collision, failure) happened. Issues investigated include:

  • Vehicle Speeds
  • Impact Severity
  • Driver Actions
  • Seat Belt Use
  • Accident Causal Factors
  • Collision Avoidance
  • Line of Sight / Visibility Problems
  • Mechanical Defects
  • Tire Failure
  • Black Box Data
  • Lamp Analysis

Collision Diagram

Motorcycle going wrong way on divided suburban street.

Motorcycle going wrong way on divided suburban street.

Vehicle Technical Expert & Forensic Mechanic

August 23, 2009 Consulting Areas Comments Off on Vehicle Technical Expert & Forensic Mechanic
Box Truck Brake Failure

Box Truck Brake Failure

ASE Certified Master Technician and Expert Witness — Forensic Mechanic and Forensic Mechanical services:

  • mechanical and technical inspections
  • highway, off-road, and industrial vehicles
  • vehicle failure analysis and product liability
  • engines, transmission and drive train
  • electrical and electronic components
  • unintended acceleration or pedal misapplication
  • steering gear and linkage
  • suspension systems and failure analysis
  • brake system operation and failure analysis
  • air brakes, hydraulic brakes, & air-hydraulic
  • vehicle maintenance
  • fleet management
battery

Manufacturing Defect results in Battery Explosion

flat car

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. McElroy has qualified in Federal and State Courts for criminal and civil trials.

  • Big TruckInsurance, Trucking and Vehicle Rental Industries
  • Individual Plaintiff and Defense Counsel
  • Industrial and Commercial Corporations
  • Local and National Municipalities
  • Other Governmental Entities

Dr. McElroy is a “Triple Certified” ASE Master Technician:

  • Master Automobile Technician
  • Master Heavy Truck Technician
  • Master Body & Paint Technician

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vehicle Black Box Analysis

August 23, 2009 Consulting Areas Comments Off on Vehicle Black Box Analysis

EDR Introduction

CDR Kit In UseEvent Data Recorders (EDR’s) are transportation devices which record unique vehicle information pertaining to an accident, crash or event. In surface transportation EDR’s can capture initial vehicle speed, speed change or delta V, brake application and accelerator application. Specific data recorded is a function of the EDR system. Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) EDR’s provide significant foundation information to determine key facts pertaining to vehicle movement leading up to an event. EDR’s fitted by the OEM are referred to as Type I. Type II EDR’s are fitted supplemental to the vehicle. In the event the vehicle does not have a Type I system, the Type II unit needs to also record basic information. Type II units can record significant additional information and perform other important services such as providing a driver’s eye video of what happened and Automatic Collision Notification (ACN).

Collision Analysis

EDR Crash Analysis DiagramEDR Crash Data GraphVehicle collisions seemed to occur almost from the first moment that cars and trucks were built and put into service. Traffic Accident Reconstruction (TAR) as a specific discipline began to come together as an automotive engineering science in the period of the 1960’s to 1980’s. Scientifically analyzing wrecks evolved over decades in an attempt to both make vehicles safer in collisions and to determine what happened in the event. Improvements in the entire transportation system could not be justifiably implemented until scientists and engineers could determine what happened in the wreck. In the 1990’s it became clear that to advance surface transportation safety to the next higher level individual vehicle event data recorders were essential. Vehicle complexity with sophisticated electronics and occupant safety systems require an electronic device which can capture information about a crash and permit post crash analysis. Collisions typically occur in about one tenth of a second and the amount of data generated can require many hours of post crash analysis to determine who, what, when, where, and why an event occurred in addition to analysis required to evaluate performance of the vehicle in a particular type of crash. Sophisticated vehicles and a complex transportation system demand technology which can help researchers analyze complex crashes to not only figure out a particular wreck but to also provide foundation material from which to implement improvement in the transportation system.

Consumers of Crash Data Outside Government

Tachographs provide data about vehicle operationCivil and criminal litigation in addition to university, OEM, and insurance company research activities make up the bulk of consumers for crash data outside of the Federal government. Research carried out by each entity has a specific focus which ultimately will add to the body of knowledge about today’s vehicle and transportation system. Civil and criminal litigation typically focuses on the driver and what they were doing to control their vehicle at the time of the collision. Injuries and fatalities in highway collisions can result in expensive medical treatments above and beyond compensation for an individual’s personal injury or loss of mobility. It is common for financial exposure to be in the millions of dollars.

Collision Facts

Accurate data protects the public and the transportation system. Improvements in vehicles, highways, operator performance, and infrastructure require analytical assessment methods for optimal benefits. Accountability for each element in the total fabric of transportation requires data, which can be analyzed by researchers, in order that incremental improvements be implemented. Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) are not possible unless there is qualified and quantified data. To be optimally efficient ITS requires EDR.

Consumers Of The Data

Each segment of the entire transportation system is a consumer of the data. Scientific data is necessary to explain and address crashes and the effect of that crash on a particular segment of the transportation system.

Insurance and Litigation

If people are injured, litigation will result in today’s society. Accurate data protects just as well as it can be used for evidence to show an error. Accurate data permits law enforcement, insurance carriers, and the public to arrive at justifiable conclusions about accident events. Laws exist to provide a fair framework for our society to function. Event data, which can be analyzed by all parties, helps to expedite post crash insurance and litigation activity. If criminal or civil charges follow a crash then insurance carriers are involved because of potential economic impact. Insurance policies are in place to provide protection for the policy holder and if a legitimate claim is made against a policy then the insurance company will make valid payments accordingly. Typically, payments made are not a problem. However, insurance companies want to be sure that all matters are handled professionally and that fraud is not an issue.

EDR’s in Conducting Crash Investigations Foundation Summary

Transportation is complex and when statistically analyzed crashes will occur. There is simply no way to eliminate all crashes. EDR is the logical way to enhance transportation safety and improve the transportation system. Although EDR cannot eliminate all crashes, EDR can logically reduce the injury component of crashes statistically. EDR technology will ultimately be able to reduce the number of crashes. From global and national perspectives EDR will have a positive impact on the number of fatal collisions because EDR will improve vehicles, infrastructure, and driver performance.

Consulting and Expert Witness Services

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Dr. McElroy provides consulting assistance in the areas of:

Inspection of 25-kilowatt-electric (kWe) solar dish Stirling system

Inspection of 25-kilowatt-electric (kWe) solar dish Stirling system

  • Business development for improved profitability, innovation and resource optimization for management, boards, and shareholder relations
  • Solar Thermal Energy
  • Energy production, storage, and power transmission.
  • Accident Reconstruction
  • Vehicle Technical Expert
  • Forensic Mechanics
  • Vehicle Black Box Interpretation
  • Event Data Recorders

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NHTSA Airbag On-Off Switch

NHTSA Airbag On-Off Switch

Takata's airbag recall affects almost 8 million U.S. vehicles and more than 16 million globally. If unable to promptly get a replacement bag and worried about what could happen in a crash, then you can request from NHTSA to install an airbag On-Off Switch. Here is the NHTSA link: http://www.safercar.gov/Vehicle+Shoppers/Air+Bags/ON-OFF+Switch+Requests

Airbag Recall Technology

Airbag Recall Technology

When the inflator assembly is activated, sodium azide produces nitrogen gas which flows through the filter screen and into the airbag. Time between crash detection and complete airbag deployment is approximately 0.05 seconds. Typical airbag deployment speed is 200 mph. If the inflator assembly is structurally defective the inflator assembly can explode,

GM Ignition Switch Defect

GM Ignition Switch Turns OFF

A fundamental problem with the design of this ignition switch assembly in that the key can easily rotate to the ACCESSORY position which turns off the engine.

Turning off the engine affects vehicle controllability and turns off the airbag systems.

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Millbrook GM European Proving Grounds

Millbrook GM European Proving Grounds

Dr. McElroy visits GM European proving grounds in 2011

Millbrook

Millbrook

Millbrook Overview

Millbrook Overview

Tomberlin Low Speed Vehicle

Tomberlin Low Speed Vehicle