Train and Truck Collision

Accident Reconstruction Case Study

A mechanical pick-up truck driver is struck by a train as it crosses the railroad tracks in a rural part of the Midwestern United States. A number of factors were seen as possible causes, including vehicle speeds, road conditions and visibility. Kineticorp team members conducted on-site testing and analysis, and produced several scenarios showing how this crash occurred and how it may have been avoided.

The Process:

Kineticorp’s William Neale and Seth Miller conducted a scene inspection at the location of the crash to gather additional evidence regarding the circumstances of this crash. Based on video evidence provided by the train company, they were able to determine both the pick-up truck’s speed and the train speed using two-dimensional pixel-tracking and three-dimensional object tracking. They conducted deceleration testing of an exemplar truck to determine how much braking would be necessary for the truck to stop before reaching the tracks, given the vehicle speeds and visibility through the nearby foliage.

The Result:

The testing and video analysis were used to show that given the physical evidence, aligned with simulations and visibility, that the driver of the pick-up truck likely never looked to see the train approaching as it crossed the tracks.

The Team:

William Neale, Seth Miller

Related Case Studies, Content & Research:

Pixel Tracking Research
SAE 2016-01-1478 – Determining Position and Speed through Pixel Tracking and 2D Coordinate Transformation in a 3D Environment
SAE 2014-01-0464 – Vehicle Acceleration Modeling in PC-Crash
SAE 2013-01-0788 – Video Projection Mapping Photogrammetry through Video Tracking

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