Bicycle-Car Crashes To Be Simulated


This is a release from Carleton University:

The Carleton University Crash Dummy (CUCD) team will be performing a rear-end collision test in co-ordination with the Ottawa Police Service.

23 fourth-year engineering students, along with professors from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, will participate in the crash test simulation to help the Ottawa Police Service Collision Investigation Unit better understand collisions between cyclists and vehicles.

When: Friday, March 24, 2017. Simulation to begin at 10:30 a.m.
Where: Park and Ride Lot 9, Canadian Tire Centre, 1000 Palladium Drive, Ottawa

During the test, students will set up a track, prepare the crash dummy, insert sensing systems and arrange cameras around the scene for 3D video analysis.

The group will perform two or three rear-end collisions of a car hitting a bicycle from behind – a common crash configuration on the roads. This year’s simulation will feature a new system allowing more flexibility in crash configurations.

“The students have designed and built a new dummy support and launch system,” said Prof. Andrew Speirs. “It allows the dummy and bike to travel a greater distance, which is necessary to simulate rear-end collisions.”

The student team uses data-acquisition systems to gather concrete results from the test. The team will record the acceleration of the head and impact force to determine the nature of head injuries sustained in the crash. Additionally, multiple calibrated video cameras will be used to reconstruct the impact dynamics in 3D for comparison with accident scene evidence collected by the police.

“Ottawa has an average of 311 reported collisions involving vehicles and cyclists each year,” said Ottawa Police Det. Alain Boucher. “Between 2007 and 2011, there were 1,556 vehicle-cyclist collisions, with 1,253 injured and 12 fatalities.  To date, there is very little research to assist collision investigators in gathering evidence from a vehicle-cyclist collision scene and to reconstruct the events.”

Since its inception, CUCD has grown from the early stages of designing and manufacturing the dummy and track to perfecting a repeatable and accurate test. Technical work includes redesigning components of the dummy to mimic human properties, redesigning the track and crane system which supports the dummy and bike prior to collision, and implementing sensors and instrumentation to accurately gather crash data.

Media Contact

Steven Reid

Media Relations Officer

Carleton University

613-520-2600, ext. 8718




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2 thoughts on “Bicycle-Car Crashes To Be Simulated

  1. I have another experiment that the students can set up.
    – Design and run the tests needed to record being hit in the head by a fist versus being hit in the head by a fist gloved with an Oakley Standard issue assault glove.

    This research might provide data that law enforcement departments, Canada wide, could use to formulate rules regarding the appropriate use of these gloves in the field.


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