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Energy Methods and Damage Analysis in Traffic Crash Reconstruction  

For many traffic crash reconstructionists, the topic of energy can be intimidating, mysterious or down right scary. Because of this, reconstructionists shy away from utilizing energy methods in their analysis. This course will help de-mystify the concept of energy and present energy-based methods and techniques to use in analyzing traffic crashes.

During the course, you will learn to view and analyze crashes from an energy point of view. We will explore energy methods beginning with the basics and progressing to more advanced concepts. We will discuss the often-misunderstood topics of Equivalent Barrier Speed (EBS) and delta-V and you will learn different ways to analyze collisions, such as damage momentum, where a traditional conservation of linear momentum may not be the most appropriate analysis.

We will also explore the topic of crush. We will examine the basis of the three familiar energy equations that use crush measurements. Outside projects will provide you with “hands-on” experience in examining and measuring crash vehicles and then calculating damage energy and speeds.

This course will help you become more comfortable in utilizing energy-based methods in your analysis as we examine the underlying science that computer-based “crash” programs rely upon. It is an excellent complement to other training courses that teach you how to use “crash” software.

You should have a firm understanding of the topics of traffic crash reconstruction and conservation of linear momentum as well as strong basic math skills.

Topics Include

  • Standards, measurements and dimensional analysis
  • Understanding and using conversion factors
  • Vectors
  • Damage momentum and crush analysis
  • Crush measuring protocol and measuring techniques
  • Outdoor project - interpreting damage and measuring crush
  • Energy concepts and analysis
  • Determining appropriate post-impact drag factors
  • Understanding EBS and delta-V
  • Conservations of linear momentum and delta-V vectors
  • Introduction to crush and Hooke’s Law
  • Collision analysis using damage momentum
  • Understanding and determining stiffness coefficients
  • Damage (crush) analysis
  • Pole impacts and fracture energy
  • Using simultaneous equations to solve in-line collisions


Law enforcement and private traffic crash investigators, claims adjusters, engineers, attorneys, safety officers, military investigative personnel

Course Length

40 hours


You must have completed IPTM’s Traffic Crash Reconstruction course or its equivalent.

What to Bring

  • Scientific calculator
  • Work clothes for outside activities (including inclement weather)
  • Camera
  • Flash drive (2GB or higher)

ACTAR Information

IPTM's Energy Methods and Damage Analysis in Traffic Crash Reconstruction course is eligible for 40 ACTAR CEUs.

What Our Students Are Saying

  • “Excellent course. Thank you very much for coming to California! Excellent work deriving the crash 3 formula from basic concepts!” – W. B.
  • "I learned a lot. Thank you!" – A.H.


Energy Methods and Damage Analysis in Traffic Crash Reconstruction
    8/27/2018 - 8/31/2018 Jacksonville  Florida    
Class times:  8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Fee: $825.00
Hotel and Location Information:  IPTM - University of North Florida
Adam W. Herbert University Center, 12000 Alumni Drive, Jacksonville, FL  32224
Instructor(s): John Daily