Passenger & Light Truck Vehicles

Passenger vehicle accidents can occur in a wide variety of configurations including vehicle-to-vehicle collisions, rollover events, and impacts with fixed roadside objects such as trees, poles and guardrails.  While the specific analysis for each situation may be different, Exponent accident reconstruction engineers apply scientific principles and follow the laws of physics to reach reliable conclusions.

Vehicle-to-Vehicle Collisions

Exponent engineers’ experience in vehicle dynamics and collision mechanics provide a foundation to reliably reconstruct impacts of all severities.  In conjunction with the physical evidence, scientific principles are utilized to analyze the collision sequence and determine impact metrics.  In conjunction with traditional analytical reconstruction methods, Exponent’s engineers are experienced in computer simulation software capable of modelling vehicle-to-vehicle collisions, including pre-impact and post-impact dynamics.


Passenger vehicle rollovers are chaotic, complex events consisting of a series of maneuvers followed by multiple vehicle/ground interactions. Rollover events create distinctive, but subtle physical evidence on the vehicle and the scene.  Exponent’s extensive experience in rollover reconstruction analysis and background in rollover testing provides valuable insight into the proper assessment of the physical evidence to determine the complex dynamics of rollover collisions.

Collisions with Roadside Objects

Impacts with roadside objects such as trees, poles, bollards, and guardrails add an additional degree of difficulty to the analysis.  The characteristics of the interaction with the fixed object are highly dependent on the impact configuration and the structure of the fixed object, resulting in complex set impact-specific dynamics.  Exponent engineers are experienced in these types of collisions and have the background necessary to provide a reliable and supportable analysis.

Event Data Recorders (EDR)

With the integration of electronic modules on modern vehicles, EDRs and other devices capable of recording relevant crash data provide useful information for crash analysis.  Exponent has validated the pre-crash, occupant and vehicle status, and post-crash EDR data using independent instrumentation.  Our engineers have the training and expertise to retrieve and analyze data from a wide variety of automobiles and light trucks.

Full-Scale Vehicle Testing

In circumstances where full-scale automobile and light truck vehicle testing is required, Exponent has the facilities, professional staff, and experience to reliably and efficiently accomplish the task. Our Test and Engineering Center (TEC) in Phoenix, Arizona is the setting for the most technically challenging and complex tests. The 147-acre test facility includes a two-mile oval track, durability course, off-road test area, 10-acre skid pad, and a 1,280-foot crash rail, allowing engineers to study vehicle handling and performance, understand the effect of component failure on controllability, and re-create collisions under nearly any conditions.

Rapid Response

We provide rapid response services to accident sites around the country, both to preserve the physical evidence and to provide an initial assessment to the client. Exponent uses state-of-the-art techniques to document crash site and vehicle physical evidence, including 3D laser scans, total station technology, photogrammetry, and other reliable methods of evidence collection and measurement.