Accident Reconstruction Expert Witness On Analysis & Testing Part 3

In Analysis and Testing In Accident Reconstruction, accident reconstruction expert witnesses at Technology Associates explain the nature of engineering analysis:

Thus, in the absence of reliable injury-data based on relevant accident records, the subject danger can be evaluated only by analysis and not by testing. Similar reasoning can be applied to many different cases, in spite of differences in detail.

Engineering analysis is not always as easy as in the above case. As an extreme example, consider the structural design of a skyscraper, which requires involved and sophisticated calculations (whether done by computer or otherwise). Here again testing is impractical, and prior experience is of little value unless gained from similar structures, which have been in use over an extended period of time. Thus, again the role of analysis is predominant.

Having said this, we must mention certain instances in which testing is indeed indispensable. One case involves the coefficient of friction (as discussed earlier under Slip and Fall Accidents). This can be determined only by testing, and not by analysis. Another case involves the strength of different materials, which again must be determined by actual test. However, once such determinations have been carried out, it remains for analysis to incorporate the results into a comprehensive argument relating to, for example, a structural failure or a slip-and-fall accident.