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Missed Vehicle Damage

 Missed Vehicle Damage

Standards to Demand in a Vehicle Inspection


By: Patrick Sundby, Accident Investigator

Specializing in Low Speed and Catastrophic Crashes



One of the most common problems with low speed collisions is determining the extent of the damage.  The common real world practice is to visually examine the exterior of the vehicle and document any damage.  The problem with this is not knowing the extent of the damage behind the exterior panels.  Very few cases have had through and complete vehicle examination.  The question is why? 

The crash Reconstructionist has a tedious job ahead of him when facing a collision with what appears to be minimal damage at first glance.  Happer et al (2003) acknowledges different vehicles will have different damage, or appearance of damage, at the same speed due to different designs.  The goal of the paper was to provide a sound method for determining the severity of a collision. Happer et al (2003) also states the physical evidence remaining after the impact must be reviewed and this process begins with dividing bumpers into three categories.  In this writing we will focus on the second one, reinforcement beams with a polymer absorber.  These bumpers are categorized as having a metal reinforcement beam with a polymer absorber behind a plastic or urethane cover; this is the bumper to focus on as the vast majority of the vehicles on the road today are constructed in this manner.

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