Abstract

An experimental study was made to compare the validities of methods currently used by accident reconstructionists to determine the coefficient of friction between the road and the vehicle tires at the time of an incident. This value could then be used in conjunction with skid mark length and vehicle weight to calculate the prebraking speed of the vehicle. Three automobiles and three trucks with a variety of tires and loadings were used on a variety of pavements. The accuracy and area of applicability of each of four methods for obtaining friction coefficients were determined by relating the prebraking speed calculated from each to the actual speed at the time of brake application. All four methods were satisfactory for automobiles and the pickup truck used, but only two were acceptable for heavy trucks. The most valid coefficients are obtained from skid mark lengths obtained under conditions duplicating those in an incident.

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