Click below to read a summary of the Accident investigation project ideas for Bronze, Silver, and Gold awards; or to go back to project ideas click here.
Investigate broken materials to determine what happened
Sometimes, what looks like an accident turns out not to be. It may be vandalism, insurance fraud or even murder. Accident investigators need to establish whether an incident happened accidentally, or was caused deliberately. For instance, did something break through wear and tear, or was it tampered with? In this project, you will study various materials that have been broken in various ways. Your objective is to find ways of distinguishing between the various causes by studying the broken pieces.
Find out about interpreting hit-and-run accident evidence
In a hit-and-run accident, the offending vehicle is driven away, but evidence is left behind in the form of skid marks and broken glass / plastic from the vehicle’s lights; these and other ‘remains’ can help to identify the vehicle. In this project you will take on the role of accident investigators and forensic scientists attempting to interpret clues about what happened.
Investigate crash damage to vehicle bodywork
A family car travelling at 30 mph has about 90 kJ of kinetic energy. In a crash, this reduces to zero almost instantly. Vehicle designers aim to ensure that this energy is transferred and dissipated as safely as possible. ‘Crumple zones’ are designed to absorb the energy by using it to bend the metal bodywork into a crumpled mass. In a head-on collision between two similar vehicles, travelling at the same speed in opposite directions, double the energy has to be dissipated. Does this result in greater damage? Is the damage evened out between the two vehicles? What if the vehicles are travelling at different speed, but the same combined speed (closing speed) as before? In this project you will seek to answer these types of query, by investigating how velocity and other factors affect the extent of bodywork damage in head-on collisions between model vehicles. You could seek advice and guidance for your project from professionals such as car manufacturers’ design and testing departments; vehicle accident