On Thursday 8th June 2023, our Engineers had the opportunity to attend the Crash Demonstration Day in Darley Moor, Derbyshire, organised by the Institute of Traffic Accident Investigators (ITAI). This annual event, known as the ‘ITAI Crash Day,’ offers valuable insights into the consequences of collisions and the resulting damage and injuries. It serves as a platform to observe and understand the sophisticated data associated with various collision scenarios.
Hosted at Darley Moor Airfield and Road Race Circuit, the venue itself holds significance. Situated on a high plateau adjacent to the A515, two miles south of Ashbourne, Derbyshire, the airfield operates under Airways Airsports, providing training in a wide range of leisure flying activities. Originally a Second World War runway, it has transformed into Darley Moor Racetrack, primarily catering to motorcycle races and track days under the management of Darley Moor Motor Cycle Road Race Club.
During the Crash Day, staged collisions were meticulously conducted under controlled conditions, allowing our staff to witness the impact first-hand in a safe environment. After each collision, they had the opportunity to inspect the damage up close. Multiple video recorders and overhead drones documented the collisions, enabling forensic collision investigators to thoroughly analyse the scenes. Spectators were then provided with the findings, including information on the speed, weight, and speed on impact of each vehicle involved.
Alongside the demonstrations, attendees could explore a variety of trade stands and attend informative seminars throughout the day. The Crash Day proved to be an incredibly interesting and beneficial experience for our staff, as they gained deeper insights into the intricacies of collision dynamics and the sophisticated data that underlies them.
These valuable insights gained during the Crash Day reinforce our commitment at TMS to prevent and mitigate the severity of collisions through our Road Safety Audit and Safety Engineering work. By witnessing the staged crashes, including collisions with traditional lamp posts, passively safe structures, head-on vehicular crashes, high-speed rear-end shunts and side impacts, our engineers observed the significant damage sustained even at moderate speeds.
Particularly impactful were the rear-end shunts, which completely demolished the rear seating area of a car, and the side impact that caused an ambulance to overturn and roll when struck by a large car travelling at high speed.
The seminars held during the event also provided an opportunity for our team to stay informed about industry developments, such as e-scooter trials, tyre safety, and in-vehicle safety technology. This knowledge is crucial for our training and continuous learning as we strive to stay at the forefront of our field. Demonstrations like the Crash Day reinforce the importance of our work in promoting road safety and inspire us to further enhance our efforts in creating safer road environments.