Drag factor and coefficient are expression commonly used in crash investigation and reconstruction. They are usually used to calculate vehicle speed calculations based upon tyre mark geometry.
The coefficient-of-friction μ is defined as the ratio of the tangential force F(tan) (parallel to the surface) applied to an object sliding across a surface to the normal force N (perpendicular to the surface) of an object.1,2 Figure 1 shows the C is proportional to that of the horizontal force F and weight w.
Drag Factor (f) is a non-dimensional (no units) number used to represent the acceleration or deceleration of a vehicle. It is defined as the total force F(tot) required for a vehicle’s acceleration (or deceleration) in the direction of acceleration, divided by the vehicle’s weight. Figure 2, shows the relationship between total force F(tot) and vehicle weight w.
Full comprehensive articles by about the difference and comparison between coefficient of friction and drag factor with an example can be found here.
- FRICKE L.B. (2010). The Traffic Accident Investigation Manual, Vol 2 – Traffic Accident Reconstruction, Northwestern University Traffic Institute, 2nd Edition
- George M. (2005). The Difference Between Coefficient-Of-Friction and Drag Factor. Accident Investigation Services Pty Ltd, Sydney, Australia.