Forensic Engineers and Consultants

Dan Olson

Dan Olson

OlsonD600

Dan Olson

M.S.M.E., P.E., CFEI, CVFI Phone: 803.732.6600 vCard LinkedIn Download CV

Expertise

  • Accident Reconstruction
  • Origin and Cause of Fires in Machinery
  • Vehicle Collision Reconstruction
Biography

Senior Consulting Engineer Dan Olson is a licensed professional engineer in South Carolina, Florida, Georgia and Alabama. He has a Bachelor of Agricultural Engineering and Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering.  His long career  includes practical experience with operation of complex machinery with integrated systems including industrial and agricultural machinery. He is also a former design engineer for Allis-Chalmers, an agricultural equipment manufacturer.

In addition to being a Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator and Certified Vehicle Fire Investigator by the National Association of Fire Investigators, Dan is a retired, decorated Air Force Fighter Pilot. During his time with the Air Force as a Flight Safety Officer, he investigated and reported on Air Force aviation mishaps including crashes of F-16’s. He has evaluated safety and mishap prevention programs at Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve units and been called upon to evaluate other air safety investigators’ work.

Dan is a sought-after expert witness in vehicle collision reconstruction including cases involving large commercial vehicles, bicycles, buses, motorcycles and pedestrians. His experience includes courtroom qualification after several vigorous adverse challenges similar to and including Daubert. He has developed and taught courses to insurance adjusters and legal professionals on accident reconstruction and has analyzed more than 200 fires in machines and mobile equipment.

Qualifications
Bachelor of Agriculture Engineering
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Licensed Professional Engineer
Certified Vehicle Fire Investigator
Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator
Experienced Air Safety Investigator
Publications
The Scientific Method

Whether we realize it or not, we who adjust or reconcile claims routinely use the scientific method. NFPA 921 Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations, Chapter 4, provides an excellent review of the scientific method.

Hidden Clues in Determining Brake Failure

Don't be clueless, follow the evidence. A thorough investigation of the collision site and damaged vehicle help uncover the truth in a brake failure claim.

Forensic Maps and Diagrams

A few tools for preserving, analyzing and reconciling collision scene evidence and data. Maps and diagrams help reconstruct the sequence of events and reconcile witness and drivers’ accounts of what occurred.

Collisions Involving Pedestrians and Bicycles

Good old fashion geometry and trigonometry aid an engineer in determining how a collision between pedestrian and bicycles occurred

Collision Reconstruction Case Study

Scaled models and drawings help determine which drivers at fault when there is little information to go on.

Pictures Are They Really Worth a Thousand Words

Photographs can be essential when it comes to settling claims. Here are a few things to consider before taking that first photograph.

All I Have are These Old Photographs

Do you have questions about where things were located during an event in the past but all you have are some old photographs? Photogrammetry may be just what you need.

Putting the Pieces Together Vehicle Accident Reconstruction

Data that will be useful for reconciling who was responsible for a collision is not that hard to gather and preserve if you have an idea of what you are looking for. Here’s overview on how to find and keep the pieces that will eventually help solve the puzzle.

Recent Posts
Night-Driving-01

Night Driving: Are you overdriving your headlights?

When we are driving at night, we don’t have the benefit of the sun illuminating our way. We do have headlights but this video will show you that under many conditions your headlights will not help you see obstacles soon enough to let you avoid them.  

Passenger in Right Seat?

An adult man claimed that he was riding in the right front seat of this Mercury during the crash that damaged the Mercury’s right front corner. Although the visible damage looks quite violent, the angle of impact was such that the Airbag Control Module did not deploy the airbags. Because the impact was severe enough […]

Who Crossed Over First?

In a previous video I showed you how the location of gouge marks in the roadway and the relative size and weight of the vehicles that crashed were useful for establishing which of the drivers allowed their vehicle to cross the centerline.

Was-This-Wreck-Staged-001

Was this wreck staged?

From time to time people will file a collision claim where their description of how the wreck happened does not match up well with the collision damage. There may be other circumstances that cause the adjuster to question whether or not the wreck was staged.  With the following illustrations, I want to show you how […]

Who Crossed Over?

In many automotive collision claims, we’re often asked to determine which driver allowed their vehicle to cross the centerline, resulting in a collision. Marks on the roadway and other characteristics of  collision damage are all useful data in these situations. In this short video, I’ll walk you through a case where crash damage, collision scene […]

totaled-van1gif

Driving Advice for Your Holiday Travels

With the holidays rapidly approaching, more and more people will be out on the roads and highways trying to get to their destinations quickly. These are words of advice from a fellow who has 17 years of collision reconstruction experience and more than 1,000,000 miles of personal driving experience.

Crash Data Retrieval hardware for connecting ACM to a computer.

Black Box Privacy: Is Big Brother tracking your driving habits?

This is an Airbag Control Module (ACM). These devices have recently been the subject of television news stories in both local and national outlets. What has brought attention to them is a recent “discovery” that most of them have a “Black Box” feature that records some data about what was happening to and in your […]

Models Illustrate Vehicle Crash Sequence

Vehicle reconstruction is the scientific process of examining physical evidence, the sequence of events and eyewitness reports to determine the cause and contributing factors of a collision. The rigorous evaluation uses physics and engineering to determine with scientific certainty what role — if any — a driver, passenger, roadway, environment or circumstance had in an […]

Senior Consulting Engineer Dan Olson is a licensed professional engineer in South Carolina, Florida, Georgia and Alabama. He has a Bachelor of Agricultural Engineering and Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering.  His long career  includes practical experience with operation of complex machinery with integrated systems including industrial and agricultural machinery. He is also a former design engineer for Allis-Chalmers, an agricultural equipment manufacturer.

In addition to being a Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator and Certified Vehicle Fire Investigator by the National Association of Fire Investigators, Dan is a retired, decorated Air Force Fighter Pilot. During his time with the Air Force as a Flight Safety Officer, he investigated and reported on Air Force aviation mishaps including crashes of F-16’s. He has evaluated safety and mishap prevention programs at Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve units and been called upon to evaluate other air safety investigators’ work.

Dan is a sought-after expert witness in vehicle collision reconstruction including cases involving large commercial vehicles, bicycles, buses, motorcycles and pedestrians. His experience includes courtroom qualification after several vigorous adverse challenges similar to and including Daubert. He has developed and taught courses to insurance adjusters and legal professionals on accident reconstruction and has analyzed more than 200 fires in machines and mobile equipment.

Bachelor of Agriculture Engineering
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Licensed Professional Engineer
Certified Vehicle Fire Investigator
Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator
Experienced Air Safety Investigator
The Scientific Method

Whether we realize it or not, we who adjust or reconcile claims routinely use the scientific method. NFPA 921 Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations, Chapter 4, provides an excellent review of the scientific method.

Hidden Clues in Determining Brake Failure

Don't be clueless, follow the evidence. A thorough investigation of the collision site and damaged vehicle help uncover the truth in a brake failure claim.

Forensic Maps and Diagrams

A few tools for preserving, analyzing and reconciling collision scene evidence and data. Maps and diagrams help reconstruct the sequence of events and reconcile witness and drivers’ accounts of what occurred.

Collisions Involving Pedestrians and Bicycles

Good old fashion geometry and trigonometry aid an engineer in determining how a collision between pedestrian and bicycles occurred

Collision Reconstruction Case Study

Scaled models and drawings help determine which drivers at fault when there is little information to go on.

Pictures Are They Really Worth a Thousand Words

Photographs can be essential when it comes to settling claims. Here are a few things to consider before taking that first photograph.

All I Have are These Old Photographs

Do you have questions about where things were located during an event in the past but all you have are some old photographs? Photogrammetry may be just what you need.

Putting the Pieces Together Vehicle Accident Reconstruction

Data that will be useful for reconciling who was responsible for a collision is not that hard to gather and preserve if you have an idea of what you are looking for. Here’s overview on how to find and keep the pieces that will eventually help solve the puzzle.

Night-Driving-01

Night Driving: Are you overdriving your headlights?

When we are driving at night, we don’t have the benefit of the sun illuminating our way. We do have headlights but this video will show you that under many conditions your headlights will not help you see obstacles soon enough to let you avoid them.  

Passenger in Right Seat?

An adult man claimed that he was riding in the right front seat of this Mercury during the crash that damaged the Mercury’s right front corner. Although the visible damage looks quite violent, the angle of impact was such that the Airbag Control Module did not deploy the airbags. Because the impact was severe enough […]

Who Crossed Over First?

In a previous video I showed you how the location of gouge marks in the roadway and the relative size and weight of the vehicles that crashed were useful for establishing which of the drivers allowed their vehicle to cross the centerline.

Was-This-Wreck-Staged-001

Was this wreck staged?

From time to time people will file a collision claim where their description of how the wreck happened does not match up well with the collision damage. There may be other circumstances that cause the adjuster to question whether or not the wreck was staged.  With the following illustrations, I want to show you how […]

Who Crossed Over?

In many automotive collision claims, we’re often asked to determine which driver allowed their vehicle to cross the centerline, resulting in a collision. Marks on the roadway and other characteristics of  collision damage are all useful data in these situations. In this short video, I’ll walk you through a case where crash damage, collision scene […]

totaled-van1gif

Driving Advice for Your Holiday Travels

With the holidays rapidly approaching, more and more people will be out on the roads and highways trying to get to their destinations quickly. These are words of advice from a fellow who has 17 years of collision reconstruction experience and more than 1,000,000 miles of personal driving experience.

Crash Data Retrieval hardware for connecting ACM to a computer.

Black Box Privacy: Is Big Brother tracking your driving habits?

This is an Airbag Control Module (ACM). These devices have recently been the subject of television news stories in both local and national outlets. What has brought attention to them is a recent “discovery” that most of them have a “Black Box” feature that records some data about what was happening to and in your […]

Models Illustrate Vehicle Crash Sequence

Vehicle reconstruction is the scientific process of examining physical evidence, the sequence of events and eyewitness reports to determine the cause and contributing factors of a collision. The rigorous evaluation uses physics and engineering to determine with scientific certainty what role — if any — a driver, passenger, roadway, environment or circumstance had in an […]

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