Forensic Engineers and Consultants

Archive: Automotive

What’s Up Doc? Collision Scene Documentation & Techniques

A proper collision scene documentation, lovingly referred to as a scene doc, will make or break the investigation… guaranteed! While not necessarily all inclusive, here are a few evidence collection / documentation techniques that have served me well over the years.

Some, if not most, collision scene evidence is short lived, and tire marks Read More

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The 9-Cell Collision Matrix – The Environment

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“Was a dark stormy night as the train rattled on…” Anybody? 1985? Scarecrow?  Come on… this was when Cougar was still a Mellencamp! Ok… it was called Grandma’s Theme… you’ll have to look that one up… but as I sat down to write this blog on the environment, that song kept running though my head. If you look it up, it will have a similar effect… just a little warning.

In our last installment of the 9-Cell Collision Matrix let’s travel down the wet, slippery slope of environmental factors that can contribute to car crashes, and maybe take a closer look at the things around us, at or near our crash scene that may reveal some important clues. Read More

What You Don’t See Can Hurt You-Undercarriage Crashes

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A 43-year-old man driving his small vehicle northbound in the right lane of a rural two-lane paved road, was on his way to his favorite hunting spot in the early morning. He had two passengers with him—one in his front passenger seat and one in his back left seat. It was dark outside, and the weather was clear and dry. Along the rural two-lane road were large wooded private properties with no ambient lighting illuminating the roadway. Further up the road, a log truck began to turn left onto the road. Unable to entirely turn left in one fluid movement, the log truck Read More

The Collision Reconstruction Matrix – The Human

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Murder, suicide, deceit, and intrigue… car crashes? You bet! In our next installment of the 9-Cell Collision Matrix let us dive a little deeper into the glue that binds all this together, the human element.

Photo by Mark Turner

Let’s begin with the most basic human element at the root cause of car wrecks, our old friend inattention. Inattention… a vast word that encompasses many lackadaisical conditions. The daydreaming 16-year-old in math class, the radio knob turner, the back seat talker, the quarter pounder with cheese eater, and perhaps the most offensive, the cell phone user. All very dangerous behind the wheel, and one very dangerous to your future… as it turns out, you will always need good math skills… ask me how I know? Driving is of course a divided attention endeavor, Read More

The Vehicle (EDR)

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In a previous blog post, we began to delve a little deeper into the vehicle aspect of the 9-Cell Collision Matrix by taking a look at tires. Let’s now take a closer look at the very diverse and interesting topic of Event Data Recorder (EDR) data. Read More

If There is a Human, There are Human Factors

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If there is a human involved in the case, there is a good chance that human factors theories and principles will be applicable. Human factors is the study of people interacting with their surrounding environment. A human factors expert applies their knowledge of human capabilities and limitations to each unique case to assess the physical, sensory, and cognitive factors that caused a person to behave a certain way within the surrounding environment.

Consider the following situations in which a human factors expert would be beneficial: Read More

The Vehicle – Tires

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In a previous blog post, I gave an overall introduction to the 9-Cell Collision Matrix as an investigative tool used in collision reconstruction. Now let’s focus in a little at each element.

They are called car wrecks, after all…so let’s start with a more comprehensive look at the vehicle component of the matrix.  This review of the vehicle before, during, and after the collision will highlight a few important factors but is not meant to be all-inclusive.  So, let’s get started! Read More

WARREN Welcomes Human Factors Consultant Ellen Szubski, Ph.D.

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Please join us in welcoming Human Factors Expert Ellen Szubski, Ph.D, to the WARREN family!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ellen’s Areas of Expertise Include:

  • Human Factors & Safety
  • Illumination Evaluation
  • OSHA Regulations
  • Premises Liability
  • Slips, trips, and falls
  • Workplace injuries
  • Vehicle/Pedestrian/Bicycle Crash Investigation

Ellen Szubski is a human factors consultant with Warren. Her expertise focuses on the crash investigations and other personal injury matters. These matters often include collisions and/or crashes involving vulnerable road users and drivers, driver distraction, and slips, trips. & falls. She utilizers her knowledge of OSHA regulations, codes and standards in her analysis of premises liability incident and safety consulting.

Ellen graduated from Clemson University with a Master of Science in Applied Psychology and a Doctor of Philosophy in Human Factors Psychology. She did her dissertation on “The Influence of Pedestrian Biological Motion on Time-To-Collision Estimates at Night.”  Ellen is a member of the Human Factors and Ergonomic Society (HFES) and its Forensic Professional Technical Group.  She has presented multiple times at the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual meetings.

The Collision Reconstruction Matrix

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It’s mid-January, the high today is 28 degrees with lows in the teens as the Carolinas are in the grip of a Canadian cold front and I’m on call tonight. The phone rings at 3:00 am; yes Sir, three cars with two fatalities, I-85 northbound, yes Sir, on the way. Despite the hurdles that lie in front of me cold, fatigue, the loss of life – my job with the South Carolina Highway Patrol Multi-Disciplinary Accident Investigation Team (MAIT) is to investigate, document, and ultimately prosecute chargeable collisions. To properly reconstruct this collision, three essential and distinct categories must be investigated and documented in order to provide a well-founded explanation of the series of events prior to, during, and after the collision regarding the human, the vehicle, and the environment; this investigative technique is known as the 9-cell collision reconstruction matrix. Read More

WARREN Welcomes Senior Collision Reconstructionist Mark Turner, ACTAR

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Please join us in welcoming Senior Collision Reconstructionist Mark Turner, ACTAR, to the WARREN family!

Mark’s Areas of Expertise Include:

  • Tractor Trailer Accidents
  • Vehicle Collision Reconstruction
  • Crash Data Retrieval
  • Forensic Mapping Technology
  • Accident Reconstruction
  • 3D Scan Imaging and Animations

Read More

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