Forensic Engineers and Consultants

Archive: Collisions

When Going Left is My Right

The lines on the roadway determine the right-of-way. Did you know a passing zone could limit your right-of-way?

Passing a vehicle traveling in the same direction on a two-lane roadway should be done with great caution. Completing the pass without colliding with the vehicle being passed, other vehicles approaching from the opposing direction, and without losing control and leaving the roadway are vital. There are rules to passing that people forget; some are laws, others are just common sense. Let us take a look at the laws and what sometimes slips by people that can cause an unsafe pass. State laws may differ, so consider these for South Carolina roadways. Read More

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Experience the Ride, Ride for Experience

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A lot of people own motorcycle(s). Not a lot of people have experience riding motorcycles. More people have motorcycles stored in their garages, covered with all kinds of things, than ride motorcycles. In a similar neglect, there are those people who take their motorcycle out occasionally but never really put the miles or hours on the bike. This means that most of the people that have registered motorcycles do not get a lot of “seat time”. This issue leads to collisions involving motorcycles that should not have happened for more than one reason. When it comes to collision reconstruction and investigations, “ride to live” takes on a whole different meaning. Read More

Roadway Defect Scavenger Hunt for Collision Evidence

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Not too long back, I was on the scene of a collision case where a roadway defect was blamed for the loss of control that led to a single vehicle collision which resulted in major damages and serious injury.  The collision was several years old, and the roadway had not changed over the time passed.  My assignment was to inspect the roadway in the area of the crash, document it (by photographs and 3D scanning), and identify if there was a roadway issue that potentially led to the loss of control.  What happened next was the result of going to the collision location and looking for more than what was to be expected.  These things can help the case tremendously and make a huge difference in resolution. Read More

The Pavement Tells the Story: Reading Evidence from a Motorcycle Crash

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What can be determined from a motorcycle’s skid mark and the roadway evidence it left behind? The obvious, that the motorcycle crashed; but what more? From a recent case, starting with the pre-impact skid mark, a lot was determined about the driver’s (and passenger’s) input into the crash. A single skid mark started at the beginning of the collision location, a common piece of evidence at a motorcycle crash. Taking that mark and analyzing it, several things were determined. Read More

“Introduction to Event Data Recorders (EDRs)” LIVE Webinar | October 22nd, 11am EDT

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Accidents often have devastating consequences. Join WARREN’s Senior Collision Reconstructionist and President of S.C.A.R.S., South Carolina Association of Reconstruction Specialists, Aaron Duncan for an exclusive webinar on “Introduction to Event Data Recorders.”

Learn from an expert how the information stored in this valuable tool can be utilized to help get to the truth of your loss.  Information like:

  • Change in Velocity
  • Vehicle Speed
  • Service Braking
  • Steering Angle
  • Safety Belt Usage
  • Seat Occupancy
  • Engine RPMs
  • Engine Trouble Codes
  • PLUS, many case studies to consider.

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Collision Reconstruction – Time Distance

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A common car crash is when one vehicle makes a turn or pulls out in front of another vehicle. Normally, without the accident, the vehicles only cross paths for milliseconds. When the collision occurs it’s no doubt because both vehicles try to occupy the same space at the same moment. The question is often “who is at fault?”. Read More

Why Visit the Collision Scene?

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If you are a collision investigator, a visit to the collision scene is something you want to do. No matter how much time has passed since the crash compared to the review of the case, the information that can be gleaned from walking through the area is valuable. We aren’t always given the option, but it is very beneficial, here is why. Read More

Failure to Maintain Tow Hook Latch Results in Bystander Death

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An unfortunate and tragic case that we investigated involved a commercial “rollback” recovery truck that was being used to transport a four-wheel drive diesel pickup.  The diesel pickup was not in running order with its’ engine in the bed of the truck.  Consequently, a commercial towing company was hired by the truck owner to transport the truck.  In the process of loading the truck onto the rollback, the truck came uncoupled from the winch and cable system.  The truck then rolled down the inclined bed of the rollback, running over and killing a bystander. Read More

Belted or Unbelted? That is the Question!

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Did the driver or passenger do what they could do to protect themselves by wearing their seatbelt? There are ways to determine if the safetybelt was being used. Most modern vehicles have a computer-controlled safety system that makes decisions based on an algorithm. That algorithm uses information such as change in speed and the direction of force to determine what to do. That data not only tells how fast the vehicle was traveling and if the brakes were applied, but also records the driver’s or passenger’s safetybelt status. Read More

Over the Hill

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When traveling down the roadway, a lot of things must be considered. While things that can be seen are obvious concerns, things that cannot be seen pose a threat too. Blind hillcrests leave drivers guessing “what’s on the other side”. Regardless of their intentions, before drivers make a maneuver, they should pay extra attention to blind hill crests. In a collision that occurs just over a hillcrest, where one driver is attempting to continue straight as the other is attempting to make a left-hand turn, many times the investigating officer arrives at a common conclusion. Failure to yield right of way charges are often applied to the driver making the turn; however, are these charges applicable? Read More

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