Forensic Engineers and Consultants

Tag Archive: traffic collision reconstruction

  1. 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! (more…)

  2. 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. (more…)

  3. Why investigators should have “Scaled Diagrams” of scenes?

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    When it comes to diagramming a crash scene, there are several methods to accomplish the task. Forensic Mapping, (locating, positioning, and documenting the evidence of a collision scene to scale) is essential to having the answers to the questions “Who, What, Where, When, and Why?”. Photographs do a great job showing what the investigators saw post collision; yet they lack scale and the ability to describe pre-collision movement. Having a computer aided diagram (CAD) of the collision scene goes much further than the pictures can; here is why.

    basic intersectionA scale diagram gives the full overview of a collision scene from either a 2D or 3D point of view. Being able to see how things lined up, how they came together and how they parted helps explain the events within a crash. When a scene can be viewed from top down or any angle, that helps relay the facts. The investigator, judge, or jury will get (more…)

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