Accident Reconstruction

Conspicuity as a Factor in Motorcycle Accidents (Motorcycle Accident Reconstruction)

Conspicuity as a Factor in Motorcycle Accidents (Motorcycle Accident Reconstruction)

Researchers have often proposed that when a passenger car driver violates the right-of-way of a motorcyclist, the motorcycles lack of conspicuity is to blame (or is, at least, a contributing factor). In relationship to motorcycle conspicuity, Hurt noted that “the most likely comment of an automobile driver involved in a traffic collision with a motorcycle is that he, or she, did not SEE the motorcycle…” (emphasis in original). Hurt continued: “The origin of this problem seems to be related to the element of conspicuity (or conspicuousness) of the motorcycle; in other words, how easy it is to see the motorcycle. When the motorcycle and the automobile are on collision paths, or when the vehicles are in opposing traffic, the conspicuity due to motion is very low, if it exists at all. Consequently, recognition of the motorcycle by the automobile driver will depend entirely upon the conspicuity due to contrast. If the approaching motorcycle and rider blend well with the background scene, and if the automobile driver has not developed improved visual search habits which include low-threat targets (such as motorcycles and bicycles, as contrasted with the high-threat targets presented by trucks and busses) the motorcycle will not be recognized as a vehicle and a traffic hazard exists.” Without discounting the factors listed by Hurt, it should also be recognized that his statements go too far, discount too much, and are not fully supported by later research. Though he acknowledges it elsewhere, physical obstructions from other traffic, inattention and distraction on the part of a passenger car driver, and lack of expectation to encounter a motorcycle are other factors that may account for a driver not seeing a motorcyclist.

My Two Cents on Writing Accident Reconstruction Reports in a Legal Setting

My Two Cents on Writing Accident Reconstruction Reports in a Legal Setting

When you write a report, try to disprove your own opinions. Philosopher of Science, Karl Popper wrote that “whenever we propose a solution to a problem, we ought to try as hard as we can to overthrow our solution, rather than defend it. Few of us, unfortunately, practice this precept; but other people, fortunately, will supply the criticism for us if we fail to supply it ourselves. Yet criticism will be fruitful only if we state our problem as clearly as we can and put our solution in a sufficiently definite form – a form in which it can be critically discussed.” Adopting this type of approach will make you a better accident reconstructionists and a better witness.

Sliding and Tumbling Deceleration of a Motorcycle (Motorcycle Accident Reconstruction)

Sliding and Tumbling Deceleration of a Motorcycle (Motorcycle Accident Reconstruction)

A quick aside...this is a draft of another section from the motorcycle accident reconstruction book that I'm writing with Lou Peck and William Neale. Lou, in particular, assisted with this section. Let me know what suggestions you have for making this more readable and useful. Thanks!

Braking Capabilities of Motorcyclists - A Literature Review

Braking Capabilities of Motorcyclists - A Literature Review

Hey everybody. This is my first attempt at a summary of the literature on the braking capabilities of motorcyclists, one small section for the motorcycle accident reconstruction book I'm working on with Lou Peck and William Neale. I would love to hear your comments on this - what is it missing? what do you like and not like?

Scene and Vehicle Documentation Checklists for Rollover Collisions

Scene and Vehicle Documentation Checklists for Rollover Collisions

This article will give you my take on an what you should consider documenting when you inspect the scene and vehicle for reconstructing a rollover collision. To my lawyer friends, these lists are intended to help accident reconstructionists - they are not must-do lists for you to use against us!

Producing Forensic Animations that are Credible and Admissible (Motorcycle Crash Example)

Producing Forensic Animations that are Credible and Admissible (Motorcycle Crash Example)

An animation can provide tremendous value to a jury by making an expert’s opinions more understandable. In this article, I will give you 7 principles for producing credible and admissible animations for use in depositions, mediations, settlement conferences, and trials.

Forensic Acquisition of Vehicle Infotainment Systems Data

Forensic Acquisition of Vehicle Infotainment Systems Data

Hey, everybody. In this article I’m passing along a conversation I recently had with Will Bortles of Kineticorp about the research he just published at the 2017 Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress. This research relates to methods for acquiring data from passenger vehicle infotainment systems.

Simulating Rollovers in PC-Crash

Simulating Rollovers in PC-Crash

If you missed Parts I or II of this series, here are links to those: Part I and Part II. In this installment, I review the prior literature related to using PC-Crash software to simulate rollover crashes. In a future installment, I will extend this prior literature and present analysis of a full-scale, steering-induced rollover crash test with PC-Crash.