How Accurate are Witness Distance Estimates?

How Accurate are Witness Distance Estimates Given in Car Lengths?

Article Introduction – Accident reconstructionists generally agree that eye witness estimates of distance are often inaccurate.  Robins [2001], for instance, observes that “in spite of the many converging cues available to humans to judge the separation distances and speeds of other objects, we perform poorly at such tasks.” Similarly, Olson [2003] observes that “witnesses’ judgements of distance in the usual measuring units are likely to be unreliable.” Despite the limitations of humans to judge distance, witnesses and drivers involved in car accidents are often asked to use the unit of a “car length” to…

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Questions about this research?  Email Neal Carter at [email protected]