Heavy Truck V Motorcycle

Accident Reconstruction Case Study

This case involved a collision between a tractor trailer and a motorcycle. The tractor trailer swerved from the far right lane to the far left lane to avoid a slow moving vehicle. The tractor impacted a motorcycle in the far left lane, severely injuring the rider. Kineticorp was asked to reconstruct the accident to determine the speeds and the impact configuration of the tractor trailer and motorcycle.

The Process:

There were two specific questions our team needed to answer in this case. When did the tractor trailer driver react to the slow moving vehicle? And, had the tractor trailer driver reacted sooner, could he have avoided impacting the motorcycle and rider? Accident Reconstructionist Nathan Rose determined the speed of the tractor trailer by matching physical evidence with data from the event data recorder on the tractor trailer. That information was used to simulate the accident within PC-Crash, a physics based simulation software used for accident reconstruction. Another simulation was developed to demonstrate an alternate scenario in which the tractor trailer driver reacted a 1.5 seconds sooner. Forensic Animator Tomas Owens took the simulations and developed physics based animations from different key perspectives.

The Result:

The investigation allowed us to create an accurate representation of the accident from several points of view. This allowed Nathan Rose to testify in deposition and explain this accident in a clear, meaningful manner. The case ultimately resulted in a fair settlement.

The Team:

Nathan Rose, Neal Carter, Tomas Owens

Related Case Studies, Content & Research:

Virtual Reality Testing
Motorcycle Headlamp Research
Highway Barrier Analysis
Event Data Recorder Research
Exemplar Vehicle Scan Analysis
SAE 2017-01-1413 – Video Analysis of Motorcycle and Rider Dynamics During High-Side Falls
SAE 2016-01-1497 – A Compendium of Passenger Vehicle Event Data Recorder Literature and Analysis of Validation Studies 
SAE 2014-01-0464 – Vehicle Acceleration Modeling in PC-Crash
American Bar Association, 2013 – The Misunderstood Witness – Event Data Recorders for Heavy Vehicles
American Bar Association, 2012 – Automotive Event Data Recorders Ushering in a New Era of Accident Reconstruction

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