Crash Data Recorders
Trials and Testimony
Site and Vehicle Examinations
If possible, call us immediately after an accident occurs so we can attend the crash site and document evidence before it is altered and destroyed. We can also provide examinations after vehicles are moved to a holding compound.
During examinations, we use still and video cameras to document evidence and measure the site to create a scale diagram. Any evidence found is secured for analysis. At the holding compound, vehicles are photographed and the location of collision evidence is measured along with the profile and magnitude of crush. The status and functioning of safety devices are documented – the Crash Data Retrieval toolkit is used to download crash data from air bag control modules.
If required, we re-attend the collision site or vehicle for additional observations and analysis. At a collision site we may set up a roadway grid to document the speed, position, and specific behaviours of drivers – captured by video camera mounted to a 20-foot pole. The output displayed from a radar gun is videotaped to assess the likely speed of typical vehicles, which is used as a reference toward estimating the actions of an accident-involved driver.
We re-create night time accident scenarios using similar vehicles and lighting conditions. Police assistance may be used to close a road segment or natural reactions are obtained without a driver’s awareness of the testing.
The National Automotive Sampling System (NASS), a division of the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), is an invaluable database to those in the insurance and legal industries.
The Crashworthiness Data System (CDS) of NASS keeps data on thousands of crashes. Research teams at Primary Sampling Units across the country study 5,000 crashes annually. Skid marks, fluid spills, broken glass, and bent guardrails are studied at crash sites. Vehicles are then located to be photographed, measured, and to identify the interior locations struck by occupants. Researchers then interview crash victims and review medical records to determine the nature and severity of injuries.
There are more than 140,000 crash files in the NASS CDS. Although they are designed for analysis with a specialized statistical analysis package, analysis can also be conducted simply by going to the Web site and selecting a list of cases meeting specified criteria.