Forensic Engineering

Forensic Engineering consists of a detailed analysis of an incident taking into consideration various engineering fields such as road and vehicle design or metallurgical or structural analysis.

The following can be done in the reconstruction of the scene of vehicle accidents:

  • Tyre examination
  • Photography for the expert report
  • Measurement of relevant features of the scene for an explanatory plan of the scene
  • Identification of possibilities, probabilities and contributing factors
  • Description of the dynamic behaviour of vehicles in accident situations
  • Application of Mathematics and Physics (i.e. speed calculations, momentum principles, energy principles, vehicle dynamics and occupant behaviour during collisions)
  • Examination of heavy vehicle accidents and multiple vehicle accidents
Forensic Engineering

Minimum requirements of the expert report:

Scene

  • A complete description of the scene
  • Describe possible dangers at the scene (assess road safety-general)
Describe the following in a complete manner
  • Road surface type
  • Road surface condition (bumps, age, etc.)
  • Road texture
  • Gradients/slopes
  • Width of road
  • Width of road shoulder – (Gravel or tar)
  • Curves/turns before or after scene
  • Physical factors that might influence vehicle dynamics
  • Any irregularities
  • Point of impact
  • Marks made by vehicles on the scene
  • Describe how marks were made
  • Position of marks on the scene
Description of Scene

Vehicles

  • Damage to vehicles
  • Position of damage
  • Degree of damage
  • Type of damage (impact, graze, mechanical failure)
  • Deductions about mechanism that caused damage
  • Final rest positions of vehicles described
Damage Analysis

Discussion

  • Discuss vehicle movements
  • Discuss other possible scenarios
  • Discuss probabilities
  • Discuss the match between the probabilities and the physical evidence
  • (Use a holistic approach and use precise wording)
Discussion and Conclusion

Conclusion

  • Give a summary of most probable scenario
  • State other possibilities only if reasonably possible
  • If there is only one possibility, state it clearly
  • Summarize taking road conditions and road circumstances into account
 
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