Forensic Engineering Analyses of Right-Turning Trucks Impacting Bicyclists
Keywords:semi, light trucks, bicycle, pedestrian, physics of accident reconstruction, high-definition laser scanning, mirror, side mirror, line-of-sight, perception, reaction, physical evidence, right-turning truck, multibody simulation, scientific visualization, PC-Crash, forensic engineering, Buffalo
Right-turning trucks present a serious hazard to bicyclists. When a collision between a right-turning truck and a bicyclist occurs, the truck driver often does not realize an impact occurred, and the bicyclist is pushed down and dragged by the truck. Such collisions result in serious injury or death. Forensic engineers are retained to investigate and reconstruct such complex collisions. Oftentimes, there are disputes between forensic engineers as to the impact location, visibility, and reaction processes of both the driver and bicyclist. For example, physical evidence related to impact is usually faint and is a subject of debate between forensic engineers. Forensic engineers also disagree on the direct line-of-sight or line-of-sight through mirrors. Further, reactions (or lack thereof) are typically subject to debate. This paper presents the application of various techniques and methodologies to effectively reconstruct collisions between right-turning trucks and bicyclists. Such techniques and methodologies include the identification and verification of faint physical evidence regarding impact location using computer simulation and/or testing, the use of high-definition laser scans and virtual scenes to replicate mirror line-of-sight or obstruction line-of-sight, evaluation of driver and bicyclist reaction processes, and the use of scientific visualizations to effectively communicate complex issues of a case.
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