Each year, there are approximately 1,500 incidents and 600 deaths occur involving vehicles that have gone off the road and plummeted into the water. Therefore, the public needs to plan for these types of emergencies by (A) rehearsing the steps necessary for a successful self-rescue from a vehicle in the water, and (B) having the rescue/escape tools readily available for use during this type of emergency situation.
Many of our fundamental and commonly-held beliefs are invalid because they were derived, often haphazardly, from a blur of intuition, superstition, history, tradition and circumstance rarely subjected to scientific scrutiny. Before the inventions of artificial light and mechanical clocks, being awake during daylight and asleep during darkness were survival necessities - lest one be devoured by predators or stumble into a pit.
In my review of more than 80 public transportation-related accidents and law suits, one almost universal theme has been the absence of any log review. This failure has generally combined with another common theme: A vehicle running behind schedule. The relationship between these two themes is easy to both understand and demonstrate - as is the acknowledgement that they constitute a genuine safety problem. But in a courtroom, the fact that system management failed to notice the vehicle running late - and worse, failed to even look for it - translates into a liability problem as well.
When a person becomes aware of a dangerous situation, a time-interval must elapse before he can take defensive action against it. This time interval, commonly called the reaction time, has been found to be about 0.7 second for all normal persons, regardless of their background and training. This suggests that the reaction time depends on some basic aspect of the human physiology-involving the brain, nervous system, and muscles-which does not vary much from person to person.
A car is stopped for a light when it is unexpectedly rear-ended by a vehicle from behind. It is not a hard impact and there is little or no damage to either vehicle, because the energy absorbing bumpers have protected them. Nevertheless, the passengers of the struck vehicle complain of neck, shoulder and back pain. The next day they allegedly experience even greater pain and visit a medical person who claims that they have been injured. Insurance claim representatives, attorneys, medical, engineering and biomedical experts are then brought in and various conflicting allegations, testimony and opinions are expressed. Do we have a legitimate injury claim on our hands or a situation of fraud?
Accident reconstructionists are often called on to determine the distance that a car, covers while being braked to a stop. Conversely, the reconstructionist may be given information as to the length of the skidmarks left by a car on the roadway, and may be asked to determine how fast the car must have been going at the beginning of the skid. An expert can accomplish this with considerable accuracy, based on a knowledge of the physical principles that are involved, plus available information relating to the friction of tires on various types of road surfaces.
Event Data Recorders (EDRs) are electronic devices, commonly called Black Boxes, that are installed in motor vehicles. EDRs have the ability to record information about what a vehicle did before, during and immediately after a traffic crash
Vehicle Event Data Recorders (EDRs), commonly referred to as Black Boxes, are part of a vehicle’s airbag control module or powertrain control module. EDRs can be configured to record a variety of data when a vehicle is involved in a crash event. The data sets range from pre-impact speed and brake use, to airbag and restraint system
While the information recorded on event data recorders (EDRs), commonly referred to as vehicle black boxes, is tremendously helpful in determining how a traffic accident occurred and in improving safety, it was not until recently that EDR data was legally challenged in Illinois and ultimately accepted