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Forensic Engineering Experts: Trucks

By: Dr. Irving Ojalvo

Tel: (800) 358-9909
Fax: (888) 358-9901
Email: Technology Associates

Heavy trucks, whether tractor-trailers, construction vehicles or garbage haulers, are involved in many serious traffic accidents due to their large weight, high centers of gravity, decreased visibility, poor handling and reduced braking efficiency. In addition, articulated tractor-trailers are subject to additional problems such as jack-knife and trailer sway instabilities. Truck tires and brakes also behave differently from those of passenger cars and require special consideration. Other truck issues that are frequently encountered include driver fatigue and clearance problems when driving through underpasses.

Expertise

Questions Answered

We have extensive experience in most aspects of truck accident investigation and reconstruction including:
  • Jack-knife and trailer sway instability simulation
  • Truck braking and skid analysis
  • Truck rollover
  • Construction vehicle accidents

Case Examples

Decapitation from Improper Cargo Stowage:
A car passenger was killed when the cargo of an oncoming tractor-trailer struck an underpass and separated from the trailer. We successfully demonstrated that the accident was not caused by an improper stowage design, but rather that the shipper failed to properly stow the cargo by not fully folding the structure before departing. This failure caused the cargo to strike the underpass, dislodging the snow plow-sized component that struck the passenger car, decapitating a passenger.


Dr. Irving Ojalvo was, at the time of this article's publication, the Chairman of Technology Associates (www.technology-assoc.com), a forensic engineering firm with offices in New York City and Connecticut. The firm's technical personnel, all of whom have advanced degrees, perform accident reconstruction involving issues of biomechanics, mechanical, traffic, and human factors engineering.

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