ArticleA motorcycle and car collided in an intersection. The motorcyclist landed in a yard on the other side of the car. The speed limit on the road was 25 mph. The motorcyclist was severely injured, the car driver less so. How did this collision occur? What were its underlying causes? Who bears what responsibility? These are the questions Robson Forensic experts answered through the course of this investigation.
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This two-vehicle collision occurred May 22, 2007, at about 4:30 p.m., on Prospect Street, in Ewing, Mercer County, New Jersey. The collision involved a 1991 Dodge Spirit passenger car, driven by Car Driver, and a 2001 Suzuki motorcycle, operated by Motorcyclist.
Car Driver was turning left from northbound Prospect Street into Dawes Avenue when she collided with Motorcyclist, who was southbound on Prospect Street. Both Car Driver and Motorcyclist were injured in the collision.
This investigation was performed to determine if the Car Driver’s driving was improper in a manner that was a cause of the collision.
Based on the information available, subject to change with new information, and to a reasonable degree of professional certainty, I conclude:
- Motorcyclist’s speed at impact was 34 to 38 mph.
- Motorcyclist and his motorcycle were 45 to 150 feet from impact when Car Driver started to turn.
- There were no obstructions to Car Driver’s view of the oncoming Motorcyclist and his motorcycle.
- Car Driver should have seen the approaching Motorcyclist and his motorcycle. Yet Car Driver said that she didn’t see Motorcyclist and his motorcycle prior to impact.
- Car Driver did not see the motorcycle that was there to be seen. Car Driver was inattentive.
- Motorcyclist’s speed in excess of the speed limit was not a cause of Car Driver not seeing him when she started her turn.
- Motorcyclist was alert and reacted promptly to the unexpected condition of Car Driver turning across his path.
- Car Driver’s inattentive driving was the cause of this crash.
Full report available for download in the Details section of this page
During the past 25+ years, Lance has provided field investigations, analysis, written reports, deposition and court testimony for several hundred motor vehicle, pedestrian, bicycle and train collisions related to roadway, parking lot and transit issues, as well as reconstruction of the collisions. Lance is licensed as a Professional Engineer in several states, and he maintains a number of professional affiliations, including the Transportation Research Board, the Institute of Traffic Engineers, and the Society of Automotive Engineers.