Phone & GPS Data in Bicycle Crash Investigations Expert Article

In this article we discuss the the way in which our experts extract and analyze data from GPS units and other mobile electronic devices to provide valuable quantifiable data to assist in the resolution of bicycle crash disputes. This technology is also applied to incidents involving motor vehicles, watercraft, and pedestrians.

Bicycle GPS Expert Witness

Ask the cyclist involved in any incident if they were using Strava or recording their ride with a GPS-enabled bicycle computer at the time of the incident. Modern bicycle technology allows a cyclist to record the following data points on a second-by-second basis from the same network of satellites that provide navigation in our cars:

  • Location in latitude and longitude
  • Elevation above sea level
  • Vehicle instantaneous speed
  • Vehicle average speed
  • Vehicle maximum speed
  • Total riding time
  • Total distance traveled
  • Rider heart rate*
  • Rider power output*
  • Rider pedal cadence*

*Sometimes requires optional sensors

Strava is one of several social media-style applications that use a smart phone’s GPS recording or data from a device like a bicycle-mounted Garmin. Users have the option to record their ride directly from their smart phone or download the ride information from their GPS device through Strava’s website. Users compete to log the fastest times on ‘segments’ to claim a KOM (King of the Mountain) designation.

In the course of an incident investigation, our experts can download and analyze the data from smartphone tracking apps or from bicycle-mounted GPS cycle computers. Our experts can also extract and analyze data from damaged devices depending on the level and type of damage. These data can provide an understanding of rider performance, the route ridden, speeds achieved, and especially the dynamics of the bicycle leading up to an incident.

Geospatial data from other smart phones, GPS units, and vehicle navigation and infotainment systems can be analyzed in conjunction with information from the bicyclist’s devices to assist in reconstructing the incident.

Forensic Bicycle Investigations

Among our bicycle experts you will find professionals who worked for some of the most recognizable bicycle brands in the world, engineers who have designed and constructed roads and bicycle trails, and passionate cyclists who use their bicycles for commuting, training, and competitive racing.

For more information visit our Bicycle practice page.

Featured Expert

Steven Becker, Automotive Engineer & Crash Expert

Steven Becker

Automotive Engineer & Crash Expert
Steven is a vehicle engineer with more than thirty years of experience and has worked directly for automotive manufacturers and tier 1 automotive parts suppliers. He provides investigations, reports,… read more.


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