We often come across the view that it is ‘obvious’ what has happened in a collision and a Road Traffic Collision Investigator is unlikely to add anything that is not already known or covered by the witnesses – however in reality this is often not the case.
Whilst it may have been obvious that ‘there had been a crash’, it is the role of the Collision Investigator to scientifically analyse the facts to identify the details of the collision, such as the speed of each of the parties, the condition of the vehicles, conspicuity issues and any inherent issues with the road layout.
In short, it may be obvious ‘what’ has happened, but often ‘why’ it happened is a matter that is entirely within the gift of the Road Traffic Collision Investigator.
Whilst this is a key element in understanding the collision, it is only part of the story; In order to fully understand the impact/severity of one of the parties actions it is important to consider ‘what would have happened if…’?
For example, if it has been calculated that the speed of the vehicle was over the speed limit on the approach to the collision it may be tempting to wholly attribute the collision to the driver of the vehicle. However, if calculations show that had the vehicle been travelling at the speed limit the collision would still have occurred, this often paints a different picture.
That is why a complete Collision Investigation will include calculations to establish the collision avoidance criteria i.e. the conditions under which the collision could have been avoided.
It is this information that an Expert in the form of a Road Traffic Collision Investigator provides to legal counsel that allows them to accurately advise their client, be that claimant or defendant in either Civil or Criminal forums.