Determining the speed of a vehicle involved in an accident is essential in establishing who between the involved parties is liable. Accident investigations are conducted by insurance companies to determine the speed at which the vehicles were moving just before the accident. Showing that the other driver hit you at a high speed gives you an upper hand and tangible evidence of negligence or reckless driving. Gathering evidence, however, requires expert opinion and knowledge. Here are a few ways to determine the speed of a vehicle involved in a crash.
Hiring Accident Reconstruction Experts
Accident reconstruction experts are trained to gather facts about an accident. These experts have the knowledge and training to gather clues, apply scientific concepts and analyze all the factors to arrive at the facts of the case. They can determine the speed of the cars before and after the driver applied the brakes. They can also find out when and whether the driver deviated to avoid a collision and whose fault it was.
Vehicle speeding is determined by the length of skid marks left on the road. The amount of impact suffered by a vehicle or other surrounding features may also give additional details to determine the speed. Also, depending on the type of vehicle, auto manufacturers may release data about the speeds at which some vehicle components, such as bumpers or die panels, fail.
Collecting Evidence From The Crash Scene
If a bumper, for instance, can withstand an impact of up to 20mph, a bumper destroyed only tells us that the vehicle was speeding above 20mph. You could also measure skid mark distance. Skid marks appear from the impact caused by tires dragging and locking. They start faintly and progress to darken. You will then calculate the drag factor putting the model of the car into consideration. The car’s braking performance will also play a part in determining the exact crashing speed of the vehicle.
Witnesses And Footage Power
Witnesses may provide reliable information when interviewed under oath. The witness will testify to watching the vehicle crash and estimate how many seconds it took for the car to cross a certain distance. The information will then be used to calculate the car’s speed. Camera footage is more reliable as it gives the exact details before which the accident happened.
Most accident reconstruction experts are expensive to hire. Most lawyers and insurers depend on footage and witness statements to determine speeds. However, in the gravest situations, it is advisable to hire an expert for the best analysis.