Construction Zone Accident Evaluation


A young and relatively inexperienced automobile driver was stopped at an intersection facing northbound, waiting to merge with westbound traffic.  At the same time, a truck was traveling westbound toward the intersection where the automobile was located. The automobile driver reportedly looked both ways and proceeded into the intersection, striking the truck.  As a result of the vehicle collision, the automobile driver lost control of his vehicle and proceeded through the intersection, striking several pedestrians on a curb.   According to the automobile driver, he was unable to see the truck because a construction zone barricade to his left obstructed his view of oncoming westbound traffic.

Services Provided

Rimkus was retained to conduct a human factors evaluation and determine what visual cues would be available to the automobile driver.  Rimkus evaluated whether the automobile driver had been reasonably alert and attentive to his surroundings and whether he could have avoided the accident.  Rimkus also assessed the automobile driver’s driving experience, familiarity with the vehicle being driven, as well as driving performance.  

During the course of our investigation, Rimkus created an animation that depicted the automobile driver’s view of westbound traffic through the barricade.  Based on our findings, we concluded that after the automobile impacted the truck, the automobile driver panicked due to a pedal misapplication, causing his vehicle to accelerate through the intersection instead of slowing down.  In addition, we were able to depict that the view of oncoming westbound traffic through the barricade was sufficient for a driver to note that traffic was moving from that direction toward the intersection. 

National Practice Leaders

Dirk E. Smith

Ph.D., P.E., ACTAR

Senior Vice President, Forensic Division