Early in the morning at around 6:35 a.m., a two-vehicle collision occurred at an intersection. A Ford truck was southbound, while a Dodge truck was traveling northbound on the same road. According to the uniform crash report, the Ford crossed through the center turn lane and into the northbound lanes. The Dodge attempted to avoid the collision by moving rightward, but the Ford struck the Dodge.
Rimkus Consulting Group was retained to reconstruct the collision. In the course of our investigation and analysis, Rimkus reviewed the accident report and photographs taken by the police of the scene and the vehicles, inspected and digitally mapped the accident scene, and reviewed the data recovered by one of the vehicle’s crash data recorder. Rimkus also inspected, measured and photographed both vehicles involved in the accident, ran computer crash simulations utilizing EDSMAC4 by EDC, and researched literature related to perception and reaction times.
Based on our analysis, we concluded:
- The cause of the collision was the southbound Ford traveling into the northbound lanes.
- The Ford’s restraints control module (RCM) recorded that the cruise control was set to 63 miles per hour (mph). The speed limit on the road was 65 mph
- At impact, the Dodge driver had moved to the right side of his travel lane and reduced his speed, consistent with evasive tactics to avoid the collision.
- The impact speed of the Dodge, based on the results of the EDSMASC4 simulations, was approximately 49 mph.
- The driver of the Dodge responded appropriately to the hazard of the intruding Ford, and could not have reasonably avoided the collision.