There’s no question about it: driving a vehicle takes a lot of concentration. Especially when driving any kind of oversized vehicle, such as a commercial truck. Avoiding other vehicles and pedestrians is just the start. Road conditions, and adjacent areas, can play a large part in safe vehicle operations.
Helfrich-Associates was recently hired, for a traffic litigation project, by an attorney to assist with the defense of a trucking company whose driver attempted to avoid a vehicle collision. The accident occurred in Imperial County, California. The county runs adjacent to the Arizona and Mexico borders and even though this is desert terrain, the area is heavily agricultural.
The truck driver, attempting to avoid a head-on collision, was in the process of pulling to the shoulder. In attempting to avoid the accident, the driver encountered unstable pavement geometry: a three inch drop between the asphalt pavement to the shoulder, and a very soft soil shoulder. These conditions, and the steeply sloped shoulder, allegedly caused the truck to lose control and veer into oncoming traffic, which resulted in a collision with another car.
As part of a traffic litigation project, Helfrich-Associates provided soils and civil engineering expertise and input to the truck expert and traffic accident reconstruction expert
Our part of the traffic litigation project was to provide soils and civil engineering expertise and input to the truck expert and traffic accident reconstruction expert. We examined the accident site, sampled the soil conditions, and performed laboratory testing to determine the stability of the soil under the load of the truck tires. Our analyses provided some of the technical parameters that the traffic reconstruction expert needed to perform his analyses of the accident. Our analyses were also performed to determine how the truck tire may have behaved during the event. We also determined whether the maintenance or original construction of the road shoulder was a contributing factor to the accident.
To find out more about how Helfrich-Associates assists attorneys through our traffic litigation consulting services, contact us.