Serious and fatal car accidents occur every day in New York and across the U. S. Multivehicle accidents can be extremely destructive; however, accidents involving pedestrians and/or bicycles often have catastrophic consequences. These types of collisions are typically more difficult to investigate and resolve because they involve different factors and injuries. That’s why law enforcement and other authorities are educated on how to approach bicycle accidents for further investigation.
Bicycle accidents produce different types of injuries and evidence. Because a heavy vehicle collides with a much lighter person and/or bicycle, the accident scene often displays few physical signs of a crash. With so little physical evidence to work with, law enforcement can have a hard time figuring out how and why the accident occurred. And given that so many car-bicycle crashes result in serious injury and/or death, it’s incredibly important to know who is to blame.
Fortunately, there are techniques that can be used to investigate a pedestrian or bicycle accident scene to determine culpability. For example, a vehicle that attempts to stop before striking a pedestrian typically dips in the front. That motion is known to result in injuries positioned lower on the victim’s body. Authorities can also estimate where a cyclist was hit by the location of their hat at the accident scene. Other interesting clues include the field of debris left by personal items and/or pieces of the car.
Police training was recently conducted in Albany, New York, to teach officers what signs to look for in these types of incidents. Various accident scenarios were replicated and officers were instructed on how to approach the little evidence that was available.
Such training techniques are crucial to ensure that reckless drivers are held accountable for their actions and the appropriate charges can be made.
Source: wnyt.com, “The art and technique of reconstructing car vs. bicycle, car vs. pedestrian accidents,” Steve Flamisch, Sep. 12, 2013