As always, we are unable to include details of individual cases whilst they progress through the courts. But this scene demonstrates the level of detail that we can achieve in our accident reconstructions without revealing any specifics.
3d animations are based on the information gathered in court reports, usually commissioned by solicitors or insurance companies. Court reports are immensely detailed and can run up to fifty pages long. They will include details of weather and lighting conditions, road surface information, statements from witnesses, any evidence gathered at the scene, alongside photographs and diagrams.
All of this information is then analysed by the accident experts, calculations of speed and distances travelled are made based on the laws of physics and the result is presented to us. It’s then our job to visually represent the information as accurately as possible.
Urban night scenes are not unusual for us, and this is hardly surprising. They do present additional challenges however, as there are often many sources of artificial light, each casting shadows. But realistic effects are always achievable.
Accident reconstruction is required when police investigators need to recreate the circumstances surrounding an accident scene, or when solicitors are asked to file a compensation claim. Experts in accident reconstruction will try to piece together the information available to try and determine what would be the most likely causes of the accident.
Witness statements, skid marks and other road markings, road conditions and weather conditions are all taken into account and are compiled along with extensive photographs and diagrams of the accident scene. This detailed report is then recreated by us using 3d animation and can result in a highly convincing account of the events leading up to and including the accident.
The investigators weigh up a wide variety of factors. The condition of the road itself will be examined including the curvature and the road surface and it’s frictional properties. Any road defects are noted, the proximity of pavements and hard shoulders are built into diagrams.
Weather and lighting conditions at the time of the accident are important for the investigators, as well as for the reconstruction. An accident which takes place in broad daylight in dry conditions will be very different to an accident on the same stretch of road at night in wet conditions. An accident that occurs at lighting up time may have a variety of light sources and these can all be illustrated in detail in our 3d recreation.
In urban areas, traffic signals can play a major part in reconstructions. What was the exact sequence and timings of the lights at the accident scene? Could the lights have been faulty and therefore been a cause of the accident? Was there an amber signal when the car advanced or was it actually red?
Finally the record of the drivers themselves is taken into account, along with the exact models of the cars, their colours, condition, and dimensions.
All of this information is then built into our accident reconstruction scene and the paths of the vehicles involved are plotted to follow the physical evidence found at the scene. All of which can add up to a very convincing case for the client.
We are not the accident experts, we work with the accident experts. However, we are the 3d accident experts.
The accident experts begin by studying a wide range of documents relating to the event. They consider all the relevant statements and the physical evidence recorded at the scene. They make the calculations and analysis based on the laws of physics and applied mathematics. From this, they create a theoretical reconstruction of the events leading up to the accident.
This is drawn up into a report, often 35-45 pages in length and including photographs, diagrams and detailed descriptions of the events and the parties involved.
This report forms the basis of our 3d reconstruction. Because of the level of detail supplied, the animations are capable of being highly accurate visualisations of the scene. And what was a complex 40 page document can be condensed into a visual depiction that can be understood more immediately. Because as they say, a picture paints a thousand words.
There are usually two sides to every story and road traffic accidents are no exception. In version one of this reconstruction shown above, the driver of the police car has taken a corner moving into the centre of the road. The oncoming Landrover, whose driver was from the European mainland, is shown driving on the wrong side of the road.
However, in the second version of the reconstruction seen below, a similar outcome is explained in completely different terms.
This time the driver of the police car has taken a corner and ended on the wrong side of the road. The oncoming Landrover is forced to take evasive action.
Working backwards from the collision point and taking into account all the forensic evidence including road marks, we were able to show that both scenarios were plausible. And the virtual 3d cameras were able to be placed at specifically strategic points in order to show the possible paths taken by the cars as well as both drivers’ points of view.
Slips and trips are a major cause of accident compensation claims whether for employees in the workplace or as a member of the general public. Employers are now legally bound to ensure their workplace environment is safe for employees, but as a member of the public you might have a trip over ill-fitting flooring in a restaurant, an act which results in a personal injury insurance claim against the proprietors.
Both scenarios would require a level of reconstruction to recreate the circumstances of the accident and an expert report can be illustrated using 3d graphics and animation. Animation can very quickly and effectively give a blow by blow impression of the minutes leading up to the situation and can paint a highly detailed picture of the causes of the accident.
We are limited in what we can illustrate here by way of examples as cases progress through the courts.
This animation of a real life road traffic accident sets the scene as two red Ford transit vans travelling together were overtaken by a blue Audi.
In version one of this accident reconstruction the driver of the blue car is shown trying to overtake the two transit vans, failing, and forcing the oncoming green car to take evasive action.
The 3d illustration shows several camera angles which all support this version of events.
However, the opposing argument demonstrated that the driver of the green car had veered into the line of oncoming traffic, forcing the driver of the blue car to avoid the collision with the red transit van.
This had to be created as a seperate animation and the two versions of events were held up to scrutiny by the legal teams.
Motorcycle accidents have become more frequent along with the increase in motorbike and scooter sales in recent years. The types of incidents involving motorcycles can be quite different from other road traffic accidents. Frequent overtaking, losing control on bends and right of way issues can all play a part.
The level of detail provided by 3d accident reconstructions can illustrate the particular characteristics of the motorcycle’s motion, can show the often extreme acceleration that the more powerful bikes are capable of, and help clarify the events leading up to an accident.
As always, we are limited with what we can show online as cases progress through the courts.