A cyclist collided with a minivan at an intersection in a residential area and sustained serious injuries. There was no stop sign in the direction the minivan was traveling, and it was headed into the morning sun. The cross-traffic was controlled by a stop sign. The police accident report concluded that the cyclist made a right turn at the intersection and that the driver of the minivan ran down the cyclist from behind. This was in part based on a 20-foot blue tire mark in the roadway that started at the corner and continued in the direction the minivan was traveling.
ARCCA’s expert conducted a comprehensive accident investigation that entailed:
Reviewing the police accident report and photographs;
Reviewing the deposition testimonies of the cyclist and minivan driver;
Conducting a site inspection to document the intersection;
Inspecting the subject bicycle;
Analyzing the damage pattern with an exemplar bicycle and vehicle; and
Performing bicycle crash testing to ascertain bicycle damage patterns.
ARCCA’s examination of the police accident photographs revealed that the minivan sustained damage to the upper right area of the windshield, the right side of the hood, and the right side of the bumper which included paint transfer marks and a hole at the far right edge. The damages to the windshield and hood are consistent with the impacts from the cyclist’s head and hip, respectively. An inspection of the subject bicycle revealed that the damage to the rear of the bicycle frame was consistent with a lateral impact from the left. Additionally, the front and rear wheels had blue tires. The rear tire showed evidence of scuff marks in the lateral direction. A review of the cyclist’s medical records indicated that he sustained predominately left-sided injuries.
ARCCA’s expert used an exemplar bicycle and minivan to conduct a damage pattern analysis based on an angled left lateral impact. This analysis demonstrated that the cyclist’s head and hip, and the right pedal of the bicycle, aligned with the damage to the minivan’s windshield, hood, and bumper, respectively. The exemplar bicycle and minivan were subsequently used for crash testing, which demonstrated that the damage to the rear wheel on the subject bicycle was not consistent with a rear impact.
ARCCA’s expert opined that the cyclist failed to stop at the stop sign and was subsequently impacted on his left side by the right side of the minivan. The bicycle’s right pedal penetrated the minivan’s bumper and it remained upright as the minivan pushed it down the road, which left the blue tire marks. Furthermore, the expert determined that the actions/inactions of the minivan driver did not contribute to the subject incident.