Highway Safety and Determining Who is at Fault Image

Highway Safety and Determining Who is at Fault

December 06, 2017 | Finz & Finz, P.C.

Whenever an accident occurs, the normal reaction is to want to know just went wrong.  Determining who was at fault and how the accident could have been prevented fulfills our basic human desire to make things safer.  University researchers have been working for decades on taking all the information learned from various crashes and figuring out models to improve highway safety.

These models have been interpreted to have value beyond just social and highway engineering.  Once scientists are able to determine what causes crashes, it would be easier for investigators to determine who is at fault.  Working backwards from the data, a police officer could assume that in the case of a three vehicle accident that began with a rear end collision, a certain driver was statistically likely to have caused the crash.  This could save thousands of hours of detective work a year.

Unfortunately, a new study puts this hope to rest.  The study, published in Analytic Methods in Accident Research, shows that because of the range of times and places that accidents take place, a unified model is impossible.  It will never be possible with the current data points we have to account for sun positioning, road conditions, and traffic variables that no reporting officer can possibly document and send in for additional research.

Ultimately, we will continue to rely on police officers and specialized accident investigators to determine who likely caused a collision, and we will continue to use the legal system to adjudicate liability.  This model has worked for decades, and it continues to work.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, the tried and true method of retaining an attorney can still work for you.  An experienced lawyer will help you make your case, and will help you line up the necessary experts and accident investigators to prove you were not at fault.

Additional Info: Motor Vehicle Accidents

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