Contribution of Injury Biomechanics to Traffic Collision Reconstructions: A Case Report

Category: Publication

Authors: Geoffrey Thor Desmoulin, Marc-André Nolette, Kevin Gordon Bird

Publication: Forensic Science International: Reports, Page 100022

Traffic collision reconstruction tends to ignore the contribution of injury biomechanics to their investigation. This publication presents a case where the importance of injury biomechanics is highlighted. This case involves a collision between two motorcycles in the same riding party. One individual (Rider #2) claimed to have been hit from behind by another individual (Rider #3) while being on the shoulder of the road. Meanwhile, Rider #3 claims that Rider #2 performed a U-turn in front of them which caused the collision. Using the testimonies, medical records and physical evidence, it was determined that the collision occurred in the middle of the lane, with the motorcycle at approximately a perpendicular angle. Abrasions and contusions seen on the thigh of Rider #2 indicated contact with the front fairing of Rider #3’s motorcycle. Additionally, Rider #2 suffered a fractured clavicle which is indicative of a lateral impact. In an impact from behind, no lateral loading would have been applied to Rider #2’s shoulder. However, a perpendicular impact would have led Rider #2 to fall to the pavement, shoulder first. Lastly, Rider #3, as well as her motorcycle, came to rest in the middle of the lane, which suggests that the collision occurred in the lane with Rider #3 travelling along the road near the mid-line. This case is an appropriate illustration of the worth of injury biomechanics when dealing with traffic collision reconstruction and why it should be included as part of the standard reconstruction process.