Accident Reconstruction Expert Witness On Preparing Expert Testimony Part 2

In Preparing and Presenting Expert Testimony, traffic engineer and accident reconstruction expert witness Lawrence Levine writes:

While historically, individual accident investigation and reconstruction has been the venue of police agencies charged with enforcing the vehicle codes, traffic engineers can serve a vital role as expert witnesses in the determination of the causes of individual vehicle crashes. In doing so it is vital to have developed an understanding of such issues as Human Factors, Positive Guidance, Violation of Expectations, and Design/Construction and Maintenance in relation to the question of “Proximate Causes” of accidents.

Many traffic engineers attend Accident Investigation and Reconstruction classes along with police investigators, insurance company investigators, agency investigators, and practitioners and engineers of other disciplines to supplement their basic training in these arts. Such courses are offered by Northwestern University’s Traffic Institute, George Washington University, The Florida IPTM Institute of Police Traffic Management, as well as private offerings via professional institutes and organizations. These courses are offered many times to agencies on site and take three weeks for the basic reconstruction classes. Generally engineers are accepted by the courts as experts if they are licensed. Many police officers and engineers also are attending classes and taking the ACTAR (Accredited Commission for Traffic Accident Reconstruction) certification test in Accident Reconstruction. There is no mandated course or test in this field as yet. Many Professional organizations also offer in depth training, certification and field testing. Among these, most engineers are familiar with SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers), ITE (Institute of Transportation Engineers) and NAFE (National Academy of Forensic Engineers).