Forensic Equity is one of the UK's largest providers of independent forensic science services.

Our mission is to ensure that fair and impartial forensic science is accessible to all.

 With some of the most experienced scientists in Europe, our clients can be safe in the knowledge that they are benefiting from an unrivaled source of  expertise and the most robust scientific reporting

Recommendations

“I wanted to thank you and your team for the amazing efforts, work and speed with which you attended to the various queries that arose during the trial. After only 4 hours, the jury unanimously acquitted ‘M’ and convicted the co-defendant.

I personally am very grateful, especially as it made my task of dealing with certain issues easier and more professional.”

Barrister, Furnival Chambers

 

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Road Traffic

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Members of the Department

Robert Elliott
AEFP. MITAI. MIDiagE.
LCGI. MFSSoc >

Bob Wagstaff BSc DipPhys Cert Comp Math (Open). MITAI. LCG

The nature and extent of road traffic incidents are wide and varied with some involving vehicles colliding with other vehicles, pedestrians or roadside objects, whilst others may instead be a question of driver behaviour or vehicle speed.

 

Road traffic accidents can be the culmination of a number of different events involving a combination of factors either causatory or contributory.

 

Our road traffic analysis services

Forensic Equity’s road traffic experts can look at the available evidence as a whole, and dependent on the requirements of the case, our reports and reconstructions can address factors including: 

  • Vehicle speed, condition of vehicle(s), the road layout, lines of sight, visibility issues, driver reactions, pedestrian movement, pedestrian conspicuity, weather conditions, accident statistics, component failure and tyre failures. 

 

Forensic Equity’s road traffic experts are highly skilled and experienced in preparing reports on all types of criminal and civil cases involving the use of motor vehicles.  These include Road Traffic Act offences with or without accidents or collisions, offences against the person involving the use of motor vehicles, and civil cases involving personal injury claims and insurance fraud.

The new road traffic offence of causing death by careless driving

Following the introduction of the new road traffic offence of causing death by careless driving, motorists are increasingly finding themselves facing up to 5 years’ imprisonment in cases involving fatalities. In such cases it is extremely important that drivers and those acting for them obtain advice and a second opinion. 

 

Even in cases where a driver has been found guilty of careless driving or is willing to plead guilty, a report bringing together the mitigating factors and thereby enabling the court to evaluate the degree of carelessness may be essential when it comes to sentencing. It could mean the difference between a custodial and non-custodial sentence.

Accident Investigation

Accident investigation can be extremely complex and require substantive expertise. Our accident investigation expert can examine and provide expert witness reports on a number of evidence types including physical evidence, witness evidence, the vehicles involved, road layout and geometry, weather conditions, vehicle dynamics and driver behaviour.

 

Furthermore we can also carry out accident reconstruction involving tyre, grind and slide marks, pedestrian throw distance, speed and movement of pedestrians, coefficient of friction, driver reaction times, mass of vehicles, vehicle performance and vehicle test data. The position of vehicles at impact can all be modelled mathematically in combination with the fundamental laws of motion in order to determine speeds and a reconstruction of events.

Accident investigation case example

A driver was involved in a fatal collision where his vehicle collided with another car exiting a minor junction. He stood accused of causing death by dangerous driving with the accident having resulted in the death of the three young occupants of the other vehicle.

 

How can our accident reconstruction expert help?

Our expert was able to show that, in terms of the time available, vehicle speeds, the available visibility and driver reaction times, the defendant had no chance in avoiding the collision, and that the cause of the incident was actually the actions of the other driver pulling out of the junction. 

 

Our accident reconstruction expert can:

  • Check the methodology and conclusions obtained on behalf of the prosecution. 

  • Re-interpret the findings in the light of your client’s version of events. 

  • Examine additional evidence. 

  • Prepare reports or Section 9 Statements for use in both criminal and civil courts. 

  • Attend court to give evidence, or to support the defence counsel by assisting with cross-examination.

 

Trial outcome

At the Crown Court the Crown’s expert agreed with our expert’s findings and the judge halted the trial after the prosecution had presented its evidence and the Crown’s expert had been cross-examined.

 

Insurance Fraud 

Insurance fraud, fraudulent insurance claims and stage collisions are unfortunately becoming more commonplace. Our forensic scientists can conduct an insurance fraud investigation to include vehicle damage analysis, repair assessments, and site inspections. 

 

We can examine the collision damage to the vehicles involved and prepare damage consistency reports in light of the accounts of the parties involved. The collision dynamics and road topography can also be examined in order to determine whether the collision was genuine or fraudulent. If required we also have the capability to carry out forensic analysis on stolen vehicles.

Our forensic scientists can conduct an insurance fraud investigation to:

  • Examine the collision damage to the vehicles involved and prepare a forensic damage consistency report in light of the accounts of the parties involved.

  • Analyse the collision dynamics and road topography in order to determine whether the collision was genuine or fraudulent and thus whether insurance fraud has been committed.  

  • Examine additional evidence.

  • Prepare reports or Section 9 Statements for use in both the criminal and civil courts.

  • Attend court to give evidence. 

 

Quantitative Road Traffic Accident Scene Analysis

In order to fully establish a defence our experts can employ a number of complex forensic techniques. Computer generated scale plans of accident scenes and crime scenes. Scale representations of vehicles can be shown in relation to physical and witness evidence in order to show the position of vehicles at impact and ultimately a visual reconstruction of the accident.

 

Standard and digital technology can also be utilised to illustrate road markings, geometry, topography, signing, lines of sight, limits of visibility, positions of witnesses, pre and post impact movement of vehicles / pedestrians, vehicle damage and defects.

Our road traffic experts can also conduct forensic tachograph analysis to adduce in each situation involving an HGV what did happen, what did not happen and what could have happened.

 

In addition we have extensive knowledge of speed detection devices and can credibly test the accuracy of the speed checks, procedures and circumstances under which they were conducted.

Quantitative road traffic accident scene analysis - case example

A driver faced an allegation of excess speed (and potentially losing his driving licence) by use of an in-car police VASCAR speed detection device.

 

How can our road traffic accident expert help?

By attending the alleged route, taking accurate measurements and using performance data for the defendant’s vehicle our road traffic expert was able to show that it was impossible for the vehicle to have attained the alleged speeds in the stated distances.

 

Our forensic scientist can:

  • Check the methodology and conclusions obtained on behalf of the prosecution. 

  • Re-interpret the findings in the light of your client’s version of events. 

  • Examine additional evidence. 

  • Prepare reports or Section 9 Statements for use in both criminal and civil courts.

  • Attend court to give evidence, or to support the defence team by assisting with cross-examination.

 

Trial outcome

The CPS agreed with our experts findings and ultimately dropped the case.

 

Speed Defence 

There are inherent problems even with the most well-intended witness accounts in relation to vehicle speed. Our experts have extensive knowledge of speed detection devices and accusations of speeding offences and can credibly test the accuracy of the speed check, assess the procedures employed in assessing the vehicles speed and examine the circumstances under which they were conducted.

Speeding defence case example

A driver faced an allegation of dangerous driving during an impact with a pedestrian. The prosecution was brought about as a result of numerous witness accounts suggesting the defendant was driving at speeds of anything between 40mph and 60mph. 

However using the physical evidence we were able to show that the defendant was actually driving at a speed of below 30mph.

 

How can our speeding defence experts help?

Using the physical evidence we were able to show that the defendant was actually driving at a speed of below 30mph.

 

Our forensic scientists can:

  • Check the methodology and conclusions obtained on behalf of the prosecution. 

  • Re-interpret the findings and evidence in the light of your client’s version of events. 

  • Examine any additional evidence which may aid the defence. 

  • Prepare reports or Section 9 Statements for use in both criminal and civil courts. 

  • Attend court to give evidence, or to support the defence team by assisting with cross-examination.

 

Trail outcome

The charges against the defendant were dropped.

 

Vehicle Examination

Our road traffic accident expert can conduct a vehicle examination on the vehicles involved in the accident in order to assess their component parts for any defects or failures. This vehicle examination can assist in discovering why a particular accident occurred. Our scientists have the expertise to examine any type and size of vehicle including LGVs, cars, motorcycles, heavy plant machinery and pedal cycles.

 

Our experts are also trained to an advanced level and experienced in all aspects concerning the construction of tyres and the analysis of tyre failures and tyre / wheel damage. In addition our road traffic accident experts are also highly experienced in light bulb examinations and can use high magnification microscopy to determine whether automotive light bulbs were illuminated at the time of an impact.

Vehicle examination case example

A driver faced an allegation of dangerous driving after a collision with another vehicle which he alleged swerved into his path.

 

How did our road traffic accident expert help?

Our expert examined the other vehicle involved and its components for any defects or failures that might have accounted for that vehicle to have swerved out of control. He found a defective part that could have contributed to the accident.

 

Our forensic scientists can:

  • Check the methodology and conclusions obtained on behalf of the prosecution. 

  • Re-interpret the findings in the light of your client’s version of events. 

  • Conduct an independant vehicle examination and examine any additional evidence.

  • Prepare reports or Section 9 Statements for use in both criminal and civil courts.

  • Attend court to give evidence, or to support the defence team by assisting with the cross-examination of the prosecutions expert witness.

 

Trial outcome

The charges against the defendant were dropped.