What are Those “Stripes” on the Roadway?

James R. Schmidt, Jr., BSME, Sr. Collision Reconstruction Engineer ::::

We’ve all seen them during the winter season … white stripes running along the length of the roadway.

stripes on roadway

stripes on roadway

stripes on roadway

But what are they? Those stripes are dried lines of salt brine applied by PennDOT, or local municipalities, in advance of a frozen precipitation event. According to literature on the PennDOT website:

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What’s In Our (Data Collection) Toolbox?

Jon W. Adams, Director of Architectural and Heritage Services ::::

At DJS, we utilize a number of different tools to collect important data. Whether we are working on a forensic case, capturing as-built measurements for AEC documentation, or digitally preserving important historic landmarks, it is always important to have the right tool for the job.

DSLR cameras/video recording systems

Although DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) cameras and video recording systems are common items utilized by millions of consumers in their everyday lives, they are still essential tools in every DJS case/project.

Video recording systems are utilized to analyze signal timing patterns at intersections of interest, and also to provide a visual record of inspection procedures.

DSLR cameras are used by DJS technicians to capture photographs during accident site investigations/vehicle inspections, providing additional context for measurement data that is captured, and also supplementing details relating to conditions present at the time of the inspection.

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Watch Where You Walk in A Construction Work Zone

Lt. Col. Bryan Smith, Construction Site Safety Consultant ::::

Case Summary: A dump truck, which exited a construction zone after delivering a load of asphalt paving material, struck and killed a pedestrian. The construction firm that performed the parking lot repairs hired an expert to evaluate the incident location and determine if it was within a work zone and if so, whether certain motor vehicle/pedestrian precautions were necessary and/or enacted by the construction firm.

Expert Analysis: An evaluation of the incident location was made using Google Earth satellite photos. The Google Earth photos documented what work had been performed at the time of the incident, about one year and nine months earlier from the engagement of an expert.

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Automatic Headlight Technology

R. Scott King, BSME, Automotive/Mechanical Engineer ::::

Automatic headlight technology is by no means “new technology”; however, this technology was a primary factor in a recent jury verdict.

The case resulted from a two-vehicle intersectional collision. The collision occurred when a left-turning vehicle crossed into the path of a vehicle approaching from the opposite direction. Injuries and vehicle damage required police assistance which, in turn, resulted in witness interviews. Statements by the vehicle operators conflicted as they related to the headlight status of the on-coming vehicle. Specifically, the operator of the left-turning vehicle reported not seeing the on-coming vehicle because its headlights were not active. The operator of the on-coming vehicle stated, and later testified, that it was his practice to leave the headlight switch in the “Auto” position, and therefore his headlights were illuminated.

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Ice, Trees and Utility Poles

Russell Carlson, RCA, BCMA, Forensic Arborist Consultant ::::

In January, a winter storm passed over central Connecticut, bringing heavy accumulations of ice. Trees and utility wires were brought down throughout the region. A young woman was walking with a friend and as they walked up the street, a 55-foot long limb broke from a large maple tree, bringing down utility and communications wires which caused a utility pole to snap. The falling pole struck the woman, who died of her injuries.

The communication service provider who owned the pole was one of the defendants in this case. The plaintiffs claimed that the communication company used wood poles that were not properly rated and that were not suitably strong enough to meet industry standards. Among other issues, the plaintiffs claimed the pole should have withstood the weight of the falling limb without breaking.

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Runaway Treadmill

Ronald J. Panunto, PE, CFEI, CVFI, CFC, Electrical Engineering Consultant ::::

Case Synopsis: A middle-aged man, while exercising on his motorized treadmill, was injured when the treadmill suddenly accelerated and threw him up against a wall. He sustained injuries to his head, right shoulder and right arm. His attorney put the manufacturer of the treadmill and the store that sold it on notice.

Expert Analysis: A review of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalls showed that the incident treadmill had been recalled at least 8 years before our client’s accident, and that there was a second recall just 1 year before the accident. The recall said:

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Our forensic experts are nationally recognized, board-certified specialists. The experts at DJS share a common commitment to providing honest and accurate assessments, and rendering ethical opinions.