Nighttime Photography in Collision Reconstruction

Nighttime Photography in Collision Reconstruction

Robert T. Lynch, PE, Sr. Collision Reconstruction Engineer ::::
In order to determine whether or not a collision was avoidable, the question that is often posed to the reconstructionist is: What could or could not be seen at the time of the incident?
Answering this question for collisions occurring under daylight illumination is a straightforward approach. The engineer/investigator visits the site and takes photographs from viewpoints of interest that depict the field of view that would have been available to a vehicle operator. Measurements taken during the site inspection compliment the photograph to specify the available sight distance that is visually represented.
However, using photography in nighttime collisions to represent what a driver could or could not see is more involved. Specifically, the lighting conditions at night (vehicle headlights, streetlights, lane striping, etc.) play a large role in determining when an object/vehicle/pedestrian presents itself as a hazard, and thus, play a critical role in determining whether or not a collision was avoidable. Continue reading “Nighttime Photography in Collision Reconstruction”