SEMINAR TOPICS AND DESCRIPTIONS

  • Driver Distractions, Cell Phones and In-Car Devices

    Speakers: Justin P. Schorr, Ph.D., Robert Kinder, Jr., MS, Robert T. Lynch, PE

    Continuing Education Credits: 1-2 substantive

    Attention is a limited resource, so the increased use of cell phones and other in-car technologies raises concerns about road safety. The commonsense reasoning is that 1) driving requires attention, 2) in-car technology consumes attention, 3) there is less attention remaining for the driver so 4) the driver fails to respond, resulting in a collision. While this sequence can doubtless times occur, its likelihood is uncertain. In this seminar, three ways of evaluating the risks posed by present and future in-car technologies will be discussed. First is to understand how drivers normally deploy attention to perform the driving task and then to analyze how and when in-car technologies are likely to interfere with normal driving. The second approach is to compare the risks posed by cell phones and new technologies with existing and widely accepted distractions such as eating, smoking, talking, and playing the radio. The third method is to review epidemiological analysis of accident data that purports to reveal the impact of in-car technology. A close examination of this scientific evidence reveals methodological limitations and an inherent research bias suggesting that the risk may not be as great as is sometimes portrayed.

  • Motor Carrier Accidents/The “Big Rigs”: Investigating Tractor-Trailer Accidents

    Speaker: R. Scott King, BSME, Steven M. Schorr, P.E.

    Continuing Education Credits: 1-3 substantive*

    [*The depth and detail of the course will depend on the length of the session. This seminar can be adapted to be a one-hour overview to a very detailed full day session.]

    Fatalities due to collisions involving passenger vehicles and tractor-trailers often times result in personal injury, wrongful death and/or product liability actions with potentially high exposures. Successful and effective handling of these cases require special knowledge and an understanding of varying engineering and forensic principles.  The course will address the technical and practical aspects of tractor-trailer accident litigation including what makes the analysis of a heavy vehicle collision different from the collision between two passenger vehicles. The course will show the potential need for expertise in collision reconstruction, the mechanical understanding of how a heavy vehicle “works” as well as the need for an understanding of the trucking industry from driver training to the maintenance of a fleet of vehicles.  Participants will be introduced to practical and theoretical problems surrounding the reconstruction of major highway accidents while focusing on the intricacies of analyzing the mechanics behind tractor-trailer accident cases, as well as the state-of-the-art in available electronic event data, driver issues, company issues, load issues, safety aspects and liability.  The seminar, depending on its length will/can discuss

    * Determining when a collision/accident reconstruction engineer is needed

    * How to interact with and select appropriate consultants

    * What type of reconstruction evidence is required

    * Case evaluation, investigation and planning

    * How to gather and interpret forensic data from site and vehicle inspections

    * Highway and road analysis

    * Use of High-definition survey 3D laser scanning and other data collection technology

    * Use of state-of-the-art computer applications for the reconstruction analysis

    * Unique features of tractor-trailer collisions

    * Operational aspects of tractor trailers

    * Mechanical aspects of tractor-trailers

    * “Black Boxes”/Event Data Recorder/ECM Systems/GPS/Infotainment

    * Safety aspects of tractor-trailers

    * Driver training and qualifications

    * Load Issues

    * Regulations

    * Trial exhibits and courtroom presentation

  • Reconstructing Nighttime Collisions: What Makes it Different?

    Speaker: Robert T. Lynch, PE

    Continuing Education Credits: 1-2 substantive

    When determining whether a collision was avoidable at night, the question that is often posed to the reconstruction engineer is: what could or could not be seen by the vehicle operator at the time of the incident? If the night scene can be reasonably recreated using representative lighting conditions at the time of the subject incident (vehicle headlights, streetlights, ambient sky illumination, etc.) and the paths and speeds of the vehicles and object/pedestrian are known, then the engineer may be able to view and opine as to what a vehicle operator and pedestrian can see at various distances leading up to the point of impact. This seminar examines the general approach of introducing stimuli to the scene in order to calibrate the nighttime photograph and provide an accurate representation of what was available to be seen. At the end of the seminar attendees will be able to understand the nuances associated with reconstructing nighttime collisions and the general approach to determine when an object/pedestrian would be expected to be observed by a vehicle operator/pedestrian leading up to the collision.

  • EDRs, Telematics and Infotainment: What Your Vehicle is Telling You

    Speaker: Robert Kinder, Jr., MS

    Continuing Education Credits: 1-2 substantive

    Event data from vehicles has been accessed and analyzed by engineers for close to 25 years.  Each year technology progresses and the ability to access data stored in vehicles also expands.  The seminar will provide the attendee with an understanding of the history/progression of event data in vehicles; the newest type of information that could be accessible; how to properly collect the data, and the engineering foundation upon which the data should be analyzed and utilized.  The newest forms of event data including Telematics and Infotainment will be discussed along with lesser known, but potentially just as important, sources of data.  An understanding of how the information is utilized by the engineer and how it can be accepted by the courts will be reviewed using actual case examples.

  • Technology as Applied to the Investigation and Reconstruction of Vehicle Collision – The Newest Data Collection and Analysis Tools

    Speakers (at least 2 at each seminar): Justin P. Schorr, Ph.D., Robert Kinder, Jr., MS, Robert T. Lynch, P.E., Steven M. Schorr, P.E.

    Continuing Education Credits: 1-3 substantive*

    [*The depth and detail of the course will depend on the length of the sessions. This seminar can be adapted to a one-hour overview to a very detailed full day session.]

    Technology is expanding exponentially in all areas of our everyday lives from being able to “speak commands” to units that unlock our doors; create shopping lists; and actually order goods and services for us, to units that provide diagnostics to keep our house, office and vehicles properly serviced.  The wave of new technology will not be dissipating anytime soon.  Even in the world of forensic engineering, every year things progress.  This seminar will provide an overview of some of the newer technologies that have been, and/or are just being used to help evaluate vehicular collisions and other failure events.  Topics like 3D Demonstrative Evidence; Event Data Recorders, Telematics and Infotainment; the Epidemic of Distracted Driving; Autonomous and/or Driver Assisted Vehicles; Drones; 3D Laser Scanners, and the Engineering Analysis of Surveillance Video are just some of the topics covered in this fast moving, dynamic presentation.   Real word case examples will provide a context of how this technology is properly applied so it can be accepted into evidence.

  • The Forensic Engineering Analysis of Surveillance Video: Real World Examples

    Speakers: Steven Schorr, PE, Laurence Penn, Senior Forensic Animation/Video Specialist

    Continuing Education Credits: 1-3 substantive

    In today’s society where video is routinely captured by phones, surveillance cameras, vehicle cameras and other sources, the ability to translate video information into data for use in a forensic analysis is critical.  The presentation, using a real-world, adjudicated, pedestrian/motor vehicle collision event, will systematically review the data required to complete a proper three-dimensional analysis; the sources of the data; the manner in which the data needs to be collected and processed; the required software; the expected accuracy level of the analysis, and how the results of the analysis can be presented to the trier of fact. This presentation will demonstrate how the video is “corrected” to  remove the curvature from the lens; how the video is camera matched within an accurate, three-dimensional environment; how objects within the video are “tracked” within the environment, and how the combination of these processes combine to create an accurate, three-dimensional environment illustrating the movements defined in the video from which speeds, spatial relationships and sight distances can be evaluated.

  • Utilizing Drones for Data Collection and Incident Analysis: Photographs, Video and the Creation of Accurate 3D Models

    Speaker: Jon Adams, Director of 3D Reality Capture

    Continuing Education Credits: 1-2 substantive

    The past few years have seen exponential growth in the adoption of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs, AKA drones) by a number of industries.  With this growing adoption, and continuing efforts to adapt legislation surrounding drone use, there has also been a correlating increase in the manner in which data captured by drones can be utilized.  This seminar will not only focus on educating attendees of the current Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) guidelines surrounding drone use, but also how the data is applied to accident reconstruction, incident analysis, insurance fraud, and historical preservation projects.  The seminar will differentiate the type of data collected by recreational usage of the drone as opposed to when the data is collected for use in the forensic world.  This seminar will allow the audience to better understand what types of data is captured by drones, and also how this data can be utilized to create accurate, to-scale 3D documentation for use in both demonstration, and analysis.

  • Ambivalent Automation: Driverless Vehicles and Real-World Collisions

    Speaker: Justin P. Schorr, Ph.D.

    Continuing Education Credits: 1-2 substantive

    Recent crashes involving vehicles while they were operating in an automated mode have brought further confusion to the already cloudy landscape of driverless cars. Overreactions and disinformation pervade the media narrative on the topic complicating matters even further. As a result, there is a need for a philosophical and physics-based framework by which automated collision events can be analyzed and understood. This presentation explores a multi-disciplinary approach in an attempt to bridge the gap between the theoretical, social, and physical aspects of automated vehicle collisions. Approaching the problem with foundations in both automated vehicle research and development, as well as physics-based collision reconstruction, provides unique opportunities for the emergence of new understandings through the marriage of the unbounded optimism and adventure of the research world with the hardened practicality of the real world.

 

 

“Education is a critical foundation for serving as an expert. Whether it’s educating the client, the judge and/or the jury, it is the expert’s responsibility to simplify potentially complex scientific scenarios so that the concepts are understandable by everyone.” -Steven Schorr, President of DJS Associates, Inc.

Over the years, our engineers at DJS have offered their expertise to help “educate” organizations and firms through complimentary informative seminars. In December of 2018, DJS Associates became an approved provider for Pennsylvania Insurance Department Continuing Education courses and an accredited provider for the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board.

“Accredited Continuing Legal Education Provider” – A corporation or association accredited by the Board in accordance with the rules and these regulations.

“Approved Instructor” – A faculty member in a CLE activity sponsored by an Accredited Continuing Legal Education Provider who possesses the necessary practical or academic skills to conduct the course effectively. An approved instructor will normally be a lawyer or judge.

DJS Associates Certificate of Accreditation

 

 

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