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What are the basic phases of a commercial vehicle collision?


When an Erie resident is involved in a truck accident, there are likely to be many unanswered questions at first, especially regarding the nature of the crash itself. Finding out why and how a


commercial vehicle collision


happened is one of the most important elements of moving forward after a wreck.

At times, a truck accident reconstruction will aid in determining why a collision occurred. Many accident reconstruction teams will examine the various phases of a crash. Typically, there are three primary phases of an accident: pre-impact, impact and post-impact. Sometimes the impact phase is also called "engagement." Interestingly, though, not every collision has all three elements. However, carefully reviewing the elements may reveal if negligence or recklessness caused a collision.

The point of first possible perception is when a truck driver could have first observed the potentially dangerous situation. The point of actual perception is just what it sounds like: the point when the driver actually perceived the danger, such as a stopped car in front of them or a construction worker standing on the shoulder. The point of no escape is the moment when it is no longer possible to avoid a collision. In many cases, the relationship between the point of first possible perception and the point where a wreck cannot be avoided may be a key part of a personal injury suit.

The point of operator action is also crucial in determining negligence. This is the moment when the truck driver initiated some sort of action to prevent an accident. It could mean braking, steering differently, honking or other defensive driving tactics. An inattentive truck driver may perform these actions too late or not at all and consequently contribute to a damaging crash.

The point of initial engagement is where the first contact of a crash occurs. The final rest position is the spot where the truck or vehicles come to rest. Both of these can help reconstruction teams determine vehicle speed. Since speed is often a form of negligence, these points also prove revealing in a personal injury or wrongful death suit related to a truck accident.

Source: American Prosecutors Research Institute, "


Crash reconstruction basics for prosecutors


," accessed Jan. 30, 2015

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