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Were both vehicles moving?

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Were both vehicles moving?

Post by fernando » Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:13 am

Two cars were backing out of their parking spaces at approximately the same time as indicated by the attached diagram. The driver of Car 1 says she had come to a complete stop and was putting her car into gear when the impact occurred. Driver 2 states that both cars were moving when the impact occurred. Car 2 had no damage. From the damage seen in the photos below, is it possible to tell if car 1 was moving when the impact occurred?



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Re: Were both vehicles moving?

Post by actar670 » Wed Apr 15, 2015 7:49 am

How old is the RAV4? If it is newer than a 2006 MY, it has the capability to record pre-impact data on the airbag control module if the impact was big enough to wake up the system.
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Re: Were both vehicles moving?

Post by nelson welch » Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:23 am

Based on the angle that you have shown, about 120 degrees for the direction of heading of the vehicles, the amount of "rubbing" or "wiping" shown in the debris on Vehicle #1, the speed of impact being less than 10 mph, the impact damage to the bumper of Vehicle #1, the time of impact being about 100 milliseconds and both driver's version of events; I would say that the version of events described by Vehicle #1 is most consistent and supported by the physical evidence.
Motion or lack of motion in this case is using the earth as the relative frame of reference.
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Re: Were both vehicles moving?

Post by jbcrawford1 » Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:28 am

I would agree with Nelson. The standard is "more likely than not' and I think the version of Vehicle #1's driver is more likely than not the way it happened, for all of the reasons expressed by Nelson.
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Re: Were both vehicles moving?

Post by DPatrickRyan » Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:53 am

I'd like to see better photos so I could be certain whether that's a lateral rub or a longitudinal dent - but it looks like I'm going to take a contrarian interpretation here. It looks to me like a rear-to-forward dent, which given the reported impact orientations, could only have been caused by rearward motion of Vehicle 1. If Vehicle 1 were stationary and rubbed by Vehicle 2, I'd expect predominantly lateral scuffing and little or no forward denting. I suppose, however, Vehicle 2 could have turned somewhat more than is shown, so that its motion was more longitudinal?

Bottom line: if there's lateral scuffing, Vehicle 2 had to be moving. I don't think it's possible to completely rule out Vehicle 1 moving regardless. Depending on the appearance of the damage, it may be more likely than not that Vehicle 1 was moving.
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Re: Were both vehicles moving?

Post by Medwell » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:18 am

Let's not over estimate our abilities here, guys. If the two vehicles were on approximately parallel headings, then it would be apparent to all that no one can tell which vehicle was moving or not moving based solely upon the damage. Let's call that longitudinal damage. If all of the damage were longitudinal then we just don't know who was moving. Lateral damage, on the other hand, tells us the undamaged vehicle was moving. However, that conclusion is not helpful in this case since that driver has admitted he was moving. The extent of lateral versus longitudinal damage will depend on the actual angle between the two vehicles and on the profile in the immediate vicinity of the contact area on vehicle 2, as well as whether or not vehicle 1 was moving. Since all of these factors are unknown, there just isn't enough information to make a call either way.

That said, I am left wondering why it matters. Whether the RAV4 was moving or not it looks like it had possession of the access lane and the other vehicle backed into it. It seems to me that if the RAV4 were rotated 180 degrees and was struck in the front it wouldn't matter if it was passing by or stopped just before the other vehicle backed into it.
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Bloomberg Consulting

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