Commercial Vehicle Accident Reconstruction

Commercial Vehicle Accident Reconstruction and Forensic Engineering

Accidents involving commercial vehicles are often associated with large financial loss and significant injuries to the occupants of other vehicles involved.  A fully loaded tractor-trailer can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds while the average passenger vehicle weighs 3,000 pounds.  This large difference in weight can result in seemingly disproportionate damages to the vehicles involved and can complicate the accident reconstruction.  Veritech engineers are highly experienced at commercial vehicle accident reconstruction involving vehicles such as buses, heavy trucks and tractor trailers.  Our licensed Professional Engineers understand the mechanical systems, braking systems and black box recording capabilities of commercial vehicles and are skilled and experienced at incorporating their unique data and evidence into our commercial vehicle accident reconstructions and analyses.  Some areas of investigation that are unique to commercial vehicles include evaluating the condition and performance of the air brake systems, analysis and interpretation of “black box” data, and the dynamics associated with articulated vehicles.

The braking systems utilized on commercial vehicles are substantially different than the systems used on passenger vehicles.  Commercial vehicles utilize air brake systems while passenger vehicles employ hydraulically actuated systems.  Air brake systems are relatively simple in their construction and have proven to be robust, reliable systems when properly maintained.  However, air brake systems are not infallible and require frequent inspection to ensure their proper operation.  Veritech Engineers have performed thousands of commercial vehicle accident reconstructions and are often called upon to evaluate the condition and operation of a vehicle’s air brake system to determine if it contributed to the accident.

“Black box” data associated with commercial vehicles involved in an accident is becoming more common and is proving to be a valuable tool for accident reconstructionists.  There are several sources for obtaining pre-crash data from a commercial vehicle; the most common source of data comes from the vehicle’s Engine Control Module (ECM).  Beginning in the late 90’s, manufacturers starting incorporating the ability to access the ECM for data analysis after an incident; currently every major manufacturer supports ECM data downloads for newly manufactured vehicles.  It important to note that the ECM recording capability was developed primarily as an aid to service and maintenance personnel and was not originally intended to be used as an accident reconstruction tool.  As such, the data recorded by each manufacturer’s ECM does not follow a standard protocol, which results in potential pitfalls and misinterpretation by inexperienced reconstructionists.  Veritech engineers understand the capabilities, limitations and pitfalls of the various manufacturers’ systems and are skilled at accurately interpreting the recorded data.  In addition to ECM data, Veritech engineers have gained valuable insight into pre-impact events by analyzing other sources of data such as GPS history and VORAD data.

Please contact Veritech engineering at 303-660-4395 to discuss your commercial vehicle accident reconstruction case and to receive a free initial consultation with honest and candid comments from one of our licensed Professional Engineers.


Veritech engineering employs experienced, licensed Professional Engineers who provide forensic engineering analysis and expert testimony for accidents involving:

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