A post to Linkedin CASE STUDY: Eyewitness Reliability Related to Signal Light Status
Included some important points to consider when considering the reliability of witness accounts of a crash.
Main point is as crash reconstructionists we need to consider all the physical evidence first and foremost since many times eyewitness testimony can have issues.
Below is a dashcam video of the crash from the Tesla (we may post up a simulation of the crash in the near future, stay tuned!)
Technology is fantastic: the video above was from a 2019 Telsa Model SD (the crossing car was a 2004 Volkswagen Passat)
Below i compare an image from that video just before impact with Google Maps picture from the approximate same spot (and note cameras have not been checked or calibrated and position on road different, this is a first look)
However this is Amazing technology we have at our fingertips in an instant!
AND given that the police initially believing an eyewitness:
- From Police Report:
- "Unit 1 failed to stop at the red light causing an accident. Witness Gateley stated he was standing on the SE corner of the intersection and saw approximatley 5 or 6 cars traveling southbound through the intersection prior to the collision and unit 1 had a red light...Unit 1 was established to be the at fault driver"
Luckily having the "eyewitness video" from the Tesla dashcam made sure the inaccurate eyewitness testimony did not prevail. We currently have these other McHenry Forum topics related to EyeWitness Memory:
- 2009/2010 How accurate is eyewitness memory
- 2010/2011 How Accurate is EyeWitness Memory, Part 2
- 2012 Landmark Decision on EyeWitness Testimony
- 2012 NJ Court Eyewitness Testimony Reliability Instructions
- 2019 Eyewitness Testimony 2019