Pedestrian Accident Reconstruction

Pedestrian collisions have a wide range of causes and can be particularly difficult to reconstruct. Ensuring that the correct evidence is recorded and proper testing is conducted is critical to your case.

One Sided Collisions

When a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle the results are often tragic. Even low speed pedestrian collisions can lead to life altering or ending injuries. There are several unique factors that need to be investigated specifically in a pedestrian collision. Does the design of the roadway play a significant role in the causation of the collision? Do conspicuity, illumination, perception, and other human related factors contribute? Have there been other similar collisions at the same location?

To add to an already challenging situation, pedestrian collisions cannot be reconstructed the way other vehicle collisions are. After all, pedestrians are not simply ‘smaller, lighter vehicles’ that can be placed in a model or simulation. Some of the most important concepts in determining auto v. auto impact severity, such as delta-v, are far less useful in pedestrian collisions.

Crash Data Records

Unlike vehicle collisions, pedestrian collisions typically don't end up triggering an event to be recorded when they are struck. This is due largely to the fact that pedestrians don't have the mass and momentum that vehicles do. Without detailed and accurate data concerning vehicle speeds, braking, and timing, a different approach is needed when reconstructing these accidents.


Sadly, pedestrians are often struck by vehicles in places where they are supposed to be safe. In these situations, the root cause is the expectations of each party being different at the time of the pedestrian crossing. When both parties believe they can safely proceed, conflict occurs.

Causes for pedestrian collisions in crosswalks vary but can include: failure to properly close a crosswalk/roadway, external factors distracting drivers, lack of signage, and blind corners.

Pedal Misapplication and Storefront Crashes

A growing concern in the accident reconstruction community is the trend of vehicle collisions with unguarded pedestrian areas. Storefronts, pedestrian walkways, farmers markets, and poorly designed parking lots often allow for the possibility of a rogue vehicle 

These types of collisions are widely called ‘pedal misapplication’ incidents. Despite first impressions, pedal misapplications occur with alarming frequency. The storefront safety council has collected and independently verified data for the since the early 2000’s and has concluded that such incidents occur over 100 times each day in the united states alone.

Roadway Design Related Issues

Sometimes a crosswalk, roadway, or parking has inherent latent flaws. Improper signage, bad lines of sight, low lighting levels, and poor traffic calming measures can lead to situations where pedestrians and drivers through no fault of their own are forced into conflict. In these situations, determining liability can be a difficult task.

Some important factors to consider in these cases are: traffic volumes, pedestrian facilities, roadway closures, history of similar accidents, and a lack of appropriate signage.

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