Distracted driver collides with stationary construction equipment

This accident occurred in the midwest, and involved a 1994 Dodge Intrepid that crashed into a cement belt placer. It was determined that the machine was placed in an area that did not need to be traveled to by the driver to continue on his anticipated route. An aerial view of the accident area, taken before the construction project was started, was used in conjunction with photos taken at the time of the accident to show the location of the machine and the normal path of travel that did not involve the area of the machine.

The speed was reconstructed, using the crush of the vehicle and it movement from impact to rest, and determined to be in the 50’s (mph) at a point where the speed needed to be reduced to the 20’s to make a turn to the left, leave the pavement and continue over the railroad track. The conclusion was that there was going to be an accident anyway. Even if the machine was not there, the driver would have continued head-long into the 5 foot deep borrow ditch beyond the machine with potentially more serious consequences. A 3D model of the machine was constructed for use in the reconstruction of the accident. It is shown on the aerial photo with the vehicle positioned at its impact and rest positions.

To illustrate the visibility of the machine to the driver, a scientifically accurate image of the machine was superimposed in a drive-through video taken after the construction project was completed. The video was created using a computer program called After Effects. The image combined the dimensions of the machine from the manufacturer with photos taken at the time of the accident.

Original video frame.
Video frame with belt placer.