Case Studies

Car Racing and Multi-Vehicle Collision

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The Situation

A collision was reported at the intersection of Lawrence Avenue and Bathurst Street in Toronto, Ontario on September 15, 2018, at approximately 9:00 PM. According to the MVA report, a Honda was travelling eastbound on Lawrence Avenue and proceeded through a left turn to travel northbound on Bathurst Street when it was struck by a Lincoln, which had been travelling westbound on Lawrence Avenue in lane one. The Honda was also struck by a Mercedes-Benz, which had been travelling westbound on Lawrence Avenue in lane two. After the impact with the Honda, the Lincoln struck an Acura, which had been stopped and facing eastbound on Lawrence Avenue in the left turn lane behind a stopped Toyota. The Lincoln continued travelling westbound after the impacts, crossing the eastbound lanes of traffic on Lawrence Avenue, mounted the south curb, and came to rest after destroying a TTC bus shelter at the south sidewalk of Lawrence Avenue. The Honda was propelled some distance westbound along Lawrence Avenue after the impact, as was the Acura. The Toyota was damaged by flying debris from the impacts of the Honda, the Mercedes-Benz, and the Lincoln.

Our team was asked to determine:

  • The impact speeds of the Lincoln and the Mercedes-Benz.
  • The potential for a typical driver in the respective positions of the drivers of the Lincoln and the Mercedes-Benz to avoid the incident collision with the Honda.
  • The visibility of the Lincoln and the Mercedes-Benz drivers at the time when the driver of the Honda initiated his leftward turn.
  • The likelihood that a typical driver in the position of the driver of the Honda would have initiated the left turn.

How We Advised

Our team reconstructed the collision and conducted our analysis, which was based on the physical evidence, and we used the available research to conclude:

  • Based on our analysis and the available EDR data, the Mercedes-Benz and the Lincoln were travelling at speeds of up to approximately 140 km/h in the five seconds prior to the incident collisions.
  • A provided security camera video illustrated that the Lincoln and Mercedes-Benz were travelling near one another at high rates of speed a few seconds before the collision.
  • The Mercedes-Benz and the Lincoln impacted the Honda at a speed of approximately 100 km/h and approximately 110 km/h respectively.
  • Based on EDR data, the Honda was initially stopped with the brake pedal applied and had 0% accelerator pedal application before it initiated its left turn.
  • Based on research, a typical driver in the respective positions of the drivers of the Lincoln or the Mercedes-Benz would have required a perception-response time of 2.5 to 3.5 seconds from the moment when the Honda would have begun its lateral movement into its left turn.
  • A typical driver in the respective positions of the drivers of the Lincoln and the Mercedes-Benz would have been able to avoid the incident collisions by travelling at the posted speed limit, without any additional need to brake.
  • Based on research on gap acceptance, 100% of drivers in the position of the driver of the Honda would have elected to turn left in front of the Mercedes-Benz and the Lincoln, had they been presented with the same circumstances.
  • At the time when the Honda initiated its leftward turn, the Mercedes-Benz and the Lincoln may not have even been visible.

Key Contact

Shady Attalla, P.Eng. CFEI
Vice President
Accident Reconstruction
+1 647 558 3867
[email protected]

Related Practice Areas

> Accident Reconstruction
J.S. Held’s accident reconstruction experts deliver specialized expertise in forensic investigations, evidence collection and preservation, and scientific diagrams and animations. Our team of consultants, engineers, and PhD scientists is retained by first-party and third-party clients to provide expert witness and litigation support, from discovery to decision.

> Human Factors Analysis
J.S. Held’s forensic visualization experts specialize in the production of animations, graphics, interactive media, and virtual reality environments We deliver specialized expertise in human factors analysis to determine how individuals detect, identify, decide, and respond in varying scenarios. By applying scientific principles in the context of the environment, our experts can assess and determine the root cause and extent of damage due to human factors.

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