what is a traffic expert witness blog image

Traffic Expert Witness

If you’ve ever experienced a vehicular accident, there’s a chance that you have encountered a traffic expert witness. When there’s any doubt as to the cause of an accident, police, and lawyers will often request the assistance of a traffic expert witness to lend support in reconstructing the accident, interpreting evidence, and supporting their case.  There are several factors that are at play in the case of an automotive accident, making them challenging to analyze.

 A traffic expert witness is qualified to review the three primary elements that influence an accident: 

  • the driver or drivers 
  • the vehicle or vehicles
  • the roadway itself

Within these three categories fall factors that include the reaction time of the driver, speed of the vehicle or vehicles, and the grade and friction of the roadway, and traffic expert witnesses consider each of these carefully. 

Traffic expert witnesses have the skill set necessary to interpret these influences and make a determination as to the cause of the accident.

 

What is a Traffic Expert Witness?

Traffic expert witnesses are, first and foremost, professional traffic engineers. Traffic engineers fall under the umbrella of civil engineering, which is a category of engineering that focuses on the efficient and safe movement of people, vehicles, and goods on roadways. Traffic engineers always have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in civil, mechanical, electrical, or general engineering. Oftentimes they will continue their education with a master’s or Ph.D.

Primary areas of responsibility for traffic engineers include:

  • researching the best methods for traffic flow
  • placement of sidewalks, crosswalks, bike paths, traffic signs, and traffic lights
  • the most important aspect of a traffic engineer’s role: ensuring safety on all fronts

Simply put, traffic engineers are tasked with overseeing the functional aspects of transportation systems, including their design, construction, and regulation with the goal of maintaining safety. Traffic expert witnesses are traffic engineers who are called upon to provide expert opinions on traffic safety-related issues in legal situations. Not only are traffic expert witnesses certified and licensed professional engineers, but they are usually familiar, if not seasoned, with accident reconstruction.

 

What do Traffic Expert Witnesses Do?

In cases of traffic accident litigation, qualified and experienced traffic engineers may serve as traffic expert witnesses. When any sort of traffic-related accident has occurred, it is typically followed by an investigation in which local authorities seek the cause of the accident and make a determination as to who was at fault. Traffic expert witnesses are often called upon to analyze all of the relevant data and evidence to help form a conclusion.

 

Offer Expert Guidance

As a traffic expert witness, a traffic engineer will be able to offer an expert opinion regarding the construction, design, and safety of the traffic scenario in question. Because these expert witnesses are traffic engineers, they will be knowledgeable on countless aspects of traffic safety, including highway construction and design, road and street design, and roadway planning. They can also speak to traffic signs, traffic signals, and the right of way.

 

Generate Traffic Safety Reports

Traffic expert witnesses are commonly called upon to provide their opinions in a myriad of situations, including but not limited to guard rails, traffic accidents, crash testing, and routing for detours. They may be asked to generate reports on subjects like the design, engineering, or construction of highways, and they are often called to testify on the topics of street and highway maintenance, traffic signals, traffic systems, road conditions, and transportation standards.

 

Provide Expert Testimony

During their testimony, traffic expert witnesses will be required to consider numerous factors and details. They’ll be asked to think about the multitudinous aspects of traffic safety that non-experts may not even recognize, including visibility, lighting, the dynamics of a vehicle, work zones, and construction safety, among others.

Ultimately, the goal for any traffic expert witness is to consider the construction, design, and functionality of traffic signals, signs, and roadways in order to determine the cause of a vehicle or pedestrian accident.

 

Examples of Traffic Expert Witness Cases

While no two traffic accident cases are the same, there are some common types of cases that may rely on testimony from traffic expert witnesses. The cases during which a traffic expert witness may be called include those pertaining to standard collisions, roadway design, traffic control, and traffic safety, work zone traffic control, guardrail installation, traffic signal malfunction, parking lot and street parking markings, Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations, and highway design.

 

What Instances can a Traffic Engineer Expert Help with?

Any scenario that involves litigation pertaining to traffic regulation, design, or construction may benefit from the testimony and support services of a traffic expert witness.

 

Greenlight Traffic Engineering

At Greenlight Traffic Engineering, our team of skilled, licensed, and experienced traffic engineers is prepared to provide support in traffic accident litigation scenarios. Our traffic expert witnesses can offer their expertise to help defendants and plaintiffs alike all across the United States. We’re experienced in every aspect of traffic safety, including signing, signals, lighting, pavement markings, roadway design, cyclists, pedestrians, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Our expert witnesses have served at the local, county tribal, and state levels, as well as for state Department of Transportation agencies. We provide expert witness support to our clients for research, documentation, and depositions, as well as trial support in the event of pedestrian, cycling, and vehicular safety issues. At Greenlight Traffic Engineering, we are able to clearly articulate important details of the evidence in a case to the members of the jury so that they are equipped to make informed and educated decisions.

Greenlight Traffic Engineer’s team of traffic safety experts is committed to delivering an unbiased analysis of each individual case, and we pride ourselves on our seamless communication skills. Our support in reports, testimony, and depositions has consistently played a significant role in achieving favorable resolutions for our clients.

For those searching for a credible, experienced, and knowledgeable traffic expert witness, Greenlight Traffic Engineering is prepared to deliver world-class support for a successful resolution.