Bicycle Collision On Municipal Trail Injures Senior Citizen


Bicycle ExpertThis case involves a cyclist who was riding on a municipal bike and pedestrian trail in Utah. The cyclist came upon a group of 15 senior citizens who were leisurely walking on the trail coming from the opposite direction. The group of senior citizens was allegedly taking up a significant portion of the trail. The cyclist was traveling at a high speed and was unable to pivot out of the way or break before colliding with one of the senior citizens. The collision caused the senior citizen to fall and suffer a broken hip and the cyclist to suffer a broken arm. An accident reconstructionist with experience reconstructing bicycle accidents was sought to review the claims of both parties.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Please explain your experience reconstructing bicycle accidents.
  • 2. What is your experience evaluating factors such as cyclists' line of sight, sight distance, width of trail, etc?
  • 3. What is your experience evaluating the conduct of cyclists?

Expert Witness Response E-169560

I am a certified accident reconstructionist and have reviewed several bicycle accidents in the past, most of which involved a bicycle and car collision. To reconstruct an accident you must obtain physical evidence of the impact location, speed that the bicycle and or car was traveling and how far the bicycle and or car traveled after impact. I have had to determine the sight distance of bicyclists many times before. This is done by investigating the scene and considering the environment that the accident occurred in, including weather conditions, elevation changes, the width of the trail, etc. AASHTO (the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials) defines what stopping sight distance is, and there is other literature that discusses sight distance and typical bicycle speeds. These publications and standards combined with an investigation of the scene would be used to opine on the sight distance of the bicyclists.

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