Closed Head Injury Assessment During a Tractor-Trailer Sideswipe Collision


The Plaintiff had slowed her vehicle considerably on a highway during a snowstorm with the intention of turning left. Another vehicle traveling behind her had also slowed. The driver of an approaching tractor-trailer steered to the left to avoid striking the vehicle behind the Plaintiff’s vehicle. Consequently, the tractor-trailer contacted the Plaintiff’s vehicle as it made its left turn. The Plaintiff alleged that the incident resulted in a mild traumatic brain injury (i.e. concussion).


Explico’s Steve Rundell and Megan Bland were engaged to reconstruct the sideswipe collision and to determine the forces and motions experienced by the Plaintiff during the collision. A thorough analysis of the incident was conducted utilizing the tractor-trailer’s dashboard video footage, camera matching, GPS data, staged sideswipe test results in literature, and analytical calculations based on damage to the vehicles. The results from these analyses were used to develop physics-based simulations to determine the forces and motions experienced by the Plaintiff during the incident.

Explico determined that the Plaintiff’s head accelerations during the collision were considerably less than those typically associated with concussive injury and were instead consistent with common, benign physical activities.


Explico prepared and provided a presentation for trial, but the case settled. Explico’s clients were able to use the results of the analysis and compelling visualizations to reach a favorable outcome.

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