One day in February, a vehicle crossed a paved interstate median and struck another vehicle going the opposite direction head on, killing the driver of the second vehicle. VEAR was called to the scene and we utilized our recently acquired FARO 3D Laser Scanner to capture the scene which included skid marks crossing the median along with several million other data points.
As the matter progressed, the driver of the vehicle that crossed the median claimed that a pavement seam in the concrete median caused their front tires to blow out and rendered them unable to control their vehicle immediately prior to impact. With a traditional point and shoot total station, several points would have been taken along the path of the skid mark, but not likely nearby and on opposite sides of the seam in question. Visual observation of the skid marks and median did not raise the likelihood of it causing a tire failure, but the allegation had to be addressed.
To make matters worse, shortly after the crash the median was resurfaced and a guardrail installed. Revisiting the scene was not an option. Since the scanner had blanketed the area with points, we were able to obtain elevation points on both sides of the seam. The difference in elevation turned out to be less than one inch. This information, combined with other observations at the scene allowed us to address and debunk the allegation of a road defect contributing to the crash. The matter settled before the first expert deposition.