Vehicle Accident Investigation Services

Expert Witness in Crash Analysis

Dr. August’s examination of a car accident includes a detailed analysis of those involved, their motivations, the site, and the evidence provided. He investigates collisions involving:

• Semi-Trucks & Trailers

• Air Brakes

• Transit & School Buses

• Vocational Vehicles (Dump, Cement, Garbage, etc.)

• Passenger Vehicles

• Cyclists

• Motorcycles

• Pedestrians

    Thorough Accident Investigation

    Dr. August uncovers the causal factors that see a driver’s action(s) result in a collision. In some cases, the road user that caused the crash, was not involved in the collision. A driver brakes to miss an animal crossing the road, for example. Another vehicle following too close, swerves to avoid the braking car. The swerving driver loses control, and crashes into a concrete barrier. Cause and effect require a holistic investigation, which is provided in detailed case reports (See examples here).

    Driving is a social event. The phrase coined by Dr. August to describe driving as a social event is “social driving.” When investigating a crash and determining cause, driver error is often at the forefront of the analysis. However, the combination of vehicles, road users, the road, weather, and light must be considered and measured for their individual contributions.

    Types of Vehicle Accident Investigations


    Air Brakes

    Dr. August has been an air brake driving instructor for more than a quarter century. He has authored the book entitled: “Air Brakes Explained Simply.” Dr. August’s possesses extensive expertise in investigating crashes that involve vehicles fitted with air brakes – semi-trucks and trailer, and buses carrying more than 25 passengers. In his experience with air brakes, Dr. August has found that most causes of crashes are lack of driver training and NOT a failing of the system. Owing to the many fail safes on a modern air brake system (dual air system, emergency brakes, size of air tanks, etc.), failures are due to either “brake fade” or poor maintenance of the vehicle’s brakes. 


    School and transit bus driver are held to a higher standard of care than other drivers. Special precautions are expected and taught in in PDIC courses to ensure the safety of passengers. Most important, bus drivers and other transit personnel must also facilitate the transition from passenger to pedestrian and vise-versa. Dr. August has investigated many cases to determine if a bus driver is negligent in his/her duty of care when operating a transit bus. His experience driving for Greyhound Australia, a regional bus line in that country, and his work with transit authorities provides valuable insights into the skills and abilities required by a professional driver.

    PDIC (Defensive Driver Training)

    The Professional Driver Improvement Course is defensive driving for bus and truck (CDL) drivers. Most courses are based on the Smith Space Cushion System, developed in the 1940s by Harold Smith. The defensive driving model has merit owing to its longevity. Despite this training, many CDL drivers involved in a crash fail to implement proper observation techniques and other advanced driving skills. Like passenger vehicle drivers, CDL drivers too fall victim to the myth: “I have the right-of-way.” From both the perspective of smarter defensive driving and operating a larger vehicle, CDL drivers, in fact, must give way more than others on our roads.


    Truck drivers’ jobs goes far beyond that of just driving. Hours of service (logbooks), compliance, load security, and gross vehicle & axle weights to name just a few of the tasks. For much of the 1990s, Dr. August worked as a long-haul truck driver, operating between Ontario, Canada and the lower-48 United States. His experience brings a specialized viewpoint to crash analysis. To help bus and truck drivers, he has created the “Smarter Defensive Driving” model. This model does something heretofore not done in defensive driving: it defines “social driving” and its problems. And the Smarter Defensive Driving model provides tools to deal with these challenges.

    Passenger Vehicles

    Passenger vehicle drivers have a varying degree of ability and skill. Most lack any training beyond that of driver education to get their license. Most of their driving ability is gleaned from their experience in the arena of social driving. When involved in a collision, the cause often is their false conviction in the “I have the right-of-way myth.” Most are following too close to other traffic causing them to be reactionary. In most instances their attention is divided and their reactions fail. Good space management, on the other hand, would prevent many collisions. Because if you’re not near anything as a driver, it’s less likely that you hit anything.

    Motorcycle Riders, Cyclists and Pedestrians

    At intersections, vulnerable road users (cyclists, motorcycle riders and pedestrians) are more likely to be sharing road space with vehicles. Identifying intersections, mapping road users there, and tracking them are tools to prevent traffic crashes here. Dr. August posits that many drivers collide with vulnerable road because:

    1. they fail to identify the type of intersection;
    2. they fail to map road users there;
    3. and drivers fail to track their movement.

    The above is supported by the fact that 42% of crashes occur at intersections.

    Contact Us for Free Accident Investigation Consult


    How do we retain your expert witness services?

    You can contact us here at Rick August, PhD. We will respond within 2 business days. We will have a brief discussion about your case. After sending us the case files, there will be a preliminary review of the documents. Dr. August will examine the evidence you send. Within 2 business weeks, he will contact you for a short meeting and discuss his finding and analysis of. the crash. At that meeting, we will decide together on a report and its focus.

    What is your unique perspective?

    As an expert witness, Dr. August specializes in road user behavior. He looks at the actions of road users and the motivating factors that led to the crash. When considering a case and analysing it, Dr. August examines the following factors:

    • driver(s),
    • vehicle(s),
    • road,
    • traffic,
    • light,
    • and weather.

    And not only these factors, but the combination of these factors and their variables in combination with defensive driving principles. As an expert witness, he possesses an expertise in transit buses, air brakes, and other commercial vehicles.

    How do we proceed with an examination of our legal case?

    The cost of the preliminary examination in $1,000USD. This includes approximately 4 hours of time. This time includes the examination of documents sent, and the discussion of findings in a set meeting. The meeting is arranged within 2 weeks of payment being received.

    How can I make payment?

    You can make a payment for your crash analysis online via stripe, or we can invoice you directly.

    Can you expedite an expert witness file?

    Yes. There are additional fees for expediting a crash analysis file. In many instances we can produce a report for you within 5 business days.