Sintra Engineering | Resolve Matters

Western Canada's
Forensic Engineering Experts

Sintra Engineering


Vehicle accidents aren’t always straightforward.


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When it comes to collisions, there are numerous contributing factors that must be considered. In order to determine liability, you need to know the full picture, one that examines all the variables. You need to know whether speed, road conditions, visibility, or vehicle dynamics played a role in the collision. And you need to understand if human error or driver response contributed to the accident. Consideration of all these factors provides the clearest picture of what occurred in a collision and helps clients in their consideration of liability issues.

Sintra Engineering’s team of collision experts has experience with all facets of collision investigation. Our collision investigators know which questions to ask, what to look for and how to determine when a more in-depth investigation is required. Our expertise in collision reconstruction and human factor analysis is respected and utilized by clients across Western Canada. At the conclusion of our forensic investigations, our clients have the information they need to determine liability and resolve matters.

Collision reconstruction can be an essential tool in helping to determine liability. Our team of forensic engineers assess vehicle damage and other available information, and use a variety of reconstruction techniques to analyze vehicle dynamics and determine what happened prior to, during and following a collision. Reconstructions can help confirm or refute the sequence of events as described by the people involved.

Combining precise measurements of crush damage, witness statements, photographs and information gathered through vehicle inspections and scene surveys, our experts can confirm:

  • sequence of events
  • vehicle impact and pre-braking speeds
  • pre and post-collision vehicle travel paths
  • point of impact
  • collision severity
  • rest positions
  • vehicle mechanical conditions

Collision reconstruction provides valuable insight into the contributing factors behind a collision, and can help to determine liability. But although collision reconstructions can tell us what happened, they don’t always explain why the collision occurred. Our collision experts know when to take investigations further, to examine other contributing factors that offer additional insight to resolving liability. Click on the tabs above for more information on other factors that may impact liability assessments.

Isn’t “Black Box” Data Sufficient to Understand How and Why a Collision Occurred?

The term “black box” has been commonly used to refer to a vehicle’s Event Data Recorder (EDR). The EDR is a recording device found in some vehicles, which records information about a vehicle in the moments before, during, and after a crash. The type of information gathered, and its usefulness in collision reconstruction, remains a mystery for some. Here are our answers to this and other common EDR questions...

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When necessary, Sintra Engineering’s forensic engineers undertake advanced investigations that go beyond vehicle dynamics to examine additional factors that can contribute to collisions. It is common for drivers involved in a collision to claim that they didn’t notice the hazard prior to the collision. This statement can be verified by conducting a visibility study.

Visibility studies are performed when there is some question about whether a particular roadway hazard that caused or contributed to a collision was or should have been visible to the driver of the vehicle. The objective is to recreate the environment that was in place at the time of the incident and assess what should have been visible.

There are many environmental factors that can impact what drivers see and how they respond, impairing their ability to avoid impact. Sintra Engineering’s experts have conducted numerous visibility study investigations. Using proven investigative tools and techniques, we establish what the conditions were like at the time of the accident and decide if it affected the driver’s ability to identify a hazard. This information is crucial when insurers are seeking to determine liability.

Night-time Visibility Assessments

In night-time collision scenarios, two questions that are commonly asked are: what could the driver have seen, given the lighting, and when could they have seen it? We can answer those questions by conducting night-time visibility assessments.

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How a driver responds to hazards can either prevent or contribute to collisions, and may lessen or worsen the severity of impact. Human factor analysis in collision reconstruction answers the question could the driver have perceived the hazard in time to respond appropriately?

In conducting these investigations our engineers analyze and address three key questions:

  1. When did the driver become aware of the hazard?
  2. Did the driver or drivers respond appropriately?
  3. At what speed, or with what vehicle maneuvers, would the driver have avoided the collision?

This helps to determine a driver’s evasion potential, and is an essential tool in helping to determine liability in relation to litigation. There are instances in litigation where judgments have referenced perception response analysis and expert opinion on evasion potential as being influential in affecting liability settlements.

I Couldn’t Stop in Time!

This statement is often used by drivers to infer that they were unable to avoid the collision and therefore should not be held responsible. This claim can be substantiated through perception response analysis. Read more about what is involved in this process and the benefits in resolving collision liability...

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Collision Expertise

› Multiple Impact Collisions
› Articulated Vehicle

› Data Recorder Downloads
› Perception- Response

› Low Speed Collisions
› Fatal Collisions
› Rollover Collisions


› Animal Collisions
› Bicycle Collisions
› Pedestrian Collisions
› Motorcycle Collisions

› Human factor Analysis
› Visibility Assessments
› Snowmobile Collisions
› ATV Collisions

Collision Team Leaders





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