Lawyers & Judges Publishing Company, Inc.
Cart 0
Motorcycle Accident Reconstruction and Litigation, Fifth Edition with Hurt Report - Lawyers & Judges Publishing Company, Inc.

Motorcycle Accident Reconstruction and Litigation, Fifth Edition with Hurt Report on DVD

$ 99.00

  • Author: Kenneth S. Obenski, Paul F. Hill, Eric S. Shapiro, Jack C. Debes
  • ISBN 10: 1-933264-98-5
  • ISBN 13: 978-1-933264-9-81
  • Copyright Date Ed: February 1, 2011
  • Pages: 416
  • Binding Information: Casebound
  • Size: 8.5 ✕ 11 Inches (US)

Learn motorcycle accident reconstruction techniques from the experienced authors of this book. The special mechanics of riding a motorcycle and the way a motorcycle performs mechanically are explained in nontechnical terms. Quasi-motorcycles are compared and contrasted with standard motorcycles to acquaint the reader with their similarities and differences. Rider safety considerations and human factors issues such as conspicuity, evasive action, warning to the rider, and rider experience and training are discussed in detail. Visual perception and injury biomechanics are given extensive coverage. A wide variety of motorcycle accidents are reconstructed and explained to illustrate the most useful, successful and often specialized techniques for reconstructing these accidents.

The legal aspects of motorcycle use are thoroughly covered, including helmet laws, negligence, laws governing accidents, accidents on public and private property, trespassing, warnings, roadway defects, motorcycle defects, injury to passengers, and Dram Shop liability in DUI cases. Case examples are included for each topic. These case studies have been revised, updated and expanded to include the most recent information for this fifth edition.

This edition includes accident cause factors and identification of countermeasures, commonly known as "The Hurt Report," on DVD. This important government study has never been repeated.

This book is also available as an eBook. Click here to purchase and download:


  • Mechanical aspects of motorcycles
  • Motorcycle operations
  • Quasi-motorcycles
  • Accident investigation techniques and methods
  • Collisions with backing, parked, stalled, disabled or slow vehicles
  • Collisions with pedestrians
  • Collisions with domestic and wild animals
  • Collisions with moving vehicles
  • Collisions at intersections
  • Motorcycle and other vehicle meeting
  • Motorcycle or driver overtaking
  • Rider behavior and human factors issues
  • Motorcycle injury biomechanics
  • Visual perception and conspicuity
  • Rider protection and safety
  • Defects in public roads
  • Defects on private land
  • Warnings
  • Helmets: compulsory use
  • Helmets: negligence for not wearing
  • Product liability
  • Entrustment and supervision
  • Passengers and negligence
  • Release of liability when participating in motorcycle events
  • Negligence of servers of alcohol in motorcycle DUI cases


Table of Contents

Part I: Forensic Engineering Reconstruction of Motorcycle Accidents

Chapter 1: Understanding Motorcycles
Kenneth S. Obenski, P.E.
1.1 Definition
1.2 Steering
1.3 Countersteering
1.4 Handling
1.5 Articulated?
1.6 Brakes
1.7 Acceleration
1.8 Transmissions and Drive Lines
1.9 Engines
1.10 Tires and Wheels
1.11 Controls
1.12 Weather
1.13 Life Expectancy
1.14 Sidestands
1.15 Modifications

Chapter 2: Braking
Kenneth S. Obenski, P.E. and Eric Shapiro, A.S.E.
2.1 General Considerations
2.2 Integrated Brakes
2.3 Anti-Skid Brake System (ABS)
A. Latest Effect on Fatalities by ABS-Equipped Motorcycles
2.4 Braking on Curves
2.5 Failures

Chapter 3: Tires and Wheels
Kenneth S. Obenski, P.E. and Eric S. Shapiro, A.S.E.
3.1 General Principles
3.2 Motorcycle Tire Nomenclature
A. Tire Size
B. Load Capacity
C. Direction Arrow
D. Speed Rating
E. Tread Wear Indicator
F. DOT (or Tire Identification) Number
G. Construction
H. Forensic Usefulness
3.3 Front
3.4 Rear
3.5 New Tires
3.6 Flats
3.7 Tube versus Tubeless
3.8 Rain Grooves
3.9 Hydroplaning and Wet Traction
3.10 Wheels
3.11 Traction

Chapter 4: Highway Factors
Kenneth S. Obenski, P.E.
4.1 Pavement Marking
4.2 Blocked Visibility
4.3 Invisibility
4.4 Ruts and Expansion Joints
4.5 Rails
4.6 Edge of Pavement Steps
4.7 Grooves and Gratings
4.8 Guardrails
4.9 Posts
4.10 Debris
4.11 Steel
4.12 Gates
4.13 Animals
4.14 Animal Waste
4.15 Intersections

Chapter 5: Conspicuity
Kenneth S. Obenski, P.E.
5.1 Exhaust Pipes
5.2 Horns
5.3 Lights and Coloration
5.4 Psychology
5.5 Clothing
5.6 Riding Behavior

Chapter 6: Rider Factors
Kenneth S. Obenski, P.E.
6.1 Experience
6.2 Beginners
6.3 Maturity
6.4 Training
6.5 Drugs
6.6 Choice of Bike
6.7 Rider Behavior
A. Lane splitting
B. Curb sneaking
C. Lane sharing
D. Lane position
E. Moving up on traffic
F. Aggressively defensive
6.8 Rider Performance
A. Reaction time
B. Braking
C. Steering
6.9 Wobbles
6.10 Passengers

Chapter 7: Rider Protection
Kenneth S. Obenski, P.E.
7.1 The Best Rider Crash Protection
7.2 Helmets
7.3 Crash Bars
7.4 Eye Protection
7.5 Seat Belts!
7.6 Air Bags
7.7 Roll Bars
7.8 Weather
7.9 Clothing

Chapter 8: Wobbles and Weaves
Kenneth S. Obenski, P.E.
8.1 Types
A. Simple wheel wobble
B. Front-end wobble
C. High-speed weave
D. “Flopping”
E. Induced wobble
F. High-side
8.2 Geometry
8.3 Causes
8.4 Evidence

Chapter 9: Evasive Action
Kenneth S. Obenski, P.E.
9.1 Lay It Down
9.2 Lane Change
9.3 Leading the Target
9.4 Countersteering
9.5 Slam on the Brakes
9.6 Swerve, then Brake
9.7 Brake First, then Swerve
9.8 Brake and Swerve Simultaneously
9.9 Jumping
9.10 Pick a Soft Place to Crash

Chapter 10: Quasi-Motorcycles
Kenneth S. Obenski, P.E.
10.1 Mopeds and Motorized Bicycles
10.2 Motor-Driven Cycle (“No-Ped”)
10.3 Scooters
10.4 Minibikes
10.5 Mini Scooters
10.6 Oddball Scooters
10.7 Multi-Wheel Cycles
10.8 Trikes
10.9 ATCs
10.10 Sidecars
10.11 Trailers
10.12 Three-Wheel Cars (e.g., Morgan and Trihawk)

Chapter 11: Inquiries
Kenneth S. Obenski, P.E.
11.1 Identification of Vehicle Make and Model
11.2 Photographs
11.3 Injuries
11.4 Headlights
11.5 Perceptions
11.6 Clothing
11.7 Mechanical
A. Gearshift
B. Brakes
C. Tires
D. Sidestands
E. Modifications
11.8 Experience
11.9 How-To
11.10 Road Conditions
11.11 Witnesses
11.12 Publications
11.13 More on Photographs

Chapter 12: Methods
Kenneth S. Obenski, P.E.
12.1 Speed Estimates
12.2 Speed from Skid
12.3 Uncertainty Cuts Both Ways
12.4 Speeds from Scrapes and Gouges
12.5 Speed from Flight
12.6 Speed from Momentum
12.7 Speed from Rotation of Car
12.8 Speed from Damage
12.9 Speed from Frame Damage
12.10 Speed from Radius
12.11 Relative Speed from Tire Markings
12.12 Injuries
12.13 Speed from Acceleration

Chapter 13: Safety, or Why the Blank Do People Ride Those Blankety-Blank Things?
Kenneth S. Obenski, P.E.
13.1 The Attraction
13.2 Visceral Involvement
13.3 Comparison
13.4 Public Attitude
13.5 Dearth of Statistics
13.6 Why Not?

Chapter 14: Visual Perception and Motorcyclists’ Conspicuity
Bernard Abrams, O.D. and Leslie Weintraub, O.D.
14.1 Introduction
14.2 Accident Statistics
14.3 Conspicuity is a Significant Factor
14.4 Human Factors: How the Eyes Work
14.5 Dynamic Visual Acuity Is Related to Driving
14.6 Daytime versus Nighttime Vision
14.7 Glare
14.8 Contrast Sensitivity
14.9 Human Factors: The Brain Is in Charge
14.10 Human Factors: Response to a Crisis Takes Time
14.11 Back to Conspicuity
14.12 Studies of Conspicuity
14.13 Ways to Increase Conspicuity
14.14 Eye Protection Is Vital
14.15 Helmets from the Vision Perspective

Chapter 15: Anatomy of a Well-Managed, Well-Funded Case and Things That Happen Way Too Often
Kenneth S. Obenski, P.E.
15.1 Getting Retained
15.2 The History
15.3 Investigation
15.4 Personalities
15.5 Preparation
15.6 Deposition
15.7 Trial

Chapter 16: Motorcycle Steering Revisited (Because Not All Is As It Seems)
Eric S. Shapiro, A.S.E.
16.1 Introduction
16.2 Riding Categories
16.3 Motorcycle Steering
16.4 Conclusion

Chapter 17: Primary versus Secondary Safety
Eric S. Shapiro, A.S.E.
17.1 Introduction
17.2 Secondary Safety
17.3 The BMW C1
17.4 Primary Safety
17.5 Conclusion

Chapter 18: Motorcycle Accident Injury Biomechanics
Jack C. Debes, Ph.D.
18.1 It’s Not the Fall that Hurts; It’s the Landing!
A. Newton’s Laws applied
18.2 Soft Tissue versus Hard Tissue Injuries
18.3 Helmets and Head Injury
A. Hematomas
B. Epidural Hematoma
C. Subdural Hematoma
D. Subarachnoid Hematoma
E. Intracerebral Hematoma
F. Coup-Contra Coup Injuries
G. Linear Acceleration and the Head Impact Criteria
H. Angular Acceleration and Diffuse Axonal Injury
18.4 Helmets
A. Increase the Stopping Distance
B. The Shell
C. The Chin-Bar
D. Chin-Strap, Comfort Liner, and Face Shield
E. Orthopaedic injuries
18.5 Concluding Remarks
18.6 Acknowledgments
Suggested Further Reading

Chapter 19: Motorcycle Accident Analysis Reports
Kenneth S. Obenski, P.E. and Eric Shapiro, A.S.E


Part II: Legal Analysis

by Paul F. Hill, Esq.

Chapter 20: Introduction
20.1 Declining Accident Rate
20.2 How This Section Was Researched and Written
20.3 Purpose and Suggested Use
20.4 Preliminary Considerations in Evaluating a Case

Chapter 21: Helmets: Compulsory Use
21.1 Background
21.2 Federal Intervention
21.3 Current Helmet Laws State-by-State
21.4 Helmet Litigation State-by-State
A. Background
B. State Litigation
21.5 Concluding Comments

Chapter 22: Helmets: Negligence for Not Wearing
22.1 Background
22.2 Litigation
22.3 Concluding Thoughts

Chapter 23: Intersection Collisions
23.1 Introduction and Statutory Background
23.2 Research Methodology
23.3 Driver Turning Left in Front of Motorcycle
23.4 Motorcyclist Turning Left
23.5 Other Intersection Cases

Chapter 24: Motorcycle or Driver Overtaking
24.1 Introduction and Statutory Background
24.2 Overtaking Cases

Chapter 25: Collision with Backing, Parked, Stalled, Disabled, or Slow Vehicle
25.1 Introduction and Statutory Background
25.2 Cases

Chapter 26: Motorcycle and Other Vehicle Meeting
26.1 Introduction and Statutory Background
26.2 Cases

Chapter 27: Negligence for Obstructions to View
27.1 Introduction
27.2 Cases

Chapter 28: Defects in Public Roads
28.1 Introduction
28.2 Sand, Gravel, Fluids and Other Objects on Roadway
28.3 Bumps, Dips, Potholes, Manhole Covers
28.4 Construction Area and Design Defects
28.5 Signs, Signals and Markings: Failure to Install or Maintain
28.6 Allegations of Negligent Design
28.7 Miscellaneous Cases

Chapter 29: Defective Conditions on Private Property
29.1 Introduction
29.2 Gravel Pits, Excavations, Mounds
29.3 Motorcyclist Strikes Pedestrian or Other Motorcyclist
29.4 Railroad Property
29.5 Private Roads
29.6 Other Defects on Private Land

Chapter 30: Collision with Cable or Chain
30.1 Introduction
30.2 Cases

Chapter 31: Collision with Animal
31.1 Introduction
31.2 Collision with Wild Animal
31.3 Collision with Domestic Animal

Chapter 32: Motorcyclist in Collision with Pedestrian and Driver in Collision with Motorcyclist as Pedestrian
32.1 Introduction
32.2 Cases

Chapter 33: Negligent Entrustment or Supervision
33.1 Introduction
33.2 Court Cases

Chapter 34: Motorcycle Passenger: Imputed Negligence
34.1 Introduction
34.2 Cases

Chapter 35: Products Liability
35.1 Introduction
35.2 Cases

Chapter 36: Motorcycling Events and Releases of Liability
36.1 Introduction
36.2 Releases of Liability
36.3 Liability to Spectators

Chapter 37: Negligence of Server of Alcohol (Dram Shop Act Cases)
37.1 Introduction
37.2 Social Host Liability
37.3 Dram Shop Cases
37.4 Failure to Arrest Intoxicated Operator
37.5 Concluding Thoughts

Chapter 38: Insurance Issues
38.1 Introduction
38.2 Cases

Customer Reviews

Based on 6 reviews
Joseph E. Badger
Law & Order Magazine

An interesting new publication for reconstructionists is Kenneth Obenski's Motorcycle Accident Reconstruction: Understanding Motorcycles. This 296-page hardbound volume gives the reader the benefit of the author's 200,000 miles and 35 years' experience of riding motorcycles in all kinds of weather, on all types of roads, in all manner of traffic. The book is also a great, easy-toread primer for anyone contemplating the purchase of a motorcycleespecially those who have never ridden one before. I highly recommend this book to any weekend motorcyclist, and especially anyone who has had little riding experience. Chapter One explains steering and counter-steering, side stands, and life expectancy (the bike's, not the rider's). Chapter Two gets into brake performance, braking on curves, and gives this interesting caveat: "Remember, just because the motorcycle is capable of braking at I. I g does not mean the one (in the accident) you are reconstructing did. There are numerous studies published by 'experts' who found motorcycle maximum decelerations to be less than 0.7g. They may have been expens at something, but not at stopping a bike." There are chapters on Tires & Wheels, Highway Factors (read the part about blocked visibility before mounting your next bike), and Conspicuity. Did you ever drop a pumpkin from a height of, say, five feet? Ever drop one on the edge of a curb? Read the chapter on helmets. Then read it again. You'll enjoy reading about "laying-down" a motorcycle when the rider mistakenly believes that such a maneuver will prevent an accident. Chapter Nine explains why such; behavior makes no sense in 99.99% of all emergency situations. If a car pulls out in front of you, Obenski suggests, going straight is better because "the rider has a good chance of going over and settling for a bad road rash." This book covers such topics as Wobbles and Weaves and Quasi Motorcycles, and then gets into Methods (for doing reconstructions). The latter is an 18-page chapter covering speed estimates (from skid marks, gouges, momentum, damage, etc.). All that and we're only halfway through the book. The rest of the tome is filled with appendixes, or appendices if you prefer, covering Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (MVSS) No. 122 (Motorcycle Brake Systems), MVSS No. 123 (Motorcycle Controls and Displays), and MVSS 218 (Motorcycle Helmets). Appendix 2 is "the training aid supplied to all who take the California motorcycle test, and therefore one of the most widely circulated motorcycle training publications." Following that is a glossary that includes just about every piece of motorcycle jargon you can think of. From "ape hangers" to "goose," from "on the pipe" to "twingles." No, it doesn't include the jargon used by bad-boy bikers.

Wing World
Science & Justice, The Forensic Science Society

. . . It should be of value to anyone involved in the investigation of motorcycle accidents.

Wing World
Wing World

A must-have for your cycling library . . . the information along with Obenski's down-to-earth writing style, combine to make this book attractive to serious motorcyclists.

The Legal Investigator
The Legal Investigator

This is a book which the author has spent a lifetime researching-logging over 200,000 miles on his motorcycles, being involved as an expert in nearly two hundred motorcycle accidents. Anyone who anticipated being involved in any type of motorcycle litigation should have this book as part of their library. Do yourself a favor, if you have been involved, or if you are going to be involved, in litigation of this nature run out and buy this book. It is a steal for the price.

Society of Automobile Engineers
Society of Automobile Engineers

This book is a must for all accident reconstructionists, engineers, attorneys, and the law enforcement professionals.

Customer Reviews

Based on 6 reviews Write a review

Customer Reviews

Based on 6 reviews Write a review

Share this Product

More from this collection