I would guess the 'fault' here is taken directly from police reports.
The point was, in the context of the ridiculous slant of the crash report linked above, that the driver's cockenbull story of being the innocent victim is pretty much always going to be taken as the last word when the cyclist is not able to give their side.
Lisa Curcio said:
Perhaps people with police training could help answer the question as to what they are taught, but, ultimately, "fault" is something that is determined by a judge or jury after hearing all of the available evidence. Police officers are seldom eyewitnesses.
Thank you, Anne, for the insight!
For everyone's information, the Illinois crash data that you constantly see my cite and list, and that I use on Grid Chicago, doesn't have fault information. It also lacks crash descriptions (no narrative telling how the crash may have happened). It does have up to two "contributing causes" but I also place little faith in these data; an enormous portion of the crash records have "unknown" or "not applicable" as a cause.
Anne Alt said:
Police officers .... Very few of them are trained in accident reconstruction--even at the Major Accident Investigation level.
It's unfortunate that so many police reports are still so bad. My CPD source feels that some of our suburban departments do a much better job with this.
My experience with suburban crash reports is limited, but from that limited slice, I've been impressed with the work done by Evanston and Skokie police. However, I have no idea whether those reports were representative of overall quality work by those departments, or at the exceptional end of the scale. One thing I *WILL* give them credit for is legibility. It's wonderful to see reports printed by a computer that are actually LEGIBLE, instead of having to decipher someone's semi-legible scrawl (CPD reports).
Lisa Curcio said:
Thanks, Anne. It has been a number of years since I regularly dealt with crash reports and police officers. I don't think they had the black box capability at the time I last did. And not all MAIS officers were trained in accident reconstruction at the time, either. Your source confirms the credibility of the average police crash report, however. And your experience with crash reports is current while mine is dated!