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Security in Bars and the Forseeability of Assaults

February 2023 • Source: Exigent

As the hospitality industry emerges from the COVID-19 shutdown, it once again will be faced with the issue of dealing with the foreseeability of crime, most notably assaults, inside and outside alcohol-service establishments.

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Motorcycle Safety and Advanced Rider Assistance Systems (ARAS)

February 2023 • Sources:

  • Chason J. Coelho, Ph.D., CSP, CFI, Senior Managing Scientist, Human Factors, Exponent
  • Jordan D. Bailey, Ph.D., BCBA, Scientist, Human Factors, Exponent
  • Todd A. Frank, P.E., Senior Managing Engineer, Vehicle Engineering, Exponent
  • Iiona D. Scully, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Human Factors, Exponent
  • David M. Cades, Ph.D., Principal Scientist, Human Factors, Exponent


Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), such as adaptive cruise control (ACC), automatic emergency braking (AEB), and blind-spot monitoring (BSM) for passenger vehicles are becoming ubiquitous, with some features being standard on vehicles.1 The same has not been true for motorcycles. However, analogous advanced rider assistance systems (ARAS) have been introduced, and the ARAS market is expected to grow significantly in the coming years.2 ARAS are equipment that support and assist the motorcycle operator and may also reduce stress and strain; ARAS are intended as means of supporting accident mitigation and may help reduce harmful energy involved during pre-crash phases.3 Questions of interest for the current article are: why might there be a lag in ARAS implementation, and what implications might the answers have for incident examinations and claims?

Passenger Vehicles and Motorcycles

To address these questions, it helps to first acknowledge pertinent differences between passenger vehicles and motorcycles. Passenger vehicles are typically manufactured with passenger restraint systems, whereas most motorcycles are not. Most passenger vehicles are steered by a driver using a steering wheel, whereas motorcycles achieve maneuvering through a combination of counter-steering and a rider and motorcycle leaning in intended directions of travel, especially at higher speeds. Motorcycles tend to have more pronounced movements of pitch (forward/backward), roll (lean left/right), and yaw (clockwise/counterclockwise) than passenger vehicles.4 The body of a rider is also typically more involved in achieving these vehicle dynamics.5 Though not exhaustive, these observations highlight some engineering and human factors differences that may present challenges for the implementation of ARAS.

Engineering and Human Factors Challenges

A notable engineering challenge concerns radar-based detection of objects on the road. Greater dynamic pitch, roll, and yaw movements can constrain radar projections, and the effectiveness of radar can be reduced when the motorcycle is leaned and during other riding phases due to vibrations.6,7 For these reasons and others, ARAS implementation by motorcycle manufacturers, at this point, has been limited mainly to ACC and BSM.8 It should be noted, however, that development of helmet-based ARAS technologies has made significant progress; the main goals of these “smart helmet” features are to provide riders with blind spot, rear, and front collision indications via head-up visual displays and/or auditory alerts.

1 Akamatsu et al., 2013; IIHS, 2016
2 The acronym “ARAS” includes the term “rider,” but this article uses the term “operator” to refer to an individual actively operating a motorcycle as opposed to riding as a passenger.
3 Kuschefski et al., 2010

Given the interest in advanced motorcycle safety technologies, a more in-depth review of human factors challenges for ARAS has recently been provided.9 One general issue is that ARAS may produce unique or unexpected riding situations that may impact rider performance.10 As Coelho et al. (in press) point out, riders keep themselves aboard, at least in part, by grasping the handlebars, bracing the motorcycle with their legs, and keeping their center of mass in the appropriate position. Combined with the fact that there are usually no passenger restraints, these observations mean that abrupt unexpected changes in the orientation and/or dynamics of the motorcycle, such as through application of motorcycle AEB, could result in control problems, rider separation from the motorcycle, or both. Thus, pertinent issues include the degrees to which the ARAS technology can predict and/or detect the state of the rider and the degrees to which the rider can predict and/or detect and respond to the assistive actions on the motorcycle.

Other more specific scientific issues involved with ARAS include operator acceptability, trust, attention, warnings perception, and learning. One promising feature concerns the ratio of sight distance (i.e., how far away the operator is looking along the path of travel) to stopping distance (i.e., operator perception-reaction time plus braking distance). This ratio has been identified as a critical variable for motorcycle operator safety because operators can override their sight distance, especially when attention drifts.11 When attention drifts, operators may not attend to upcoming curves or hazards in front of them. ARAS such as CW systems may help bring attention back to the task, and CW systems have been shown to help some operators adapt to curves earlier than other riders.12 ARAS holds promise for not only alerting operators to such overriding in the moment but also for helping them better understand and predict the limitations of their vehicles and of themselves. Indeed, the potential for ARAS to assist the operator in on-road hazard detection and reduction of instances of sight-distance overriding is an exciting advance in assistive motorcycle technologies. A likely path for this advance, at least initially, is through effective multimodal ARAS warnings; this suggestion is supported by evidence that such warnings may be helpful in car and motorcycle assistive technology contexts.13

Implications for Examinations and Claims

With the proliferation of ADAS there has been an increase in claims and lawsuits alleging either that unequipped vehicles should have been or that vehicles equipped with ADAS should have performed differently. There have also been allegations that aspects of the human interaction with ADAS technology may have contributed to the incident. Allegations can center on false or unintentional activation of ADAS features and on problems with a driver responding to signals from the technology. Areas of inquiry in these matters are often whether and how the system provided assistance when the driver did not intend or expect it to and whether and how the system became engaged or disengaged with or without the driver noticing. Other questions involve whether a manufacturer should have provided ADAS that functioned in a specific way or with specific warning or intervention timing or how ADAS indications are presented in terms of sensory modality, such as through vision, audition, or touch, and in terms of physical characteristics, such as frequency, duration, and intensity.

9 Coelho et al., in press
10 Diederichs et al., 2020
11 Smith et al., 2013
12 Huth et al., 2012
13 e.g., Savino et al., 2020; Valtolina et al., 2011

There is no reason to believe that this situation will be any different in ARAS-related incidents. And there may well be important nuances of assistive technologies for motorcycle operators that render the above complaints unique. For instance, more pronounced vehicle dynamics of motorcycles combined with more extensive involvement of the rider in those dynamics may have implications for allegations that an ARAS feature presented a challenging transition from a situation where the assistive system was operating to one where a rider may have needed to respond. Addressing this issue will undoubtedly require additional complex analyses of human performance and vehicle dynamics issues, such as rider attention to the state of the motorcycle and perceptual-motor controllability, as well as whether and how the ARAS is capable of monitoring or predicting the state of the rider and of the vehicle at the same time.
The relatively small number of ARAS-equipped motorcycles may make allegations related to standards of care unlikely in the short term, but it is reasonable to expect the frequency of these questions to increase rapidly as research, development, and adoption of ARAS become more widespread, and as evaluative test criteria and standards are further developed. Similarly, the available ARAS features are currently limited, but as the number of features grows and the levels of rider assistance from those features increase, allegations pertaining to human performance capabilities and limitations, and other human factors issues, could be expected to increase commensurately. The same should apply to the indications and feedback the ARAS present to the rider, which may be made more complex due to issues such as limited dash and instrumentation real estate to present visual feedback and challenges of rendering auditory and tactile information to a rider who is more exposed to other environmental stimuli than the driver of a typical passenger car.14

Closing Remarks

In conclusion, there seems to be an emerging consensus that widespread implementation and adoption of ARAS is not a matter of “if” but a matter of “when.” Moreover, the engineering and scientific questions will likely be similar to some of the ADAS-related questions that have arisen, but will also likely be somewhat novel due to unique characteristics of motorcycling. The unique issues of ARAS incident examination will certainly call for thorough understandings of human-machine interaction and motorcycle vehicle dynamics.

14 Kuschefski et al., 2010; Pieve et al., 2009


Akamatsu, M., Green, P., & Bengler, K. (2013). Automotive technology and human factors research: Past, present, and future. International Journal of Vehicular Technology, 1-28.

Coelho, C. J., Garets, S. B., Bailey, J. D., Frank, T. A., Scully, I. D., & Cades, D. M. (in press). Human factors issues of advanced rider assistance systems. 14th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics, San Francisco, CA, United States.

Diederichs, F., Knauss, A., Wilbrink, M., Lilis, Y., Chrysochoou, E., Anund, A., Bekiaris, E., Nikolaou, S., Finér, S., Zanovello, L., Maroudis, P., Krupenia, S., Absér, A., Dimokas, N., Apoy, C., Karlsson, J., Larsson, A., Zidianakis, E., Efa, A., … Bischoff, S. (2020). Adaptive transitions for automation in cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles. IET Intelligent Transport Systems, 14(8), 889–899.

Huth, V., Biral, F., Martín, Ó., & Lot, R., 2012. Comparison of two warning concepts of an intelligent Curve Warning system for motorcyclists in a simulator study. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 44(1), 118-125.

Kuschefski, A., Haasper, M., & Vallese, A. (2009). Advanced rider assistance systems for powered two-wheelers (ARAS-PTW).

Pieve, M., Tesauri, F., & Spadoni, A. (2009, May). Mitigation accident risk in powered two wheelers domain: Improving effectiveness of human machine interface collision avoidance system in two wheelers. In 2009 2nd Conference on Human System Interactions (pp. 603-607). IEEE.

Smith, T., Garets, S., & Cicchino, J. (2013). The effect of sight distance training on the visual scanning of motorcycle riders: A preliminary look. (Report No. DOT HS 811 689). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.



Eric Clark Begins His Term as President of Oklahoma's Premier Civil Defense Attorney Group

January 2023   Source: Rhodes, Hieronymus, Jones, Tucker & Gable, PLLC

Rhodes, Hieronymus, Jones, Tucker & Gable, PLLC is pleased to announce that Eric Clark will be the President of the Oklahoma Association of Defense Counsel (OADC) for the years 2023-2024.  Started almost sixty years ago, OADC is composed of Oklahoma attorneys who devote a substantial amount of their professional time to the handling of litigated civil cases for the defense.  Eric has served on the Executive Board for the past seven years in various roles, including as the Chair of the Sponsorship Committee for three years and as the Secretary and Vice President.  Eric’s leadership has focused on the professional development of young lawyers interested in insurance defense. He recently created and planned a new conference for the education and development of young civil defense lawyers. Through the efforts of his Committee, enough money was raised to fund the attendance of all who wished to go. The two-day conference was held at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tulsa.


A look back on Innovative Construction Trends in 2022

Frank Griffin, PE Texas Principal Engineer, Construction; Envista Forensics
Donna Friis, PE Construction Practice Leader; Envista Forensics

Modular Construction, Mass Timber, and 3D Printed Construction have all been around for at least ten years; but, their market share is expanding at a faster rate than ever before. These building methods and materials have already affected the construction sector, and undoubtedly will have an even larger impact on construction in the years to come. The forecast of such construction technologies, materials, and methods is catching on for a variety of reasons, given the economic state of the globe, sustainability initiatives, the shortage of qualified and skilled labor, as well as supply chain issues globally.

Modular construction technically dates back to England in the 1600s and were also employed through the California Gold Rush. Efficiency was greatly increased with modular construction and this appeal still remains today. Times have changed since modular construction was first introduced, with proponents of modular construction touting reduced project costs, accelerated schedules, consistency, and sustainability. With the global push towards more resilient and sustainable construction, coupled with the emerging supply chain issues, modular construction is gaining traction.

Cross-laminated timber (CLT) was first introduced in the early 1990s in Austria and Germany. The engineered timber has been slow to gain wider adoption and use, but recently has seen a significant increase in the construction industry. Experts have predicted the number of mass timber buildings to be completed will continue to rise, with over 24,000 estimated in 2034. In support of the widespread adoption of mass timber, the International Building Code (IBC) expanded its building code provisions in its 2021 release. This is a significant step in expanding mass timber’s influence on the construction industry.

Full scale buildings were completed around 2006 but these prototypes and one-off attempts to 3D print structures (of all sorts) were not quite a true construction methodology. The world’s first 3D printed neighborhood began in Tabasco, Mexico in 2019, with the first “net zero energy” neighborhood started in Southern California in 2021. Lennar and Icon Technologies have partnered to build a 100-home community in Austin, Texas. The global 3D printing market is expected to grow at a 87.3% compound annual growth rate of 87.3 from 2022 to 2031. It is clear that these three construction technologies have already started to make their impact on the construction industry. So how far into the future do we need to go to feel their impact in insurance claims and litigation?

Resource Links:


Situational Awareness: There is More to Fire Scene Safety Beyond NFPA 921

Source: David Harlow, Principal Consultant, Fire and Explosion, Envista Forensics

Whether you are an insurance adjuster or fire investigator, when out on a loss site, such as a fire scene, it is important to always be aware of your surroundings and maintain situational awareness, the conscious knowledge of the immediate environment and the events that are occurring in it. Situation awareness involves the perception of the elements in the environment, comprehension of what they mean and how they relate to one another, and how you may need to act or react, but more than that, situational awareness is about always keeping yourself and your peers safe through mental preparation. 

Situational awareness can be understood as a collection of skills needed to set limits in circumstances that may make us uncomfortable or are possibly even dangerous. It is an awareness of the environment and a basic understanding of how to avoid potentially dangerous situations. When we have a good understanding of situational awareness and we know our mental abilities to survey and understand our surroundings, we gain self-esteem and confidence to trust our instincts.

Staying Safe On-site, After A Fire

In both the public and private sectors, new generations of insurance claims adjusters and investigators are entering the workforce, and as they enter, they are faced with new risks; risks with today’s technology, with public safety, and with issues such as climate change, as well as the ongoing impacts of a global pandemic.  Amid all these risks, safety when on a loss investigation remains a paramount concern.

In the second edition of the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI) Health and Safety Committee’s manual, Fire Investigator Health and Safety Best Practices, published in May of 2020, there are no recommendations or guidelines as to how fire investigators need to have situational awareness and maintain control of the area where they're working during uncertain circumstances.  Additionally, both past and current editions of the NFPA 921 have a chapter dedicated to scene safety, but has very little information addressing potential health and safety events that may occur after the loss, when the site is being investigated.

Whether you have been a part of fire scene investigations for 30 years or three weeks, the tips below are essential to comprehend and utilize for maintaining situational awareness and keeping yourself and others safe on loss sites.

When possible, attend site inspections with others. This may mean other adjusters, investigators, or law enforcement professionals. Keep in mind that anytime you go into a new area, you may be seen as suspicious or a threat, so traveling with others is a good rule of thumb.

  • Clearly identify yourself by wearing company-labeled Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and providing clearly identifiable signage in your vehicle so that people know why you're there.
  • Take the time to introduce yourself to neighboring businesses and/or individuals, letting them know that you are conducting an investigation in the area. This is also a good time to ask if they have any information, photos, or videos on the fire.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and immediate environment.
  • Just as you should when entering an unfamiliar building or structure, determine the entry and exit points.

Remember the job you’ve been hired to do. These can be stressful situations, but your ability to remain focused on the job at hand will enable you to conduct your investigation safely and effectively.

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