Principal Consultant

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    Stephen Jowitt is a Principal Consultant in the Investigations Group at TRL specialising in road accident reconstruction matters. He gained a degree in Engineering at Bristol University in 1980 and has held a series of posts in accident investigation and product safety thereafter, principally in Vehicle and Highway related matters.

    For 6 years he was a researcher within the Accident Research Unit at Birmingham University, analysing accident and injury severity in real world road traffic accidents. He then became a partner in Strange, Strange and Gardner, Forensic Consultant Engineers and for 15 years specialised in the technical analysis of injurious events and component failures within road traffic accidents and motorsport events. He was subsequently employed by a trade association, acting as the UK representative on a number of European Standards committees, developing new test and inspection systems and writing consumer safety documents.

    He has a particular specialism in motor sport and corporate sporting events, having been a motor racing scrutineer for over 20 years, and acted as the on scene accident investigator from Club to Grands Prix level. He has investigated loss of control events and safety barrier performance in both 2 and 4 wheeled vehicle formats, including karting (indoor and outdoor), speedway, drag racing and on the Isle of Man.

    A large part of his work has been involved in assessing injury causation, including the benefits of seat belt use; Stephen has also inspected and studied protective helmets over a long period whilst acting as a motor racing scrutineer. He now acts as an expert in determining the potential for helmet loss in collisions and evaluating the protective properties of conventional helmet types. He has led research studying the factors and forces needed to cause motorcycle helmet loss in collisions and has extended his research interests and expertise into the protective qualities of cycle helmets and the different metrics used to define the potential for a variety of significant and long term head injuries. He is currently researching how head shape can affect helmet performance, utilising 3D scanning and printing to model different head shapes and subsequent helmet fit.

    Stephen is a member of the Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation, the Institute of Traffic Accident Investigators and the Institute of Engineering and Technology. He routinely prepares written reports for disclosure, attended meetings of experts and has presented oral evidence in Coroners’, Magistrates’, Crown, County and High Courts in both Civil and Criminal cases.

    Notable recent publications:

    2017 What can we expect of cycle helmets? Benefits and deficiencies Proceedings of the 12th International Conference of the Institute of Traffic Accident Investigators

    2017 Analysis of the real world protection offered by cycle helmets Journal of Personal Injury Law (Jan ’17)

    2014 Helmet Retention Report TRL PPR689

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