Vehicle Examination Consultant
Phil Balderstone is a Vehicle Examination Consultant with the Investigations Group at TRL, providing consultancy advice and specialising in the technical and practical aspects of vehicles. His role at TRL involves providing consultancy advice in relation to vehicle technology, as well as attending road traffic accident scenes and undertaking vehicle examinations on all vehicle types.
Phil has investigated collisions involving passenger carrying vehicles, large goods vehicles, cars, motorcycles and bicycles, as well as specialist plant and mechanical handling equipment. He has further experience in the identification of vehicles and their component parts, in relation to the investigation of criminal matters as well as identifying fraudulent activity. He is highly experienced in the interpretation of mechanical defects in terms of how they affect dynamic factors such as vehicle stability, and how much awareness a driver would have of these.
Phil was a Police Forensic Vehicle Examiner for 15 years and has comprehensive mechanical knowledge, having been within the motor industry since 1986. He has completed considerable training and holds City & Guilds qualifications in Police Vehicle Examination and has completed the Michelin Tyre Technology course. He has knowledge relating to all aspects of the military fleet including armoured and road going vehicles, gained during his Ministry of Defence Apprenticeship with the REME. He also holds BTEC qualifications in Motor Vehicle Technology at ONC and HNC level and has completed technical courses in relation to all elements of vehicle technology.
He is experienced and conversant with the use of OEM and generic diagnostic equipment and is certified to collect and interpret data from Event Data Recorders, as well as in-vehicle infotainment and telematics systems using Berla iVe. Phil is trained in the use of the FARO Reality software suite and is authorised to drive most categories of vehicle, including motorcycle, rigid and large goods vehicles.
He is an experienced expert witness and has prepared written expert reports for the Court, and has presented oral evidence at all levels of the judiciary, including the Fatal Accident Inquiry involving the Glasgow bin lorry.
Notable recent casework and research:
2016 Studies to demonstrate the benefits of manufacturer Event Data Recorder (EDR) downloads and CAN bus data for claims mitigation
These research studies were carried out for an insurer client to test the capabilities of EDR download and CAN bus interrogation tools, and assess the content & quality of the results obtained
2015 Fatal Accident Inquiry: Glasgow bin lorry crash
Phil’s reports and expert witness testimony at the FAI held at Glasgow Sheriff Court were widely reported upon across the press, in relation to the vehicle braking systems and potential crash mitigation solutions