Ms. Pamela D’Addario is a senior engineer and a member of the Human Factors group in MEA Forensic’s Toronto office. Pamela investigates vehicle collisions: assessing issues such as collision severity, collision sequence, vehicle speed, avoidance potential, nighttime visibility, and driver response times. She analyses physical evidence using engineering principles and incorporates relevant scientific literature to arrive at robust conclusions.

Pamela has a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Ryerson University and a Master’s degree in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (Human Factors) from the University of Toronto. Her graduate work investigated the effects of cognitive distraction on driver perception-response time to various emergency roadway hazards.

As a human factors specialist, Pamela assesses the behavior of individuals to determine how their action, or lack of action, could have contributed to a collision or injury-causing event. This requires an understanding of the environment in which decisions were made. Frequently it is necessary to visit the accident site under similar conditions. For example, for nighttime visibility cases, Pam often measures the available lighting at the accident site, including light falling onto and reflected by objects from the driver’s view. From this data, Pam can assess the contrast and visibility of the objects. “I help our clients understand their case from a scientific perspective,” she explains.

In addition to her human factors work, Pamela is actively involved in MEA’s research relating to crash reconstruction and vehicle behavior. For example, she tested snowmobiles to find that they can accelerate at rates similar to a motorcycle, while their maximum braking rate is about half that of a passenger car. By publishing her research results, Pamela contributes to the scientific literature and advances the state of knowledge in forensic engineering. “At MEA, we place a great deal of focus on education and research,” she says.

areas of specialization

  1. Collision reconstruction
  2. Human factors
  3. Nighttime visibility
  4. Pedestrian impacts
  5. Motorcycle and recreation vehicles

expert education

  1. Master of Applied Science, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (Human Factors), University of Toronto, 2014.
  2. Bachelor of Engineer, Mechanical Engineering (With Honours), Ryerson University, 2008.

professional status

  1. Registered Professional Engineer, Professional Engineers Ontario, since 2012

professional associations

  1. Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), since 2009
  2. Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES), since 2012
  3. Illuminating Engineering Society, since 2018
  4. Canadian Association of Road Safety Professional (CARSP), since 2018

Scholarly Activities

  1. Peer Reviews for the following academic journals: International Journal of Crashworthiness
  2. Peer Reviews for the following conferences: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES), Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Annual Congress

Professional Experience

  1. MEA Forensic Engineers & Scientists
    Senior Engineer, 2008 to present

    Conducts technical investigations of motor vehicle collisions, including determining vehicle speed and avoidance potential, with specialization in cases involving human factors, nighttime visibility, pedestrians, motorcycles, snowmobiles and ATV’s.

  2. University of Toronto, Human Factors and Applied Statistics Laboratory
    Graduate Researcher, 2011 to 2014

    Undertook graduate research work investigating the effects of cognitive distraction on driver perception-response time to emergency roadway hazards using a driving simulator. Responsible for all phases of the project, including commissioning of equipment, design and development of driving scenarios, data acquisition, and statistical analysis.

  3. Honda of Canada Manufacturing, Alliston, ON
    May 2006 to August 2007

    Completed a 16-month internship position as a member of the Paint department Engineering/Equipment group. As a project leader, was responsible for the design, installation and commissioning of new equipment to the production line.

Research Activities

  1. Completed over 500 tests assessing the acceleration and braking capabilities of modern snowmobiles. Acceleration tests were performed at ¼, ½, and full throttle. Braking tests were performed under locked track conditions as well as rolldown (engine braking) with engine power ON and power OFF.
  2. Participated in crash tests designed to study the effect of vehicle offset on collision damage and to compare crush analysis methods using staged collisions. Five rear into barrier, four front into barrier, and five front into rear collision were staged using similar vehicles.

Awards

  1. The Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering (CMSE) Gold Medal Award, 2006
  2. Ryerson University JR Longstaffe Scholarship, 2006
  3. Ryerson University Faculty Excellence Award, 2006
  4. Ryerson University Faculty Excellence Award, 2005
  5. Ryerson University American Society of Material Scholarship, 2005
  6. Ryerson University Ontario Professional Engineers Foundation Scholarship, 2005

Lectures & Presentations

  1. August 2018 – Distracted Driving. CATAIR Annual General Meeting and Conference, Aylmer, ON.
  2. April 2016 – Predicting Snowmobile Speed from Visible Locked-Track and Rolldown Marks in Groomed/Packed Snow Conditions. SAE World Congress, Detroit, MI.
  3. October 2014 – EMG provides an earlier glimpse into the effects of cognitive distraction on brake motor response. Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 58th Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL.
  4. February 2014 – Human Factors Experts. Guest lecture for insurance program students. McKeil School of Business, Mohawk College, Hamilton, ON.
  5. January 2014 – Driver Perception-Response Time and the Effect of Cognitive Distraction. Invited talk for graduate course MIE 1414 (Human Factors in Transportation) University of Toronto.
  6. April 2011 – Acceleration and Braking Performance of Snowmobiles on Groomed/Packed Snow. SAE World Congress, Detroit, MI.

Training & Professional Development

  1. August 2018 – CATAIR Annual General Meeting and Conference, Aylmer, ON.
  2. February 2018 – Interactive Driver Response Research (I.DRR) User Forum, Austin, TX
  3. September 7, 2016 – Recognition: Closing Speed vs. Closing Threshold, Webinar, Crash Safety Solutions LLC.
  4. July 20, 2016 – Path intrusion and reaction time studies, Webinar, Crash Safety Solutions LLC.
  5. June 24, 2016 – Driver, rider and truck driver forward, backing and lateral acceleration, Webinar, Crash Safety Solutions LLC.
  6. April 2016 – SAE World Congress, Detroit, MI.
  7. October 2015 – Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 59th Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, CA.
  8. July 26-30, 2015 – 6th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics, Las Vegas, NV.
  9. July 6, 2015 – Building Code Overview, Ontario Society of Automotive Engineers, Mississauga, ON.
  10. October 27-31, 2014 – Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 58th Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL.
  11. September 2014 – National Association of Professional Accident Reconstruction Specialists (NAPARS), Portland, ME.
  12. July 2014 – PC Crash 10.0 Training Workshop, Toronto, ON.
  13. May 27-28, 2014 – AUTO21 Conference, Niagara Falls, ON.
  14. March 16-20, 2014 – Optics, Lighting, Visibility and Digital Photography for the Forensic Investigator, Laughlin, NV.
  15. March 14-15, 2014 – Southwestern Association of Technical Accident Investigators (SATAI) Spring Conference, Laughlin, NV.
  16. November 2013 – Psychonomic Society Annual Meeting, Toronto, ON.
  17. October 2013 – Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 57th Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA.
  18. May 22-23, 2013 – AUTO21 Conference, Toronto, ON.
  19. April 2013 – PC Crash Expert: Tractors and Trailers Online Workshop.
  20. August 2012 – Third International Symposium on Naturalistic Driving Research, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA.
  21. March 2012 – Advanced Crash Reconstruction Utilizing Human Factors Research, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.
  22. March 2012 – International Conference on Distracted Driving, Toronto, ON.
  23. April 2011 – SAE World Congress, Detroit, MI.
  24. September – October 2010 – Advanced Motorcycle Maintenance, Humber College, ON.
  25. September 27-29, 2010 – The National Crash Analysis Conference, George Washington University, Ashburn, VA.
  26. February 10, 2010 – Canadian Safety Council Snowmobile Training Course, Canadian Motorcycle Training Services, Horseshoe Resort, ON.
  27. November 16, 2009 – Canadian Safety Council ATV Training Course, Horseshoe Resort, ON.
  28. April 2009 – SAE World Congress, Detroit, MI.
  29. February 2009 – Crash Data Retrieval System Data Analyst Course, Toronto, ON.
  30. February 2009 – Crash Data Retrieval System Technician Certification Course, Toronto, ON.
  31. August 2008 – PC-Crash Expert Animations Workshop, Vancouver, BC.
  32. August 2008 – PC-Crash Essentials Workshop, Vancouver, BC.
  33. August 2003 – Motorcycle Safety Training Course, Canada Safety Council, Barrie, ON.