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Interpretation of Automotive Light Bulb Examination Results: An Intriguing Case

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During the examination of light bulbs from a vehicle involved in a road accident, the headlights did not reveal any evidence regarding whether they were energized or not. Additionally, a police officer turned the lights on after the accident to verify their functioning, thus damaging some of the evidence. By examining the vehicle, it was determined that the park lights could provide answers regarding the conditions of the headlights. After observations, it was concluded that the park lights and headlights were off at the time of the impact. This case report demonstrates how important it is to integrate the circumstances surrounding the case into the interpretation of the results. Nevertheless, it also demonstrates the necessity for examining both the vehicle and all light bulbs in order to reach the most pertinent and proper conclusion.
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Keywords: automotive accident; criminalistics; filaments; forensic sciences; light bulb; road accident reconstruction; scanning electron microscopy; tungsten oxide

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Premier Assistant, Institute of Scientific Police, School of Criminal Sciences, University of Lausanne, Switzerland

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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