Using Drones to Reconstruct Crash ScenesSeptember 4, 2018
Drones have been used by state and local law enforcement and emergency response teams for everything from tracking wildfires to conducting rescue missions. Recently, a growing number of police agencies have been using drones to determine the cause of car accidents that occur across the country. Using these small unmanned aircrafts, police officers are able to collect more detailed information in a fraction of the time, compared to using traditional chalk marks, tape measurers, and roller-wheels. While some civil rights advocates oppose the use of drones for surveillance, the use of drones as a tool for collecting car accident data can be extremely effective.
Last month, an elderly woman was fatally injured in a car accident in Illinois after she hit the back of a tractor-trailer and the side of another vehicle. A drone was used to take pictures of the scene, which helped investigators reconstruct the crash. According to Chief Deputy Jeff Lower, the information provided by the drone is much more detailed than what officers on the ground could have collected. Taking detailed measurements at the crash scene can be extremely time-consuming, often resulting in lengthy road closures. When a drone is used to collect this data, it means that there is significantly less traffic caused by lane closures or entire roads being shut down.
How Drones Help Crash Investigators
Remote pilots send the drones into the air, where they are programmed to take high-resolution photographs of the scene of a car accident. These photos are then fed into a computer and run through special software that creates 3D models. This provides police officers with valuable, detailed evidence that can be used in their investigation.
Chief Lower said that it would have taken close to three hours for the crew on the ground to collect the information, whereas it took the drone only 45 minutes. In a simulated two-car crash conducted by North Carolina’s transportation department and highway patrol, it took the team on the ground close to two hours to collect the crash data. It only took the drone 25 minutes to collect the same information. This also reduces the amount of money spent on overtime for traffic investigators.
Some states require law enforcement to secure a search warrant to use drones for surveillance, or for conducting a premises search. For collecting crash data, however, most states allow the use of drones because of how time-saving and cost-effective they are. Captain Ben Worcester, from the Stafford County, Virginia Sheriff’s Office said the benefits of drones are undeniable when it comes to collecting crash scene data and protecting emergency workers and the public.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Protect the Rights of Car Accident Victims
If you have been seriously injured in a car accident, the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton are on your side. Drones can provide valuable evidence about who was responsible for causing an accident. We will review all of the crash data, including information provided by a drone, if used, and determine who is responsible for your injuries. We will protect your rights and seek the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.