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Brett Emison
Brett Emison
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3D Accident Scene Scanners Improve Accuracy; Save Time & Money

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New Technology Results In More Accurate Accident ReconstructionIt is critically important for precise measurements to be taken following an auto accident. A new technology is being deployed in England (and on a limited scale in the U.S.) in which law enforcement personnel use lasers to document an accident scene down to sub-millimeter accuracy. There are some obvious benefits to this technology.

First, it allows authorities to document accident scenes much more accurately than human beings can. Detailed mapping of the scene permits accident reconstruction experts to determine speeds, trajectories and forces as accurately as possible, which will provide the most accurate reconstruction evidence. This is accomplished by running up to four 360 degree scans of an accident scene and compiling all of the scans into a 3D computer model which represents vehicles locations, the location and length of tire skid marks, the topography of the road and surrounding areas and other relevant information.

Secondly, this new mapping technology allows officials to conduct the scene investigation much more quickly. It can take many hours to fully document and investigate a catastrophic accident scene which renders a road or highway partially or completely closed. Only after the lengthy documentation process is completed can the clean-up process begin. This causes traffic problems that can affect thousands of other drivers and can affect commerce as commuters are stuck in traffic jams, which costs billions of dollars per year in lost productivity.

This certainly seems like a promising technology that I hope is adopted by U.S. police agencies. The cost of the units should be far outweighed by the money they save by getting roads reopened sooner and the information the units provide will be helpful in preventing future accidents.

(c) Copyright 2011 Brett A. Emison