The objective was to evaluate the use of advanced technology for the investigation of traffic accidents. Substantial time and manpower are sometimes required to properly investigate serious vehicular crashes and document on-scene data. An alternative to the traditional coordinate method for on-scene data collection is the use of electronic total stations. This is a form of digital surveying equipment that can be used to obtain detailed measurements, with the option of plotting the stored data by computer. The study compared the use of advanced surveying technology with the traditional coordinate method. Detailed estimates of data collection activity were documented for a selected accident sample, and accident clearance times were documented for a much larger sample. The analysis indicated that the investigation of traffic accidents by using total-station surveys provides a substantial improvement over the traditional coordinate procedure. The number of measurements obtained at an accident scene increased by a factor of approximately 2 when the total-station equipment was used. The time to collect the data decreased by about 33%, and the man-hours decreased by about one-half. Computer plotting by the total-station procedure also resulted in a significant time savings. Decreased data collection time resulted in significant time and fuel savings to the driving public. Recommendations were made for continued use of the equipment and the purchase of more equipment when funds become available. In addition, policies for using the total-station equipment at all fatal and serious injury traffic accidents are recommended.


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 124-133
  • Monograph Title: Human performance and safety in highway, traffic, and ITS systems
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00713544
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Nov 13 1995 12:00AM