After an accident happens, it’s necessary to conduct an investigation to determine what caused it and what needs to be done in the future to prevent further accidents. These investigations are often expensive, time consuming, and dangerous. However, drone technology is helping change that. Mapping drones will soon replace stationary total stations which will benefit us all, as drivers and as taxpayers. Here are the top 5 ways using an emergency drone is changing vehicle accident investigations.
1. Greater safety
For an accident investigation, the typical process includes having personnel at the accident scene, taking measurements while traffic is passing in nearby lanes. This is both dangerous and time-consuming. An emergency drone eliminates the need to have personnel moving about the accident scene. The operator can launch and land from a safe position near the accident, and never endanger themselves or nearby first responders.
2. Less incorrect or missing data
Accidents are real-time situations, meaning you can only gather data during that time. If your instruments malfunction or you lose data, there’s no option to go back and reshoot. With drones, you can fly over a scene, map thousands of points, and download your data to verify you have everything you need before even leaving the site. This avoids lost or incomplete data and ensures the accident is being thoroughly investigated.
3. Fewer traffic closures
It’s estimated by the U.S. Department of Transportation that accidents cost the U.S. approximately $28 billion every year due to lost time. Drones cut the time of an accident investigation down dramatically, especially for a fatal accident that requires a complete map. A drone can collect data and be on its way to the next site before a tow truck can even arrive. Plus, the drone operator is able to go to more accident scenes in one day, freeing up other law enforcement personnel to focus on other duties.
4. Greater accuracy due to no obstructions
When an accident happens and 911 is called, many personnel are called to the scene. On top of the active traffic and bystanders, this causes a very congested scene. Due to the many obstructions, collecting data from a live accident scene can be very difficult. But using drones allows you to accurately collect your data from the air quickly and efficiently.
5. Easier to prepare models
For a more complex accident scene where a stationary laser scan is required, you can combine a drone flight to provide additional points from the air and provide GPS positioning. The data from your drone will export and convert into Autocad and most other software providers. This allow for a higher quality accident model, along with greater efficiency back in the office.
If you’re interesting in learning more about using drone technology in accident investigations, check out the technology offered at RDO Integrated Controls. Our experienced staff is here to answer all of your questions.