The process of automotive traffic crash investigation and reconstruction is a process of obtaining, recording, refining and analyzing information from a crash. This data comes from a variety of sources, but overall the evidence is obtained from the vehicles, the crash scene and witnesses/drivers. To the untrained observer this data may be an unrecognizable jumble of information. A skilled investigator assembles this data and sorts it into a package of organized evidence that is ready to be scientifically evaluated. The end product is a compilation of facts and evidence that is then used to reconstruct a transportation casualty.

The investigative process of any reconstruction works back through the chain of events from the final rest positions of the units involved. This process involves a skillful and disciplined study of the evidence and application of basic science.

Not every question about an automotive crash can be answered to a reasonable degree of certainty. Some issues may remain indeterminate. The quality and quantity of information is critical to a reconstruction. The Introtech staff uses logic and facts to arrive at conclusions about automotive crashes.

Ultimately automotive crash reconstruction strives to answer key questions about a crash.

An in-depth investigation should include:

  • Position of the vehicles on the roadway at various points of time
  • Analyzing the links in the chain of events
  • Determining speed of the vehicles
  • Direction of travel
  • Crash avoidability
  • Calculating time, speed and distance relationships
  • Analyzing driver actions or inaction
  • Plotting vehicles at first contact, maximum engagement and disengagement
  • Calculation severity of collision metrics
  • Driving strategy and tactics
  • Evaluating whether traffic law violations were a factor to the cause of a crash
  • Who was driving
  • Evaluating contributing factors
  • Lines of sight and visibility factors
  • Effect of weather and road conditions
  • Effect of alcohol and other psychophysical considerations