Vehicle Documentation

This process can be done through the use of forensic mapping equipment (an EDM as previously defined) with which a detailed, accurate three-dimensional model is created by capturing points on the vehicle with a data collection device. Forensic mapping is particularly effective when there is extensive damage done to a vehicle, as it is a useful means by which to determine crush, which can correspond to vehicle speed. Alternately, the dimensions of a vehicle can be recorded through a series of hand measurements. Both processes involve photography in addition to the measurement procedure. The data collected by either of these processes is then used to define items such as center of gravity, front and rear overhang, track width as well as numerous other elements all of which define what the motion path of a particular vehicle would be in a collision. This information then becomes one of many key elements in performing an accident reconstruction. A simple to moderate vehicle documentation will take about four hours and requires a two-person crew. Heavily damaged vehicles will require additional time. Once the data has been collected, it is transferred from the data collection device to the computer system. These “points” of information are then refined and corrected if necessary and then transferred into a computer aided design (CAD) program in order to create a three-dimensional model of the vehicle. This model is uses in the analysis of the accident to determine the angle at which the vehicles came together and to align the vehicles with physical evidence collected at the scene.