Smart Phones and Accident Reporting

A picture is worth a thousand words. Photographing the accident scene assists the investigator in preserving evidence that would otherwise be lost or forgotten. To accomplish this, it is essential that certain equipment be stored on each vehicle. In years past, this consisted of a camera, accident report forms and measuring tape. Nowadays a smartphone with a mobile application that has to do with accident reports will do the job just fine. A smartphone that has the ability to take pictures, video and record audio will more than suffice for your accident reporting needs.

Most smartphones have recording software built in and that will help in capturing the details without having to write it all down. This will enable personnel to present a running account of the situation and record data quickly. It will pay for itself!

Follow the techniques below when taking photographs of the accident scene;

1. Start by constructing a diagram of the scene.
This is a working tool for you to use at a later date. It will assist you in re-constructing the accident scene using witness statements and photographs. As a minimum, the accident diagram should include:

a. Magnetic north orientation.

b. Position of each vehicle prior to and after impact.

c. Intersections, signs, lights, traffic signals, etc.

d. Impact point and skid marks.

e. Position of victims, debris, etc. after the accident.

f. Witness locations.

g. Sun location.

h. Environmental factors: Water, ice, fog, etc.

2. Begin Taking Pictures:
a. Overshoot and under-print -Take as many pictures as possible because once the scene is cleared you will lose evidence. You can decide later what to print.

b. Record the content on your Smart Phone of each photo as the picture is taken. A brief description of what you are shooting is important later.

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