Getting all the details right when it comes to motor vehicle wrecks can be extremely difficult. With a lot of differing versions of the same story, it can be challenging for police investigators to know exactly what transpired.
For years, the method for capturing data to determine the facts surrounding a car accident has been closing roads down for long periods of time and taking precise measurements of the accident scene. This often includes the use of chalk marks, tape measurers, and special roller-wheel tools. Investigators also pay close attention to evidence such as skid marks to determine what happened.
As technology has further developed, a laser-scanning tool has replaced many of these other instruments to map the scene. However, the issue still stands that taking these measurements can take many hours, during which roads are often closed, and traffic affected for some time – even after lanes and roads have reopened. For roads that remain somewhat open, this presents a safety issue for emergency personnel, who are working next to speeding vehicles.
Luckily, as technology has evolved even more, police agencies are turning to drones – unmanned aerial vehicles – to take high-resolution photos. The images are then run through special software, creating 3D models that make investigators’ jobs easier.
Violating Civil Liberties?
Though investigators may be happy about this new method, not everyone is completely comfortable. Privacy and civil rights advocates ordinarily strongly oppose the use of drones for purposes of mass surveillance, such as protests and warrantless searches for criminal evidence. However, they are generally not quite as concerned with their use for purposes of car wrecks.
A senior counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union in New York explained that if strictly limited for the purpose of filming traffic accidents overhead, the union would not necessarily object. The Electronic Privacy Information Center, a D.C.-based nonprofit research group, agrees. Representatives opine that the group would not be as concerned so long as the surveillance was not also used for the purpose of collecting information about specific individuals.
Drone Use Spreading
This drone “trend” seems to be catching on quite rapidly. According to an estimate by the Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College in New York, at least 910 state and local police, fire, and emergency services agencies currently have drones; this was up 82 percent from 2016 to 2017. Not only can drones be used to take images of scenes from accidents, but also these images can then assist in gathering data for purposes of personal injury lawsuits where it may not otherwise have been accessible.
Last year, in a simulated two-car crash, it took the reconstruction team an hour and 51 minutes to collect the data with the use of a laser scanner. It took just 25 minutes using drones. These drones can also help to decrease costs associated with gathering evidence from a car wreck.
Columbia Car Accident Lawyers Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Pursue Maximum Compensation for Victims of Wrecks
If you have been seriously injured in a car accident, you deserve an attorney who has both the knowledge and the experience to protect your rights. Serving all of South Carolina, the seasoned Columbia car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. work tirelessly to achieve the best possible results for every case we handle. For a free consultation and to learn more, call 866-881-8623 or contact us online.
We assist injured accident victims and their families across the state, including those in Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.