Encyclopedia

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Accident Reconstruction

Accident Reconstruction diagrams are visual recreations of a vehicle accident which has occurred. They normally depict the accident and the surrounding area, as well as the vehicles and people involved and the location of each at the time based on eyewitness reports and physical evidence. They can be pictorial diagrams, 3D images, or even animated representations. In any case, Accident Reconstruction diagrams assist in the imagination of exactly what occurred in a vehicular accident through the use of symbols and pictures.

Accident Reconstruction Diagram
Typical Uses

When discussing an accident after it has occurred, an Accident Reconstruction diagram can be used to express a viewpoint of the accident as an aid in describing what happened. It may be a key factor in court or insurance decisions and can be used as support for any person involved.

Best Practices
  • Gather information. The accuracy of the diagram will increase as more information about the accident is used. Ask witnesses and those involved to describe what they saw, collect facts from police reports, and if possible, analyze the scene immediately following the accident. If the scene cannot be analyzed immediately after, it may still be useful to return to the site in order to take note of its state; there may have been foliage blocking a driver's view or relevant signs.
  • Draw conclusions. Because the accident is occurred in the past, some estimations must be made. Based on the information obtained, try to determine the location of all the cars and people involved in the accident and where they were going.
  • Set the scene. Use graphics and labels to recreate the surrounding area of the accident, including stoplights, streets, signs, buildings, crosswalks, etc.
  • Add people. Add any people present at the time of the accident whether they were directly involved or not. It is important to know everything that was present at the time.
  • Add vehicles. Again, add all the vehicles that were present at the time. Also use arrows, lines, and angles to depict the exact movement of the vehicles during the accident.
  • Verify accuracy. Share the diagram with others to make certain that the diagram is accurate and credible. Make any corrections needed.

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