Accidents involving vehicles on America’s roads are sadly an everyday occurrence, and each one must be investigated thoroughly. Depending on the severity of the incident, a rigorous examination may take many hours of laborious work, involving the taking of measurements using chalk, tape measures and roller wheels, to establish vehicle positions during and after the accident. Such work can cause huge traffic blocks and as a result, many police departments across the country are now looking for alternative ways of speeding up the whole process to minimize the inconvenience to other road others, and to get quicker results for the investigation team.
Drones are fantastically useful at giving an aerial perspective in such circumstances, and a few police departments are now beginning to realise their effectiveness and have started using them in the aftermath of traffic accidents.
Why are drones so useful for the police after a road traffic accident?
The primary reason why drones are proving so much more effective in the aftermath of an accident is that the aerial imagery they can provide us with, saves the police so much time. A task that was once completed by hand, and involved a full team of staff, can now be done with just one person operating a high-powered drone.
The drones used can shoot high resolution images and videos that can be analysed by specialists afterwards, and some modern drones are equipped with new software that enables them to stitch more than one image together to form a much larger so-called map. This new software was originally designed for the purpose of making 2D and 3D maps of large land plots but has been found to be equally as effective when used by police investigators to take measurements from the images collected and stitched together by the drone in the aftermath of a collision.
A task that used to take hours to complete, can now be accomplished within a matter of minutes, and the even better news is that the crash site can be cleared quicker as a result of this, and traffic can return to normal.
Will we see more drones being used by the emergency services?
Law enforcement agencies are increasingly turning to new technology such as that provided by the drone, to assist them in various emergencies involving fire and rescue. Easy to operate and relatively cheap to purchase when compared to other options, drones are now being used by hundreds of emergency services across the country, with some of them investing thousands of dollars into hardware and training.
While unmanned aerial vehicles may not be a suitable replacement for helicopters – and while they remain unmanned, they may never be – they do however, have a very distinct and relevant role to play where the collection of data and surveillance is concerned, and
that role will only increase as technology advances and people continue to need help from emergency services.