If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you know that there are a lot of things to work through. The investigation process can take some time, even if it’s a Traffic Signal Accident Investigation. Here are some of the processes that occur during a car accident investigation.
The scene of the accident is examined by first responders and then investigators arrive on the site. A police officer or even an insurance representative may be charged with surveying what happened before writing out a report. When any driver or their passengers are injured, there will also be paramedics — emergency medical technicians who will have assessed the situation and will write out a report of their work before transport.
The police investigators may already have looked at skid marks in the road, and also take measurements to determine which vehicle was at fault for the crash. They’ll go through any photographs taken by witnesses and then take statements from drivers, passengers, and any witnesses who come forward.
If alcohol seems to be a factor, they’ll test a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC); if drugs are suspected, the police may order a Urinalysis screening. If any passengers were injured in a crash or died as a result of the collision, then the police or medical examiner will try to trace the next of kin and inform them about what happened.
Laws on what police officers can write in their official report varies from state-to-state, but it is usually very detailed and a full narrative of all events leading up to the crash will be given. If the driver was just “following too close” or “swerved to avoid a deer”, the details will be included, and any facts that might help make sense of the incident may also be reported.