What are the elements of traffic accidents

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Accident recording


In the specialist modules, there is (only) a Radio patrol car crew with the appropriate command and control equipment (FEM) are available. In the course of the traffic accident record, the crew has to deal with an objective and a subjective part. This distinction is made primarily with a view to the test. In practice, such a strict separation is usually not common.

The tasks in the objective part received:

1. Protection

(...) that necessary road closures are made as briefly as possible and spatially as little as possible.
If the accident situation permits, traffic must be guided past the scene of the accident. (...)

Accident sites are to be secured, among other things, to avoid secondary accidents. Nevertheless, it must be ensured that necessary road closures are made as briefly as possible and spatially as little as possible. If the accident situation permits, traffic must be guided past the scene of the accident.1

Depending on the scene of the accident, the available FEM quickly reach the limits of comprehensive protection. Since there are no support staff available, compromises often have to be made.

Management and operational resources

In the training courses at the LAFP Police NRW, the following command and control equipment (FEM) are available for protection:
(In the following the technical terms of the FEM are given and not the registered trademarks of some manufacturers)

Traffic cones
Warning light
Folding sign
Radio strike
window cart

In addition, the following FEMs are available to make the officers more recognizable:

Safety vest
Signal jacket
Service cap
Stop bar
(is available, but is usually not used because active traffic control is not necessary)

construction
Securing an accident site is always a "new" decision on a case-by-case basis! The principles of how the individual FEM can be used must have been internalized.
Even the journey should be made dependent on these principles, since the radio patrol car is of crucial importance due to a very limited number of barrier elements.

Elements of protection:

Warning devices can be used as a makeshift or in addition to shut-off devices (Appendix 4 to Section 43 III StVO). you can shut-off devices however do not replace. They serve for early or conspicuous warning (...)

Folding sign
The folding signal is a so-called (pre-) warning device. It serves as an early and conspicuous warning in front of the control point. It cannot replace the cordoning off or identification of the control location. It is therefore to be used in addition to the barrier and therefore not as part of the same.1

The question of how far away the folding sign should be in front of the actual accident site is a decision on a case-by-case basis. The road traffic regulations (StVO) and RSA 95 serve as a guide here.

According to § 15 StVO, the broken down road user has to set up a pre-protection (here: warning triangle) to the actual danger point (here: car) in fast traffic.
Table B-1 RSA 95 Part B provides a distance of 50-70m for a two-lane road in urban areas. If the speed is reduced (30 km / h) a distance of 30-50m is sufficient.

On the basis of these provisions, the draftsman is of the opinion that the folded sign at least 30m must be set up in front of the accident site.


Important:
This only applies to the training area, as this is a 30 km / h zone! The advance protection must be set up at a much greater distance, especially on federal motorways!

The folding sign is 30 m away from the scene of the accident.

The folded sign is part of the safeguard here. In addition, the distance between the folded sign and the "action space" is far too small.

Here the folded sign is no longer an element of advance protection, it is rather a protection element.

Traffic cones
Traffic cones are shut-off devices within the meaning of Appendix 4 to Section 43 III StVO. The traffic cones are to be used to cordon off a lane, to rejuvenate the lane and thus to ensure a lower speed of the passing vehicles.

The horizontal traffic cone should symbolize the tip of an arrow in order to indicate the direction of travel to the road user.

This does not have any legal effect. It also seems questionable whether road users understand the symbols at all.

In addition, according to the RSA 95, the effect of the traffic cone is closely linked to its height (higher speed = higher traffic cone), overturning or lying down is therefore absurd.

Here, too, traffic cones are used to taper a 2-lane roadway to a lane. However, the fact that no multi-lane vehicle can pass is completely ignored. The vehicles are basically "guided" into the parked vehicles.

Warning lights

The warning lights can be used both for advance warning and for blocking.

Combination of warning light and folding signal. Pre-protection with good visibility.

Here, 2 warning lights are used as preliminary protection. They are set up to the left and right of the directional lane. (so-called "gate")

This type of advance protection is particularly recommended on high-speed roads, such as federal motorways or federal highways.

Warning lights as part of the safeguard or barrier. Here alternating with traffic cones.

(Shown here as a makeshift photo of a traffic control! But the principle can also be used analogously for securing an accident site!)

Patrol car
The following aspects must be taken into account when parking the patrol car:

  • maximum signal effect
  • Creation of a safety area for the officers and those involved in the accident
2. Marking the traces of an accident

Searching, finding and marking the accident lanes on the road is of crucial importance. Some trace locations and their possible markings are presented below.

In the training courses at the LAFP Police NRW, block chalk, spray chalk and wax chalk in the colors "white", "red" and "yellow" are available to mark traces of accidents.

Which chalk to use is to be decided on a case-by-case basis. Factors that should contribute to the decision can be:
  • lighting
  • Underground
  • weather

Most often, both in training and in practice, the block chalk is used for marking. Basically, the individual lines of the marking about 30cm long and min. 3 cm wide should be.

Important:
Do not use wax crayons in the training center! On the one hand, the markings that are made with this are very filigree and may therefore be very difficult to see on accident photos. On the other hand, removing the wax crayon is very difficult and after a few days of training there is no longer any traffic area without markings!


General
The marking of the accident tracks is described in Appendix 2 to the "Instructions for the standards for digital evidence securing and evaluation in traffic accident recording and processing"regulated. The statements made there provide for a specific marking for the following traces of accidents:
  • Final tire position
  • Braking / blocking lane
  • Vehicle outlines

All other lanes are (only) to be circled according to the annex. Depending on the size of the present track (s), a complete "circling" would, however, use up the entire stock of chalk that was carried with you. Therefore, in the following explanations, resource-saving variants are shown that make a complete "circling" unnecessary.

Recognition of the different chalk colors

Comparison of the different colors of chalk from different distances. Left 3m, photographed from standing height. Right 6m, also photographed from standing height.

Vehicle mark (s)

Car marking with wheel end positions, vehicle outlines, directional arrow and serial number.

This type of marking guarantees good visibility even from a great height (including multi-image measuring method of the LKA).
But it also harbors the risk of overdrawing traces of the accident and making the accident site as a whole confusing. (see the following examples)

Combination of markings of the vehicle outlines ("red"), the braking / blocking tracks ("white"), the wheel end positions ("white"), the order number in the directional arrow ("red"), and a so-called impact mark ("yellow") .

The markings make the traces look confusing. In addition, some traces are overdrawn.
(The different colors are only chosen to illustrate the different tracks.)

Combination of markings of the vehicle outlines ("red"), the braking / blocking tracks ("white"), the wheel end positions ("white"), the order number in the directional arrow ("red"), and a so-called impact mark ("yellow") .

The traces in the rear area are not quite as confusing as in the front area, but the outline markings also cause the braking / blocking traces to be overdrawn here.
(The different colors are only chosen to illustrate the different tracks.)

CONCLUSION:
This type of marking is not wrong, but for the training issues in the training center do not apply. Under no circumstances should this type of marking lead to an overdrawing of traces!

The vehicle end positions are recorded using "T markings".

The left photo shows a marker, its individual lines about 30cm long are, as well as were applied with the broad side of the block chalk and thus min. 3 cm wide are. Good visibility is guaranteed here even from different heights or distances.

The photo on the right shows an unclean "T-mark" that is much more difficult to recognize.

Possible marking of a bicycle. (Also other two-wheelers)
  • V = front
  • x = bottom bracket / vehicle center
  • H = back

Braking / blocking lane marking (s)

Marking a braking / blocking lane.

The lines in the left lane are approx. 30 cm long and at least 3 cm wide. They were applied with the broad side of block chalk.
This makes the lines very easy to see. In addition, the distances are better chosen, the lines are drawn straight and close to the track.

Start of braking / blocking lane.

Person mark (s)

In accidents with a fatally injured person, relatives often feel the need to go to the scene of the accident. If the accident markings are still recognizable by the time they are visited, a mark in the picture at the top right would not be beneficial for victim protection. Therefore, this type of marking should be rejected and a more neutral variant should be used.

A possible marking of a fatally injured person is shown in the picture above left.
  • O = above (head)
  • x = center of the body (hip / navel)
  • U = below (feet)

Various other mark (s)

Possible marking of a splinter field.
  • SB = start of splinter field
  • SZ = splinter field center
  • SE = end of splinter field

Abrasion mark. Possibly from a bicycle tire or a shoe.

The track is circled, the block chalk was drawn with the broad side and is easily recognizable.

The lane is marked with lane board 1.

Object trace. Here: glove.

The track is circled, the block chalk was drawn with the broad side and is easily recognizable.

The lane is marked with lane board 1. The Roman numerals indicate the different directions of exposure. (In other words, the position of the track board has not been changed.)

3. Production of evidence-supporting photos

In addition to the overview recordings of the driving directions of those involved, as well as recordings of the damage to the vehicles involved, depending on the circumstances, tracks on the roadway and in the vicinity of the accident site must also be made.

Overview shots from the direction of travel of the person involved in the accident 02. The right photo does not show the entire course of the intersection. In addition, the traffic facilities (traffic lights, stop line) are outside the recorded area.

Overview shots from the direction of travel of the person involved in the accident 01. As above, not the entire course of the intersection can be seen on the right photo. In addition, the traffic facilities (traffic lights, stop line) are outside the recorded area.

Example of damage photography. Here: overview photo of a dent in the driver's door. The photo on the right does not show whether the ruler is actually in contact with the ground. This should be the case at least for the first photograph.

Recording is not plane-parallel. In addition, the scale of the geo-ruler cannot be recognized.

Recording is not plane-parallel. In addition, it is not possible to tell whether the geo ruler "stands" on the ground.

Examples of trail photography

The following photos show an example of the possible use of the available FEM for securing and documenting evidence.

Important:
The use of the FEM is exemplary and by no means conclusive. In addition, various other possible uses are conceivable and certainly justifiable.

Exemplary dimensioning "dent depth".

Aids: Geo ruler, "KrimFo" tape

Close-up to "Exemplary dimensioning" Depth of dent "."

Exemplary use of marker arrows in the colors black and red. (here: adhesive arrows)

Exemplary use of marker arrows in the color black. (here: magnetic arrows)

Exemplary use of marker arrows in the colors black and red. (here: magnetic and adhesive arrows)

In addition, use of black and white trail boards. (here: magnetic track boards)

Exemplary use of marker arrows in black (here: magnetic arrows), as well as track boards and tape measure.

Exemplary use of marking arrows in the color black (here: magnetic arrows), as well as track boards, tape measure and geo ruler.

Close-up of an abrasion mark on the bumper including a marker arrow (here: adhesive arrow).

(The tape is only attached to preserve the track for training!)

Photo detail of a braking / blocking track with embedded scratch track (s).