The objective of this study was to evaluate the use of advanced surveying technology tor the investigation of traffic accidents.

The analysis shows that the investigation of traffic accidents using total station (survey) equipment provides a substantial improvement over the traditional coordinate procedure. The number of measurements obtained at an accident scene increased (by a factor of about two) when the total station equipment was used while the time required to collect the measurements decreased by about 33 percent with the man hours decreased by about one-halt. The increase in the number of measurements results in a more accurate and detailed investigation and accident diagram than typically obtained with the coordinate procedure. The use of computer plotting in the total station procedure results in a significant time savings when a detailed accident diagram is needed.

It is recommended that the use of total station equipment be continued and expanded.

Report Date


Report Number


Digital Object Identifier



The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors, who are responsible for the facts and accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the University of Kentucky or the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. The inclusion of manufacturer names and trade names is for identification purposes and is not considered an endorsement.