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3D Scanner Use In Crash Scenes

Much like other areas of the crash reconstruction industry, the analysis of crash events in the past were antiquated and in need for the right technology to come to its rescue. This technology has brought crash reconstruction into the 21st Century and has by far been the best solution for reconstructing vehicular crashes!

Enter… 3D scanning!

Using 3D scanners has helped law enforcement agencies in a variety of ways, including minimizing time consumption and maximizing productivity (i.e., man hours spent vs. man hours saved). The technology has also helped alleviate the problem of oversight of important data, and has promoted safety among its users.

This blog addresses the many other benefits of using 3 scanners in crash scenes. Are you ready to learn something new?


Crash investigation prior to 3D scanning technology, reconstruction processes involved police officers standing in dangerous traffic and inconveniently blocking roadways while police officers or investigators collected all data by hand.

The investigation involved taking measurements with a tape measure, increasing the chance of user error. If additional data was needed after the original investigation, multiple trips to the crash site may have been a possibility, or worse, the opportunity is lost to get a measurement.


3D laser scanning is also known as high definition surveying or “reality capture”. The 3D representation of a scene is termed a point-cloud. At the crash event site, for example, an investigator positions the scanner to capture the scene and pushes a button.

The scanner efficiently captures every detail of a scene day or night, inside or out, rain or snow. The 3D measurements are taken point-to-point or point-to-surface. The scanner combines measurements from the corresponding horizontal and vertical angles to create 3D images of the vehicle, roadway, and environmental conditions. 


In the case of a large area, or a location with views blocked by trees, or other obstructions, multiple scans may be stitched together at the time of the scan, or later to create one comprehensive scene. The scanner can even capture line-of-sight and crash-scene witness viewpoints. The software allows the user to create topographic maps, and models to further explain events.

3D laser scanning reduces potential injury of police officers or investigators who stand in a dangerous roadway processing a crash scene. It cuts the amount of time a busy roadway is blocked and decreases the chance of additional accidents.

The technology captures unlimited points that may not seem relevant during the initial investigation.  Now investigators can virtually return to the crash scene exactly as it was at the time of the event an unlimited number of times, and the information is available for years after the crash event.


3D laser scanning provides compelling visual information for litigation. The information gathered after a vehicle crash is used in civil lawsuits, by litigation firms fighting insurance fraud, and during expert witness testimony in state or federal cases.

3D laser technology allows investigators and jury members to access to an interactive, and engaging method of understanding crash events. They are taken to a virtual crash location and allowed to walk through a scene with fully textured models or view a fly-through. They can then see, watch, and evaluate claims for themselves.

Triple “R” Investigations uses 3D laser technology as a safe, efficient, and highly accurate method of documenting the physical evidence at a crash scene. 3D laser scanning has the benefit of being fast, accurate, safe, and user-friendly.

It is easy to use, and a onetime scan captures millions of points, which encompasses any information you may need if new witnesses or information become available.

Contact TRInvestigations so that we can provide you with professional, experienced, and fact-based crash reconstruction services using 3D scanning equipment. We'll be standing by! :)

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