Skip Top Navigation

Research Reports

Incident Management Using Total Stations

Description: Many strategies have been employed to improve incident management. This paper describes a novel approach to improving incident clearance when accidents require detailed investigation. This approach involves the use of computerized surveying equipment, called electronic total stations, for accident investigation. The use, advantages, and disadvantages of electronic total station survey equipment for expediting the investigation at serious traffic accidents are discussed. A comparison of three accident scenes where the coordinate method of accident investigation and total stations were used to measure the same incident showed that investigators can take over 70 percent more measurements per hour by using total stations. Furthermore, investigation with the total stations required only 46 percent of the time required with the coordinate method. A comparison of urban freeway accidents covering a one year period before total stations were used to a year of total station use showed an average time savings of slightly over 51 minutes in incident scene clearance time. Accident drawings were also more accurate and could be prepared in less time.

  • Date Published: August, 1992
  • Publication Number: WA-RD 284.1
  • Last Modified: October 13, 2007
  • Authors: Leslie N. Jacobson, Bill Legg, Amy O'Brien.
  • Originator: Washington State Transportation Center (TRAC)
  • # of Pages: 1,035 KB (PDF)
  • Subject: Accident analysis, Accident investigation, Accuracy, Drawings, Freeways, Management, Productivity, Surveying instruments, Traffic accidents, Traffic incidents, Urban areas.
  • Keywords: Electronic total stations, incident management, incident, total stations.
  • Related Publications:


This abstract was last modified April 29, 2008