To collect data that describes all types of vehicle involved in each accident, including specification, condition, damage, safety equipment performance and occupant information, to a level that will allow case analysis and reconstruction. This item also includes the investigation of children in cars, especially the use of child restraints (please also refer to the Vulnerable Road User section).


Retrospective & On-scene

  • Take photographs of the vehicle exterior and interior according to the photo Routine.
  • Measure and collect data for exterior and interior variables.
  • Search for clues to understand:
    • Pre-crash distractions such as food, phone, etc.
    • In-crash information such as roll direction, passenger kinematics and contact marks from collision objects. Seat belt use and cause of injuries to occupants (inside) and vulnerable road users (outside).
    • Collecting child restraint information such as type of restraint, usage and damage.
    • Post-crash information such as rescue damage.
    • Make sure to follow the safety routines (Item 3).


  • Locate vehicle and, where necessary, gather approval from vehicle owner and repair shop/recovery yard for vehicle inspection.
  • Collect basic vehicle data at office before leaving for inspection.
  • If possible and necessary move vehicle to get more working space around it.


  • With appropriate permission, on-scene teams are to record key transient information that will not be seen retrospectively (e.g. pedestrian swipe marks on the bonnet, paint transfer between vehicles or tyre pressures).
  • Completing the vehicle inspection can be done on-scene or retrospectively at the repair shop/recovery yard with approval from the vehicle’s owner.

Experienced Teams

  • Advanced examination of vehicle damage and safety systems.


Please refer to the Vehicle Inspection section of the Equipment List for the Vehicle Inspection equipment list.


All Teams

  • Inspections should be performed by two trained investigators.
  • Useful to establish agreements to examine vehicles with relevant organisations (e.g. vehicle recovery or repair companies/organisations or government/police vehicle-examiners).