Lights for Accident Investigations and Reconstruction

Introduction

When fatal vehicle accidents occur, as an investigator, you need to document the scene, record and collect evidence, take measurements and map the scene for accident reconstruction.

During your investigation, the road can be closed down for several hours delaying motorists and affecting businesses that rely on that roadway. It's imperative that you are able to work efficiently to properly investigate the scene and get the road opened back up.

In this article, we’ll examine the pain points of investigators working on dark roadways and how different types of lights can help investigators work easier, faster, and safer.

FoxFury Nomad 360 scene lights illuminate a traffic accident
Photo courtesy of Phoenix PD

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released its 2020 annual traffic crash data, showing that 38,824 lives were lost in traffic crashes nationwide. That number marks the highest number of fatalities since 2007. 

NHTSA

Needs and Pain Points

  • Your team needs to work efficiently! Time is money, and when a road is closed for an investigation, it is costly to businesses, the city, and the department.
  • You need to be independent. If you are relying on other officers or departments for lighting, your efforts are compromised when they need to leave the scene, taking your lighting with them.
  • The accident scene is potentially large. A major traffic accident investigation can span anywhere from several hundred feet to a mile in distance. You need to be able to move all of your equipment across the scene.
  • Weather is unpredictable. When inclement weather comes in, you have the added stress of keeping your cameras and measuring tools dry and clean while you continue to process the scene.
  • Your investigation team is small. Investigation teams are often 1-2 person teams, so it is essential that you can transport and manage all of your equipment around an accident scene with ease. 

FoxFury Solutions

How Do These Solutions Help Traffic Investigators?

  • Work faster and more efficiently with lights that deploy in seconds.
  • Position the light exactly where you need it. With portable, battery-operated lights, you won't be constrained by cords.
  • All FoxFury lights are completely waterproof (IPX7) so when the weather comes in, you can focus on keeping your cameras and other tools dry.
  • Enjoy less stress and fewer miscommunications with silent battery operation.
  • The accident scene is safer with cordless lights with fewer trip hazards for investigators.

Let's break down the different lights that you can use for your accident investigations and how they can benefit you.

Nomad 360 Scene lights illuminating a traffic accident for drone mapping and reconstruction
Photo courtesy of Chesterfield PD

360 Scene Light

The Nomad 360 scene light provides 360°, area or spot beams giving you more options to fit your needs. It features a long runtime of 3-24 hours to last all the way through the night.

The 8 1/2’ maximum height extends over walls and vehicles for even illumination. The extended height also keeps the light out of your eye line for less brightness fatigue.

Nomad 360 Scene Light

Benefits

  • Illuminate the accident scene more evenly for less shadows.
  • Experience less physical and eye fatigue in a well-lit scene.
  • Cameras capture better quality images for documentation.
  • Tailor the light intensity for your team's needs.

The Nomad lights have proved to be very useful. They are small enough to easily fit three in the collision Investigation car. They are quick and easy to put up and last for several hours. The light is consistent and well balanced for digital photography. The units are very robust and have performed well in snow and heavy rain. We have seen considerable cost savings, as we have been able to light small crash scenes using just the Nomads, rather than call out our full flood-lighting vehicle and trailer, which requires two officers to operate.

Simon Edwards, Collision Investigation Unit, Gloucestershire Constabulary
Police officer uses a FoxFury BT2+ for search and rescue

Breakthrough BT2+

Find debris, victims or evidence from up to 1000 ft/330 m away with the powerful Breakthrough BT2+ handheld spotlight. This 90° flashlight has a concentrated 2° beam that cuts through fog and smoke so you can see further.  The BT2+ features durable construction that is waterproof, impact-resistant, and fire-resistant.

Breakthrough BT2+ 90 degree right angle light

Benefits

  • You always have a powerful and lightweight spotlight in your hands
  • Easy to hold and operate, even with heavy gloves
  • Easily clean and decon the BT2+ if you get biological or toxic matter on it.

To learn more, read our How to Choose a Right Angle Light article

Police officer wearing a Scout Clip Light with White and Red LEDs at traffic checkpoint

Scout Clip Light with White and Red LEDs

The FoxFury Scout Clip Light with White and Red LEDs is a versatile clip light that serves as a utility light, task light, or safety beacon.

The compact Scout features a J-Clip that will securely attach to straps, belts, molle, or pockets for multi-wear options. Its white light, red light, and red/white flashing modes expand its potential for many different uses.

FoxFury Scout Clip Light with White and Red LEDs

Benefits

  • Improved safety with enhanced visibility
  • The compact shape doesn’t interfere with body movement when clipped to the body.
  • Night vision preservation with red light
On camera FoxFury Rugo lights the interior of a wrecked truck for a traffic accident investigator

Rugo

The FoxFury Rugo™ is a rugged go-anywhere lighting tool designed for various uses, including photo and video, drone visibility, search, and inspection. The Tri-Lens offers 25°, 55° and 120° beams. The Quick Swap Power Pack provides 1-6 hours of runtime. 

FoxFury Rugo RC on camera light

Benefits

  • See your subject easier with constant light
  • Your camera will focus faster with the subject lit by continuous light.
  • Dial in the perfect amount and beam of light with the variable Tri-Lens and 3 different power modes.
  • Versatility: Rugo can be used for multiple applications and uses

Click here to see how Fire Investigator, Aaron Beckman uses the Rugo to document his investigations

Autel EVO II equipped with a EXOLANDER© DRONE SYSTEM, D100 Spotlight and D3060 anti-collision light

EXOLANDER© Drone Systems

The EXOLANDER© Drone System is a custom, adaptable frame system that provides a more stable landing platform for your drone. It allows you to mount anti-collision lights, spotlights, and payload delivery systems to your drone. Models are available for Autel, DJI, Yuneec and Skydio.

EXOLANDER© DRONE SYSTEM with D3060 anti-collision lights

Benefits

  • Fly, launch and land more confidently with the larger, more stable footprint with landing skids.
  • Use the tools you need for search, overwatch, aerial assessment and mapping.
  • Keep your drone cleaner and drier when landing in wet or dusty environments.

Conclusion 

Using a full lighting solution allows traffic investigators to work faster, more safely and get better results for their investigation. 

  • Investigators can investigate and document the scene faster to get roads opened sooner and save the department and city money.
  • Investigator’s cameras capture better images that make it easier to examine and build better reconstruction models.
  • The sole investigator can quickly move and set up lights to document and process a whole accident scene by themselves.
  • Investigators don’t have to rely on others for lighting, making them more independent

Click here to see how Traffic Investigator, James Lantz uses a full solution of lights for his accident investigations!

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FoxFury builds portable LED headlamps, flashlights, shield lights, scene lights and area lights.

Our application-specific LED lights are used in firefighting, police, military, industrial safety, hazardous area, filming, and photography. 

FoxFury products are designed in California and manufactured with the highest quality USA and foreign parts.

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Information

FoxFury uses the newest LED technology from OSRAM and others. White light and multi-color / wavelength-specific forensic light sources (from UV to IR) are available.

Our compact LED lighting tools are tough, waterproof and impact resistant. We also offer fire resistant and intrinsically safe / explosion proof lights.
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