Drones shown to make traffic crash site assessments safer, faster and more accurate

“Our procedure for data collection using a drone can map a scene in five to eight minutes, allowing public safety officers to open the roads much quicker after an accident,” said Ayman Habib, Purdue’s Thomas A. Page Professor of Civil Engineering, who developed the photogrammetric procedures and envisions even more uses for the technology.

The technology is already in use. The Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Office used drones to map crash scenes 20 times in 2018 and another 15 times in the same year to support specialty law enforcement teams throughout Tippecanoe County and in neighboring counties and jurisdictions.

“Overall, it can cut 60 percent off the down time for traffic flow following a crash,” said Capt. Robert Hainje of the Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Office.