Byline: Michelle Rushton
What does a career as a road traffic accident investigator involve?
Road traffic accident investigators, also known as collision investigators, conduct detailed investigations into road traffic accidents, either in traffic units for the police force or on behalf of insurance companies or legal firms. They analyse events leading up to an accident and diagnose possible causes.
They collect information through liaising with the police, obtaining witness statements and examining scene photographs. Investigators then produce scale plans and reconstruct accidents using computers, calculating contributing factors such as momentum and speed.
The information gathered is used to produce accident reports and expert witness reports for judicial and civil courts and tribunals.
What personal skills do you need?
You should be prepared to work irregular hours, and shifts and be on an on-call rota. You should also be willing to work alone and outside in all weathers when gathering information from an accident scene. You need to have an inquiring mind and a methodical approach, paying strong attention to detail. Numerical and communication skills are also a must.
What training do you need?
Investigators working in the police force work towards a City and Guilds qualification in forensic collision investigation. There are further specialised courses such as tachograph analysis and vehicle examination.
Self employed investigators should hold a professional qualification in accident investigation. …