road traffic accident investigator

How to become road traffic accident investigator

What does a road traffic accident investigator do?

Road traffic accident investigators, or 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.

Their work involves collecting information by 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's the working environment like for a road traffic accident investigator?

There are no set hours for this type of work. Accident investigators working on a self-employed/consultancy basis and work the hours an assignment demands. The majority of the work is part-time.

Road traffic accident investigators working in the police force may work shifts and be on an on-call rota.

Investigators work outside in all weathers when gathering information from an accident scene. They also work in an office environment when compiling reports.

What does it take to become a road traffic accident investigator?

To be a road traffic accident investigator you should:

  • have an inquiring mind
  • have a methodical approach
  • be able to work alone
  • be able to pay attention to detail
  • have strong communication skills
  • have numerical ability.

There are a couple of ways to gain entry into this profession. You could start off as a police officer and move into investigating road traffic accidents by gaining the relevant qualifications needed, or you can work towards a collision investigation course. 

Road traffic accident investigator career opportunities

Road traffic investigators are employed in road traffic investigation units within the police force. There are also opportunities to work on a freelance or consultancy basis.

Self-employed investigators may undertake investigations on behalf of local authorities, insurance companies and legal firms.

There may be the opportunities to work in road safety consultancy.

Further information

If you would like to learn more about becoming a road traffic accident investigator that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

The Institute of Traffic Accident Investigators
Babington Lodge
128 Green Lane
Tel: 01332 292447

Ai Training Services Ltd
Aerial View
Acorn House
Shab Hill
Tel: 01452 865010


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