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Illinois cops start to use drones in car accident investigations

Car accident investigations in Illinois may be getting an upgrade. A Lake County crash response team has a new tool to investigate car accidents: drones. The investigators are some the first in the country to use drones to photograph accident scenes, giving them new insight into the causes of motor vehicle crashes.

There are numerous advantages to using drones in crash scene investigations, according to the Daily Herald, including better information and a speedier investigation. This is good news for everyone involved, including other drivers, since a faster investigation means shorter road closure times.

Drone images can provide clues to what happened in a crash that could be hard to piece together from the ground. For example, as the Daily Herald reports, drone images stitched together might show a trail of fluid from a broken brake line. Investigators could then figure out where the vehicles first collided, and from there, get a better idea of whose fault the collision was.

Although drones often raise privacy concerns, new laws have cleared the way for police use of drones in Illinois, as long as the drones only collect images from the accident scene. Law enforcement officers need a warrant to conduct drone searches on private property.

The biggest problems with using drones in accident investigations may arise when high winds or extreme temperatures make them harder to control, but in general, the benefits appear to outweigh the costs. As drone use becomes more and more common, the new technology could make it easier to understand exactly what happened in car accidents.

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