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Investigation of Civil Transportation Accidents: A Closer Look

This blog will guide you through how investigative agencies handle the increasing number of transportation accidents and the challenges they face along the way.

by Saad Bin Khalid Updated on January 16, 2024

The world is witnessing an unprecedented demand for civil transportation. The increased reliance on vehicles has resulted in a concerning rise in civil transportation accidents. 

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

"There were a staggering number of 42,795 people fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2022."

The growing number of civil transportation accidents puts tremendous pressure on investigative agencies. It requires them to expedite their efforts to examine the factors that build up to such a situation.

Modern devices like CCTVs and body-worn cameras have also contributed to a rise in data volume, mainly digital evidence that holds significance for investigative purposes, making it more challenging for investigators.

This blog highlights the critical role of investigative agencies, the obstacles investigators encounter in investigating transportation accidents, the complexities of managing digital evidence and the solution to these challenges.

Understanding Civil Transportation Accident Investigations

Civil Transportation accidents, such as car crashes on busy highways, are seen occasionally in the news headlines that, make thorough investigations paramount. These incidents have far-reaching consequences impacting lives, infrastructure, and public safety.

Investigative agencies such as the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are responsible for investigating the probable cause of transportation accidents. These agencies work towards identifying potential flaws in transportation systems and devising strategies to prevent such tragedies from happening again.

According to the National Library of Medicine Journal, over 1.2 million people die each year worldwide due to road traffic accidents. They mentioned road traffic accidents as the leading cause of death, particularly among young people aged 15-29.

As accidents continue to rise, investigative agencies feel mounting pressure to conduct thorough investigations.

They encounter challenges in managing vast amounts of digital evidence and retrieving relevant information promptly. These obstacles hinder the streamlined investigation process.

The Challenges Faced by Investigators in Investigating Civil Transportation Accidents

The increasing number of civil transportation accidents and casualties is a concerning situation that demands immediate attention. Thorough investigations are essential to uncover the root causes, and digital evidence plays a crucial role in this process. Analyzing such evidence enables agencies to take proactive measures to prevent future incidents.

However, investigators encounter numerous challenges when dealing with digital evidence in transportation accident cases, mainly due to the massive volume of data to manage.

Let's delve into some of the key challenges investigators face while investigating and handling evidence in transportation accidents cases:

The Volume of Digital Evidence

With the increasing number of accidents, investigators face a staggering amount of digital evidence from various sources. The real challenge lies in manually managing, organizing, analyzing, and extracting relevant information from this vast data, consuming significant time and resources.

This task becomes even more demanding when multiple cases are ongoing simultaneously, making managing and retrieving pertinent information a formidable challenge.

Evidence Handling with Various File Formats

Another challenge that investigators face is the complex nature of digital evidence because they are available in various file formats. Unfortunately, investigative agencies often lack the required software or tools compatible with diverse formats. This shortage leads to challenges in effectively observing and examining evidence from various origins.

Read more about file format in our blog: Tackling Sheer Abundance of Video File Formats.

Maintaining Evidence Integrity and Authenticity

Furthermore, investigators encounter the difficulty of safeguarding evidence from any modifications while investigating.

It is essential to protect digital evidence to be acceptable in a court of law to uphold its reliability and authenticity. Tampering with the evidence undermines its integrity, leading to its inadmissibility in court and potentially resulting in the closure of the case without a favorable outcome. 

Statistics on Digital Evidence Manipulation

Source: "2020 Report to the Nations," Association of Certified Fraud Examiners

Timely Retrieval and Analysis

Swiftly searching and retrieving specific evidence crucial for a case poses another challenge to investigators.

Furthermore, investigations often encompass time-sensitive elements. These may involve legal deadlines, public scrutiny, or the necessity for immediate actions to avert future accidents.

Investigators are under pressure due to the constraints of tight schedules within which they must procure, process, and analyze digital evidence.

Privacy Protection and Meeting Compliance Standards

Protecting the privacy of personal information within digital evidence files is a crucial concern, especially to meet regulatory compliances and uphold individuals' rights. As investigators handle digital evidence, they must ensure that sensitive personal information is properly safeguarded before sharing it publicly or through third-party disclosure.

Balancing the need for effective investigations with privacy considerations requires a proactive approach integrating privacy protection into every stage of the investigation process.

These outlined challenges underscore the complexities investigators encounter when dealing with digital evidence.

So, what can be done to address these challenges effectively?

Investigative agencies should seek a contemporary Digital Evidence Management System (DEMS) with features designed to tackle their challenges.

These features may encompass centralized storage, advanced search functionalities, secure evidence management protocols that guard against unauthorized access, and comprehensive support for various file formats.

You must be wondering if there is any software available in the market that would cater to all the challenges investigators face while investigating civil transportation accidents.

The answer is yes!

Because we have the solution that is just right for you!

VIDIZMO DEMS: A Comprehensive Solution for Seamless Investigations for Transportation Accidents

Introducing VIDIZMO DEMS, an IDC MarketScape recognized Digital Evidence Management System (DEMS), a secured and centralized platform for all your digital evidence needs and requirements. It allows you to securely ingest, store, manage, share and analyze digital evidence in various forms within the centralized repository.

 

Some of the prominent features of VIDIZMO DEMS that can streamline the investigation and solve the challenges of investigators are as follows:

  • It is a highly secured platform with FIPS 140-2 compliant end-to-end encryption ensuring top-notch security of all evidence files.

  • It provides tamper detection functionality that uses a special SHA-3 cryptographic hash algorithm to detect any changes in the evidence files ensuring that the integrity of evidence is not compromised.

  • It offers a redaction functionality that allows you to hide faces, license plates and other Personally Identifiable Information (PII) from videos and images by pixelating, blurring, or adding a black box, ensuring compliance standards.

  • VIDIZMO DEMS makes it quick to find the relevant information within digital evidence files using its smart search features powered by AI.

  • Moreover, it allows you to retrieve, review, and analyze evidence by assigning custom attributes like Case ID numbers or docket numbers to each evidence file.

    Want to learn more about the product?  

LEARN MORE ABOUT VIDIZMO DEMS FEATURES

You can also avail of our 7-day free trial today to learn how our product works!

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, the rising number of civil transportation accidents is a significant concern that requires serious consideration. Addressing the challenges investigators face will help keep the number down in the future. Investigative agencies need to look for a modern DEMS solution that can help navigate the complexities of digital evidence management, save their time and resources, and focus more on the core aspects of their investigations. 

Posted by Saad Bin Khalid

Saad Bin Khalid is a Product Marketing Analyst at VIDIZMO and an expert in video streaming technologies. He is actively engaged in researching radical innovation in the video streaming industry and analyzing technological trends in the video streaming market landscape. For any queries, feel free to reach out to websales@vidizmo.com.

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