Accident Investigation


Accident Investigation Training

The Colorado State Patrol is the only highway patrol agency in the country that requires officers to become Level II Technical Accident Investigators as a condition of employment. The Academy trains cadets in Level I investigation, then offers Level II training on a regular basis.  Level III Accident Reconstruction and Level IV Computer Aided Accident Reconstruction are also offered throughout the year. The Colorado State Patrol's accident investigation training is considered to be some of the best accident investigation training in the country.


There are four skill levels of motor vehicle crash investigation:

  • Level I - Basic On-Scene Accident Investigation
  • Level II - Technical Accident Investigation
  • Level III - Traffic Accident Reconstruction
  • Level IVComputer Aided Traffic Accident Reconstruction

Additionally, the Academy offers advanced Accident Investigation training for accidents involving:

  • Railroad Crossings
  • Commercial Motor Vehicles
  • Motorcycles
  • Pedestrians


E-Mail Trooper Collins



Level I Accident Investigation

Level I Accident Investigation is a 66-hour introductory course for cadets. The course is structured around a classroom environment. The training includes a practical hands-on portion of training during field scenarios. The course includes the classification and process of accident investigation.

Photo of Auto Accident and Officers on scene

Accident investigation proper planning and process training includes:

  • Responding to the Scene
  • Arrival at the Scene
  • Setting Priorities Once on Scene
  • Scene Protection
  • Scene Investigation


The student will learn about the different types of roadway evidence such as tire marks, diagramming, and measurements. During this training, students learn why evidence is crucial to accident investigation. The student will learn about vehicle damage, hit and run accidents, and how to apply them to the investigation to determine ‘how” and “why” the crash occurred.


The student will learn the basics of accident photography, electric lamps and the use of the traffic template.



Level II Accident Investigation


Level II Accident Investigation is a two-week, 96 hour course. This course is a continuation from the Level-I curriculum and will introduce the student to technical accident investigation.


This course includes classroom and practical exercises in:

  • Speed Calculations
  • Damage Analysis
  • Injury Analysis
  • Technical Mapping
  • Conservation of Linear Momentum
  • Vector Analysis
  • Roadway Dynamics
  • Uniform Circular Motion
  • Kinetic Energy and the Work Equations
  • Human Factors
  • In Depth Lamp and Tire Examinations
  • Geometry and Trigonometry Functions
  • Airborne Dynamics
  • Newton’s Laws of Motion
  • advanced Mapping
Vehicle Rolled Over After Accident


There will also be several field exercises that cover the above topics to include the simulation of a vehicle while airborne.


Level III Accident Investigation



Level III Accident Investigation is a two-week, 80 hour course. During this course the student will actually witness a staged crash and conduct a full reconstruction of that crash.


Vehicle Rolled Over After Accident

This course includes classroom and practical exercises in:

  • Advanced Mathematical Calculations
  • Derivations
  • Quadratic Equations
  • Auto-Pedestrian/ Motorcycle/ Commercial Vehicle Investigation



Level IV Accident Investigation



Level IV Accident Investigation is a one-week, 40 hour course focused on computer aided crash investigation.

The primary concepts are:

  • Speed and Momentum Analysis
  • Crush Analysis
  • Vector Math

Software programs that will be taught are:

  • AR-PRO
  • Edcrash
  • Win slam
Accident Investigation



Accident Re-Construction Team


The Accident Re-Construction Team, (ART), is a specialized unit within the Colorado State Patrol. The ART members are Nationally certified in Level- IV Accident Re-Construction.


The Patrol’s ART members respond to all fatal, felony and high profile cases that will require an extensive and in depth investigation. Members receive advanced training in the use of technical equipment to aide in the investigation and reconstruction of accidents.


Some of the advanced investigation training is in the field of:

  • Commercial Motor Vehicles
  • Motorcycles
  • Auto Pedestrians
  • Light Rails and Trains

Some of the technical equipment utilized by the Art members:

  • Vericom 3000
  • L.T.I. Laser
  • Crash Zone Software in both two and three-dimensional simulations

For more information on the Colorado State Patrol ART team, click here.


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