GHSA's new report examines how law enforcement officials, other first responders and crash scene investigators can better prepare for automated vehicle technology and outlines curriculum recommendations to improve training on rapidly changing safety protocols. The report – Law Enforcement, First Responder and Crash Investigation Preparation for Automated Vehicle Technology – was prepared by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute and made possible by a grant from State Farm®.
The increasing presence of an array of vehicles with varying levels of automation and driver assistance technologies creates key questions for law enforcement, first responders and the traffic safety community, such as:
- How do first responders disable, move or stabilize one of these vehicles that has been involved in a crash or abandoned?
- How do responders who might need to cut through one of these vehicles to remove an occupant after a crash do so safely without putting themselves or the occupant in danger?
- How do responders know that one of these vehicles can detect emergency vehicles or first responders directing traffic at the scene of a crash and take action to avoid hitting them?
- How do responders determine ownership of one of these vehicles? How is responsibility assigned at an incident or when conducting a traffic stop?
To help first responders better prepare for these increasingly common scenarios, the report addresses the current and projected state of automated vehicle technologies. It also incorporates discussions with government administrators, first responders, law enforcement organizations, automakers, crash reconstruction experts, and insurance and safety advocates to identify where training is most needed. Researchers used this information to design a curriculum development strategy for training law enforcement and other first responders and crash investigators tasked with addressing these motor vehicle crashes and incidents.
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