The Road Crash Investigation in School

The investigation is normally run over a double school period (100 minutes). The equipment is set up in the Assembly Hall and pupils brought in with no prior warning of what to expect.

They are told to treat the accident as a "crime scene" and that they must preserve the evidence and investigate the accident. 

The accident
The accident

A car travelling in a built-up area struck and seriously injured a pedestrian crossing the road. A long skid mark was present and the pedestrian had been thrown ahead of the car sustaining serious, life-changing injuries.

The purpose of the investigation is to determine whether the driver, the pedestrian, or both were responsible for the accident.

A diagram of the scene may be found by clicking on the link.


With help from teachers, police officers and older students the students are guided through the process of examining the accident scene, working out the sequence of events and making the necessary measurements of skid marks.

Witness statements from the real accident are given to the students to use in assessing what really happened.

A practical demonstration is given to show how poor people can be at recalling events correctly, or even recalling events which did not occur.

The students then use workbooks (tailored to the appropriate level according to age) to determine who was responsible for the accident. They also investigate whether a change in the behaviour of the driver or pedestrian could have changed the outcome.