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Problem Solving Strategies and Time-Distance Analysis  

During this course, we will examine various problem-solving topics such as how to understand the dynamics occurring during different event segments to build relationships between seemingly isolated time-distance techniques and equations, and how each can be used to obtain answers. By looking at crash events from a different viewpoint, we are able to develop relationships that can result in a solution to a seemingly unsolvable crash event.

Time-distance analysis is often referred to as the “workhorse” of traffic crash reconstruction. After the crash is analyzed and all the information, data, and details are determined, one might think the investigative task is complete. However, this is rarely the case. What comes after the “completed” investigation are all the “what-if” questions. What if the car was going the speed limit? What if the truck swerved instead of braked? What if the driver of the car saw the motorcycle sooner?

These questions need to be answered to solidify and support the conclusions (or generate additional conclusions) from the original analyses. Finding the answers to the “what-if” questions can make or break a case, regardless if it is a criminal or civil case. Time-distance analyses are used to answer the “what-if” questions.

Topics Include

  • Rectilinear motion and how it relates to traffic crash analysis
  • Theories and equations utilized in analyzing surface based moving objects
  • Rectilinear motion, time distance analyses
  • Various problem solving strategies


Law enforcement and private traffic crash investigators, claims adjusters, engineers, attorneys, safety officers, military investigative personnel, animators and graphic designers

Course Length

8 hours

What to Bring

  • Scientific calculator

ACTAR Information

IPTM's Problem Solving Strategies and Time-Distance Analysis course is eligible for 8 ACTAR CEUs.


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