Drones helping suburban accident investigators

CHICAGO (AP) -- A suburban Chicago unit has begun deploying drones to help with investigations of major traffic accidents.

The (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald reports that the Lake County Major Crash Assistance Team is using camera-carrying drones to help view accident scenes, take measurements and reconstruct what happened.

Drones can sometimes see evidence better from the air than investigators can on the ground. That can include identifying fluid trails from broken brake lines that indicate how an accident unfolded.

Among the advantages is that investigators can finish working at an accident scene faster and reopen roads sooner. Libertyville police Detective Belinda Steckenrider told the newspaper that on-site work that used to take up to five hours can be cut to less than three hours with drones.