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  • Acceleration scuff marks

    Dark marks, resulting from rapid acceleration, that gradually fade

    Anti lock braking system scuff marks

    The pattern left by a vehicle with anti-lock brakes that results from hard braking

    Area of collision

    The location of the first harmful event, or the first damage-producing event in a traffic crash

    At collision phase

    The initial impact or contact of the vehicle against another vehicle or other object in a traffic crash

    Autonomous technology

    Technology installed on a motor vehicle that has the capability to drive the vehicle on which the technology is installed without the active control or monitoring by a human operator

    Autonomous vehicle

    Any vehicle equipped with autonomous technology

    Bicycle path

    Any road, path, or way that is open to bicycle travel where the road, path, or way is physically separated from motorized vehicular traffic by an open space or by a barrier and is located either within the highway right-of-way or within an independent right-of-way

    Birds eye view

    Depiction of a scene as if looking down from an altitude or distance

    Changing of the hats

    Going from a crash investigation to a criminal investigation

    Contact damage

    Any damage to a vehicle resulting from the direct pressure of any object in a collision or rollover

    Contributing traffic violation

    The direct cause or contribution to a crash

    Crash privilege

    The legal right of a driver to answer questions about a traffic crash and to give full information required to complete a crash investigation without fear of self-incrimination


    (a) that part of a roadway at an intersection included within the connections of the lateral lines of the sidewalks on opposite sides of the highway, measured from the curbs or, in the absence of curbs, from the edges of the traversable roadway; (b) any portion of a roadway at an intersection or elsewhere distinctly indicated for pedestrian crossing by lines or other markings on the surface


    The loose material that is strewn about the area as the result of a traffic collision


    The point at which the vehicles in a traffic crash separate, either naturally or artificially; also referred to as the post-collision phase


    Any person who drives or is in actual physical control of a vehicle on a highway or who is exercising control of a vehicle or steering a vehicle being towed by a motor vehicle


    When two objects begin to enter the same space at the same time

    Evasive action

    Any action the driver takes that alters the speed or direction of the vehicle, such as applying the brakes or turning the steering wheel

    Fatal injury

    An injury resulting in an individual's death within a 12- month period after the traffic crash

    Field sketch

    A hand-drawn picture of the crash scene as an officer perceives it upon arrival

    Final rest

    The point when all activity from the traffic crash comes to a halt

    First harmful event

    The first damage-producing event in a traffic crash. It determines the exact time, location, and type of crash

    Florida Traffic Crash Report form

    A set of forms provided by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles that combined previous separate Long, Short, and Update traffic crash report forms into one comprehensive form and used to record pertinent information, narrative, and diagram regarding traffic crash incident

    Florida Traffic Crash Reports

    Used to report traffic crashes to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

    Furrow mark

    A trench dug by locked tires when a car is driven on a soft surface such as gravel, sand, or dirt


    Occurs when a metal vehicle part cuts into and removes the road surface

    Impending skid

    A mark left where the beginning point of braking leaves a discoloration on the roadway

    Incapacitating injury

    Visible or non-visible signs of injury, such as a bleeding wound or distorted member, usually requiring transportation to a medical facility and hospitalization

    Incipient skid

    A mark left where the beginning point of braking leaves a discoloration on the roadway

    Induced damage

    Damage to a vehicle other than contact damage, often occurring as bending, breaking, crumpling, and distortion of the vehicle

    Intermittent skid marks

    A series of skid marks with long gaps (30 feet or more) between heavy skid marks


    (a) the area embraced within the prolongation or connection of the lateral curblines; or, if none, then the lateral boundary lines of the roadways of two highways which join one another at, or approximately at, right angles; or the area within which vehicles traveling upon different highways joining at any other angle may come in conflict; (b) where a highway includes two roadways 30 feet or more apart, then every crossing of each roadway of such divided highway by an intersecting highway shall be regarded as a separate intersection; in the event such intersecting highway also includes two roadways 30 feet or more apart, then every crossing of two roadways of such highways shall be regarded as a separate intersection

    Laned highway

    A highway the roadway of which is divided into two or more clearly marked lanes for vehicular traffic

    Limited access facility

    A street or highway especially designed for through traffic and over, from, or to which owners or occupants of abutting land or other persons have no right or easement, or only a limited right or easement, of access, light, air, or view by reason of the fact that their property abuts upon such limited access facility or for any other reason; such highways or streets may be parkways from which trucks, buses, and other commercial vehicles are excluded; or they may be freeways open to use by all customary forms of street and highway traffic

    Maximum engagement

    The point at which the vehicles or other objects in a traffic crash are crushed together to the greatest extent

    Motor vehicle

    A self-propelled vehicle not operated upon rails or guideway, but not including any bicycle, motorized scooter, electric personal assistive mobility device, swamp buggy, or moped

    Non contributing traffic violation

    Has no direct bearing on the cause of the crash, but is discovered during the crash investigation. Examples include expired tag or seat belt violations

    Non incapacitating injury

    Visible or non-visible signs of injury or complaint of injury, not requiring transport from the scene

    Non traffic violation

    A violation that has nothing to do with traffic or the traffic crash

    Offset mark

    A skid mark indicating an abrupt change of direction of a tire due to collision forces


    Any person afoot

    Point of no escape

    The point in time when the crash is inevitable, no matter what evasive actions the drivers may attempt

    Point of perception

    When the driver becomes aware of a potential danger or hazard

    Point of possible perception

    The earliest possible time the driver could have become aware of a potential danger or hazard; also known as the precollision phase

    Pre existing damage

    Any damage to a vehicle that was present before the crash

    Primary collision factor

    Is what the first injury element or driving action was

    Private road or driveway

    Any privately owned way or place used for vehicular travel by the owner and those having express or implied permission from the owner, but not by other people

    Reaction time

    The length of time from when a person perceives a given situation as a hazard to when he or she reacts to his or her perception


    That portion of a highway improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the berm or shoulder; in the event a highway includes two or more separate roadways, the term roadway as used here refers to any such roadway separately, but not to all such roadways collectively


    A fluid trail or pool of fluids escaping from a vehicle as a result of impact


    A broad area of a hard surface covered with many scratches, striations, or streak marks made without great pressure by a sliding metal part

    Scuff or yaw mark

    Occurs when a vehicle loses tire traction as a result of entering a curve too fast or over steering

    Serious bodily injury

    An injury to any person, including the driver, which consists of a physical condition that creates a substantial risk of death, serious personal disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ


    That portion of a street between the curb line, or the lateral line, of a roadway and the adjacent property lines, intended for use by pedestrians

    Skid mark

    A black mark left by a tire that slides and cannot rotate

    Skip skid marks

    A series of skid marks usually short in length with irregular intervals between them

    Squeegee mark

    The strip of dry pavement left after a vehicle skids on a wet roadway

    State road

    Any highway designated as a state-maintained road by the Department of Transportation

    Street or highway

    The entire width between the boundary lines of every way or place of whatever nature when any part thereof is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular traffic or implied permission from the owner, but not by other persons, or any limited access road owned or controlled by a special district, whenever, by written agreement entered into under ss. 316.006(2)(b) or (3)(b), a county or municipality exercises traffic control jurisdiction over said way or place

    Surface marks

    The marks a vehicle can leave on roadways

    Tire print

    The mark left by a tire that rolls over a soft material, such as sand, dirt, or a liquid, such as oil that is distributed over a hard surface, leaving an identifiable pattern matching the tread of the tire

    Traffic crash

    A collision involving one or more vehicles, which causes personal injury, property damage, or death, and which is the result of an unintentional act

    Traffic crash management

    Law enforcement's responsibility to control and normalize a traffic crash scene

    Vehicle dynamics

    Movement of vehicles during and after collision when determining the path of travel and assisting in locating the area of collision

    Wheel witnesses

    People at a crash scene who may be used to establish that a suspect driver was behind the wheel of a vehicle involved in a crash


    Pounds per square INCH


    sharpness of vision

    depth perception

    ability to judge DISTANCE and percieve space to determine how far away an object is

    peripheral vision

    ability to see above, below and to the sides (a person who is in a stationary vehicle and who has good peripheral vision can see about 180 degrees from side to side)

    color vision

    ability to distinguish COLORS

    night vision

    ability to see clearly in DARKNESS

    The three types of vehicular motions:

    roll, yaw, pitch


    occurs during acceleration or braking and causes the transfer of a vehicle's weight from FRONT TO REAR or REAR TO FRONT


    occurs when TURNING! this shifts the vehicle's weight from side to side.


    is the transfer of a vehicle's weight causing an END-FOR-END motion resulting in the vehicle turning 180 degrees on a horizontal plane


    affects the degree of pitch,roll, and yaw that a vehicle experiences

    the higher the vehicle's center GRAVITY the loiwer its



    the distance from the center of a circle to the outside of the circle. A turn or curve is a portion of a circle.

    increasing radius

    is a turn that gets WIDER during the turn much like a circle getting larger

    decreasing radius

    is a turn that gets TIGHTER during the turn much like a circle getting smaller

    constant radius

    is a turn that remains the SAME throughout, getting neither wider nor smaller. EX: 90 degree turn at an intersection.

    safely negotiating a tight turn requires

    less speed and more steering input


    is the center point of ANY CURVE

    apex technique

    is how the vehicle is steered in relation to a curve's apex while maintaining your lane

    the vehicle's position in relation to the curve defines the

    early, late, or center apexing techniques.

    Early apex

    is when the vehicle is steered so it is CLOSEST to the INSIDE of the curve BEFORE reaching the apex

    Center apex

    is when the vehicle steered closest to the MIDDLE of the curve

    Late apex

    is when the vehicle steered so it PASSES closest to the inside of the curve AFTER reaching the apex

    centripetal force

    (tire traction) is the force that is necessary to keep a vehicle moving in a curved path and is directed INWARD toward the center of rotation

    centrifugal force

    is the force enacted on a vehicle moving in a curved path that acts OUTWARD away from the center rotation

    steering has a directed relationship on

    vehicle dynamics, vehicle handling, and traction control

    under steer

    is the tendency of a vehicle to turn LESS sharply than the dricer intends.

    over steering

    is the tendency of a vehicle to steer into a SHARPER turn than the driver intends, sometimes with a loss of traction of the rear to the outside

    how to correct under steering?

    remove the foot from the accelator, MAINTAIN steering input but do not apply brakes, and if necessary steer the car to a safe place and stop

    how to correct over steering?

    remove the foot from the accelerator and/or brake, steer the car where DESIRED (when the front tires have not lost traction), refrain from applying the brakes and if necessary, steer the car to a safe place and stop

    wheel tracking

    is an occurrence that causes the rear wheels to follow a TIghter path than the path the front wheels traveled in a turn

    caster effect

    is the forward motion that causes a vehicle to straighten from a turn when releasing the steering wheel.


    optical driving is looking in the desired direction of travel to avoid an obstacle and steering in that direction

    anti-lock braking system (ABS)

    is now standard equipment on LATE MODEL vehicles. this type of motor vehicle braking system electronically monitors and controls each of the wheels during braking to keep them from LOCKING

    incipient spin

    occurs just before the drive tires lose traction during ACCELERATION

    drive tires

    are the front tires on a front- wheel drive vehicle or rear tires on a rear-wheel drive vehicle

    control of a vehicle depends on



    is the result of the friction a vehicle's tires create on the ROAD SURFACE


    results when the wheels LOCK and do not TURN while the vehicle is moving. rolling friction and traction are lost.


    results from loss of both rolling friction and traction. the wheels still rotate, but they do not control the vehicle's movement.

    power slide

    happens when a driver over-acceleratess, and the tires sping, the wheels are NOT locked but the driver has lost traction

    counter steering

    turn the vehicle's front tires in the direction you want to go.

    cornering reqiures entering an intersection safely and properly at normal

    driving speeds and making a 90 degree turn to the right or left.


    is an active attempt by an officer, driving an authorized emergency vehicle (emergency equipment activated), to aprehend occupants of a moving vehicle if the offender increases vehicle speed, takes other evasive action, or refuses to stop in an apparent attampt to avoid apprehenssion.


    is the use of vehicles, barricades, cones or other objects to block traffic flow COMPLETELY.

    Immobilization Technique (PIT)

    the purpose of this technique is to stop a violator's vehicle by using the police vehicle to apply force to either the rear right or left side of the violator's vehicle to end the pursuit.


    The process by which alcohol enters the bloodstream

    Actual physical control

    Being physically in, on, or around the vehicle and having the capability to operate the vehicle

    Blood alcohol concentration

    The limit at which an individual is presumed impaired and cannot legally operate a vehicle; BAC is expressed in terms of grams of alcohol in every 100 milliliters

    Breath alcohol concentration

    The limit at which an individual is presumed impaired and cannot legally operate a vehicle; BrAC is expressed as grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath


    Something that leads to the solution of a problem, such as a fingerprint or DNA evidence; the behaviors observed during the performance of the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests


    A reminder or prompting as a signal to do something, e.g., take enforcement action or observe the vehicle more closely

    DUI detection process

    The entire general process of identifying and gathering evidence to determine whether or not a subject should be arrested for a DUI violation, usually (but not always) including three phases; Phase One: Vehicle in motion, Phase Two: Personal contact, and Phase Three: Pre-arrest screening


    The process by which the bloodstream carries alcohol to the body's tissues and organs

    Divided attention

    The ability to concentrate on two or more things at the same time

    Driving under the influence

    Driving, having driven, or in actual physical control of a vehicle while impaired by use of alcohol or other substances that adversely affect the auditory, visual, or mental processes


    Any substance that, when taken into the human body, can impair the ability of the person to operate a vehicle safely

    Drug recognition expert

    An expert specially trained and certified in investigations involving drugs or drug-impaired drivers


    A process by which alcohol is expelled from the body which includes breath, sweat, tears, and saliva

    Horizontal gaze nystagmus

    An involuntary jerking of the eyes as they move to the side

    Implied consent

    The fact that any person who accepts the privilege of driving in Florida has consented to submit to an approved chemical test to determine the alcohol content or the presence of a chemical and/or controlled substance in their breath, blood, or urine

    Maximum deviation

    The condition where the gaze of the eye has moved as far as it can go towards the shoulder and no white is visible at the outside of the eye


    The biological process by which the body breaks down substances into compounds that are more readily excreted

    Neurological nystagmus

    An involuntary jerking of the eyes caused by a disruption of the central nervous system

    Normal faculties

    The ability to see, hear, walk, talk, judge distances, drive an automobile, make judgments, act in emergencies, and normally perform the mental and physical acts of daily life


    An involuntary jerking of the eyes

    Pathological nystagmus

    An involuntary jerking of the eyes which can occur as a result of brain tumors, other brain damage, or some diseases of the inner ear

    Polydrug use

    When a person uses two or more drug categories simultaneously

    Psychophysical tests

    Field sobriety tests that measure a person's ability to perform both mental and physical tasks simultaneously

    Resting nystagmus

    An involuntary jerking of the eyes as they look straight ahead. Its presence usually indicates a pathological condition or high doses of a dissociative anesthetic drug, such as PCP

    Standardized Field Sobriety Tests

    The scientifically standardized and validated psychophysical tests given to determine chemical impairment. Also known as Standardized Field Sobriety Exercises or Evaluations (SFSE)


    Every device in, upon, or by which any person or property may be transported or drawn upon a highway, excepting devices used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks

    Vertical gaze nystagmus

    The involuntary jerking of the eyes as they move upward and are held at maximum deviation

    Vestibular nystagmus

    An involuntary jerking of the eyes caused by movement or action to the vestibular (inner ear) system

    Within the state

    Anywhere in Florida, whether on roadways, or public or private property

    Active shooter

    One or more individuals participating in a random or systematic killing spree demonstrating their intent to harm others with a firearm


    A naturally occurring bacterium which when inhaled causes a very high mortality rate for its victims; when exposure occurs through the skin, victims have a high rate of survival

    Botulinum toxin

    An extremely toxic biological agent that can be introduced to the body through ingestion, inhalation, or absorption


    An acronym that stands for Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Explosives and that is used to identify types of hazards associated with an accidental release or intentional use of a weapon of mass destruction

    Chemical suicide

    A method of committing suicide by mixing two or more easily acquired chemicals, commonly an acid and a base; also known as "detergent suicide"

    Dirty bomb

    Also known as radiation dispersal device; a traditional bomb with radioactive materials loaded into the casing

    Emergency Response Guidebook

    A resource to guide a first responder's initial actions to a hazmat incident including the identification of hazardous materials, outline basic actions for first responders, recommend areas of protective action, and give responders an initial safety plan

    Emergency Response Plan

    A written plan that describes the actions that an organization would take in response to various major events


    Materials or devices designed to release energy very rapidly

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