Conducting MVI Investigations

Step 3: Map the Sequence of Events

Using the information you gathered - photos, measurements, statements, your own well-reasoned theory and relevant data - re-create the incident as a chronologically ordered series of events that demonstrate what happened before, during and immediately after the crash. Sometimes critical decisions are made and key events happen well before the crash. If it had a bearing on the crash, it belongs in the sequence of events.

Click here to see examples of site sketches.

Example 1

Example 2

There are two reasons for re-creating the events in this way.

  1. It is an efficient visual summary of what happened; others can review the diagram to verify the description is accurate and the "flow" agrees with what they saw.
  2. It provides a framework for asking important questions.
For each known event, ask whether another event should have happened before or after it. For example, a left turn should be preceded by the driver activating the left turn signal. If something should have happened but did not, make a note and find out why.

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