Excel for Collision Investigation

The “Using Excel in Collision Investigation” Course is a weeklong (40 hour) course that teaches collision investigators how to use Microsoft Excel in the field of collision investigation. This course differs from Excel courses one could typically take at a college since it focuses on the field of collision investigation. Typically college Excel courses are broader in scope and generally focus on Excel’s ability to work with finances, sales forecast, charting and other skills that would be valuable in a typical business environment but have little value in the field of collision investigation.

This course is a true hands-on course where those attending are working in Excel the entire week. All spreadsheets in used in the class the students create. The course is setup so no prior Excel knowledge is needed, while those who have Excel experience will be equally challenged.  The course begins with basic Excel operations and continues to build on this foundation throughout the week. By the end of the course those attending will be completing advanced Excel functions such as writing macros, working complex with “if” statements and form controls. Major Topics Includes
  • Basic And Advanced Spreadsheet Operations
  • Working With Trigonometric Functions
  • Formatting Cells, Text and Numbers
  • Working With Borders and Cell Shading
  • Conditional Formatting
  • Naming Cells And Constants
  • Working with Names in Functions
  • Writing Complex “Mega” Equations
  • Using Form Controls
  • Working with Data Validation
  • Writing Macros and Custom Functions
  • Conditional/Logical Functions (If Statements)
  • Database Operations
  • Using Goal Seeker and Solver
  Excel is presently the most advanced spreadsheet program made. A spreadsheet is a computer program that manipulates numerical and string data in rows and columns of cells. The individual cells may contain text, numerical values or formulas. A formula within an individual cell is generally linked to other cells, which may also contain formulas or data used in the calculations. Due to the dynamic nature of the relationship between the various cells, as soon as data is changed in a single cell all other cells dependent on that data are instantly recalculated. Depending on the complexity of the spreadsheet, changing the value of a single cell may change the resulting values of dozens to thousands of other cells. This is unlike most accident investigation programs that will require the user to reenter their data, or at a minimum go through several input screens just to change a single value.  A spreadsheet enables the accident investigator to quickly complete range calculations in minutes. This enables the investigator to quickly determine the sensitivity of their data and may become invaluable in the course of the investigation.  An advantage Excel has over other commercially available accident investigation programs is the investigator is responsible for entering the equations into the spreadsheets. By entering the equations themselves the investigator can testify to the actual calculations that are being completed, and can attest they actually completed the calculations. This cannot be done with an “off the shelf” accident investigation program. The accident investigator has no way of knowing if the program they are using contains the correct formulas, since they do not have the ability to view the computer code. Therefore, they cannot be assured the results of the program are correct unless they repeat the calculations by hand. With the spreadsheet, the investigator enters the formulas, which in itself increases familiarity with the individual equations and in turn increases their skill level. Even if an accident investigator uses a spreadsheet they or someone else has already prepared, they still have the ability to view the individual equations and make any necessary changes. In other words, the investigator now becomes the author of the formulas in the calculations.  Another advantage Excel has over commercially available reconstruction programs is its flexibility. When using Excel an investigator never has to modify the data of the collision they are investigating to make it work with a computer program. Instead, they can write or modify the spreadsheet to work with the confines of their collision. This ability encourages the investigator to assess the collision they are investigating based on their evidence, not based on the restrictions of a computer program.  Aside from its low cost and availability The biggest advantage Microsoft Excel has over all other commercially available accident investigation programs is its availability and cost. Microsoft Excel is part of the Microsoft Office Suite, which is has become the standard business software. Therefore, it is likely that it is already installed on virtually any computer that the accident investigator has access to, eliminating the need to buy any additional software.   


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1119 Stone Gate Drive, Webster NY, 14580, United States of America

Telephone Number: 

info AT cdr-trainers.com

Canadian Address:
Box 162 - Gooderham, Ontario Canada K0M 1R0

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