Understanding Georgia Motor Vehicle Crash Report Codes
The “Location at Area of Impact” is considered a “CRITICAL” data item according to the Georgia Uniform Vehicle Accident Report Training Manual. This manual is written in large part by the Georgia Department of Transportation and is used by police officers in Georgia to correctly navigate the Uniform Crash Report.
Location at the area of impact deals with the location of the vehicles on the roadway when the car accident occurred (it doesn’t refer to the part of the car that was hit—that is covered by the “Areas of Initial Contact” section). The location is based on where the vehicles were when they first hit one another, not where they were pushed because of the force of impact or where they were moved to avoid traffic congestion.
“Location at Area of Impact” Codes Listed on the Crash Report
The location at the area of impact can tell you a lot about the crash—from who should have yielded to how fast the vehicles may have been moving. This information will play a significant role in your personal injury case.
The Georgia Crash Report originally used only the following categories to describe the physical location of the collision:
- 1 – On Roadway – Non-Intersection. This category applies any time you were on the road when the impact occurred, but you were not located near an intersection. Since the vast majority of accidents happen at an intersection, you may be surprised to see how infrequently this category is used.
- 2 – On Shoulder. Although most drivers will pull off to the shoulder after a crash, this category should only be used if the actual impact occurred on the shoulder of the road.
- 3 – Off Roadway. Any time the collision occurred off of the street, even if it was only slightly, this category would be used.
- 4 – A median is the portion of the divided highway that separates two lanes of traffic. It helps protect traffic from one another and curbs out-of-control vehicles when they try to go into oncoming traffic lanes. In some areas, it also provides a safe location to stop in the event of an emergency. But, parking in a median can be dangerous and may cause accidents. This category is used when the impact occurs on the median.
- 5 – Entrance/Exit Ramp. Ramps can be hazardous because it’s hard to see oncoming or leaving traffic. Slowing down or speeding up to match the flow of traffic can be a challenge as well.
- 6 – Gore. A “gore” is an area of land where two roadways converge or diverge. They are most commonly seen on exit or on ramps. They are sometimes referred to as “Y” intersections as well. These areas can be hazardous, especially when drivers change direction at the last moment due to inattention.
In 2018, the GDOT added several additional locations where accidents can occur. Generally, these categories were added to the list to provide more specific information about where on the roadway the crash occurred, but they include a couple of off-road classes as well.
- 7 – On Roadway – Roadway Intersection. Accidents happen at intersections very frequently. This category is used when the incident occurs at any type of intersection.
- 8 – On Roadway – Roundabout. Although a roundabout is technically a type of intersection, the number of crashes that happen there are statistically lower as a rule.
- 9 – On Roadway – Driveway Intersection. Leaving driveways, even if you aren’t backing up, can be very dangerous. This is in large part because you may have to speed up quickly to meet the flow of traffic on the road. This code is used any time the intersecting street is not owned or maintained by the State of Georgia or federal, county, or city governments.
- 10 – On Roadway – Managed Lane (HOV, HOT, Reversible). A managed lane is any highway lane that uses lane restrictions or variable tolling. This type of management is used to optimize traffic flow or vehicle throughput.
- 11 – On Roadway – Collector-Distributor (CD). This type of road has lower traffic and is used to move traffic from local, slower traffic areas to main roads. CD roads provide access to residential areas. This type of road can be dangerous due to visual restrictions and the need to gather speed to move with the flow of traffic.
- 12 – On Roadway – Bicycle Lane. There are situations where the point of impact actually occurs in the bicycle lane. In most cases, this is because a bike and car collided, but not always. Some accidents related to turning into traffic or illegally driving in a portion of the bicycle lane can lead to collisions.
- 13 – On Roadway – Crosswalk. When the impact occurred in a crosswalk, this category will be used. Keep in mind that not all crosswalks are marked. A crosswalk actually exists at every intersection.
- 14 – Off Roadway – Sidewalk. There are situations where a vehicle leaves the road and strikes a pedestrian or other smaller vehicle (like a bike or scooter) on the sidewalk. Although these incidents often occur when a driveway or another road crosses over a sidewalk, that’s not always the case. When drivers lose control and veer off the road, sidewalk-related accidents are more likely to occur.
- 15 – Private Property. Any time a collision takes place on private property, whether it’s on a personal residence or in a parking lot, this catch-all private property category should be used. Not all private property accidents are minor—some can be very serious and may even occur at higher speeds.
Using Location at Area of Impact Information in Your Car Accident Case
The location at the area of impact may be more important to your personal injury case that you might realize. It is a big part of the story that makes up your car accident case. John Foy & Associates can help you determine what this information means and help you use it to your advantage. Fill out the form to your right or call us at 404-400-4000 to get your FREE consultation today.