Understanding Georgia Motor Vehicle Crash Report Codes
Whether you are on a curve, hill, or straight and level road will affect the likelihood of a car accident occurring. Visibility can be a challenge while coming over a hill or attempting to navigate a curve, for example. For this reason, there’s a separate section on the Georgia Motor Vehicle Crash Report that sets out the type of road that you were traveling on when the accident occurred, known as road character. Officers will fill them in using a code.
Note that road character is separate from road composition, which refers to how a road is paved (if at all).
Road Character Codes Noted on the Crash Report
There are several types of road character descriptions available on the standard Georgia Crash Report, each with a numeric code. Interestingly, however, there is no “other” category like most of the other collision descriptions. That means that the officer must pick the road character most similar to the location of the crash. But, the investigating officer can also add more specific information in the notes section of the report as well.
The road character codes on the crash report include:
- Straight and level. Many roads in Georgia, especially on busy interstates and highways, are considered straight and level. Keep in mind that even if the path you are on has curves and hills, if the portion where the accident occurred is straight and level, then this is the description that the officer is likely to use.
- Straight on grade. A “grade” also means a slope, incline, pitch, or rise. It refers to the downward or upward slope of the road. Grades for landscapes, including streets, are measured in percentage. The higher the percentage, the steeper the hill.
- Straight on hillcrest. This road characteristic is likely set out separately to account for visibility issues that arise when someone is coming up over the hill. A hillcrest is the very top portion of a hill, often where the landscape transitions to moving downward.
- Curve and level. Curves can make controlling your vehicle difficult, especially if a driver isn’t paying attention, hits gravel, has to deal with severe weather, or faces other similar issues. Noting that the accident happened on a curve sometimes indicates that successfully navigating the curve was a factor in the crash.
- Curve on grade. Curves while going up or down hills are even more dangerous than those that are on flat surfaces. Speed is often a factor in this type of collision, but not always.
- Curve on hillcrest. Having a curve at the top of a hill is rare, but it does happen from time to time. This type of road character presents severe visibility problems, often for both drivers who are involved in the collision.
Using Road Character in Your Car Accident Case
Road character can say a lot about how an accident occurred or why someone had trouble seeing you or controlling their vehicle. This information could be more important that you realize in your car accident case. John Foy & Associates can help you ensure this information is correct and use it effectively in your legal situation. Fill out the form to your right or call us at 404-400-4000 to get your FREE consultation today.