Understanding Georgia Motor Vehicle Crash Report Codes
Traffic control devices frequently play a significant role in collisions in Georgia. Often, drivers who misread, ignore, or simply don’t see traffic control devices will cause accidents. This type of information is included on the Georgia Motor Vehicle Crash Report in large part because failing to follow a traffic control device will often result in a criminal citation being issued.
Having information about whether a traffic control device was present and whether it was violated can be very helpful in a car accident case. Such a violation can result in a concept known as “negligence per se.” At its most basic level, that concept will assume that the other driver was at fault because they disobeyed or ignored a traffic control device.
Traffic Control Methods on the Crash Report
The Georgia Motor Vehicle Crash Report lists several options as traffic controls. The officer will set out any traffic control that may have been involved in the crash, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the traffic control contributed to or caused the accident. It merely states that the listed control was present. The notes or comments section will often indicate whether a traffic control device was a cause or contributing factor to the accident, but not always.
The officer will note a traffic control for each vehicle. That means that they can state whether one car had a stop sign, for example, while the other did not have a traffic control device at that particular intersection.
The codes used in the traffic controls section include:
- 0 – Gate. Gates are sometimes used as traffic control devices in both residential and commercial areas. They are far less likely to be present on the highway or interstate.
- 1 – No Control Present. The officer has the option to note that one or more of the cars involved in the crash was not governed by a traffic control device.
- 2 – Traffic Signal. A traffic signal will generally include a traffic light that has red, yellow, and green lights, but it can consist of turn arrows and other signals as well.
- 3 – RR Signal/Sign. Railroad crossing signs or signals generally aren’t involved in car-on-car crashes, but they are a significant factor in accidents that involve passenger or commercial vehicles and trains.
- 4 – Warning Sign. A warning sign could include any sign that gives drivers a heads up about specific hazards on the road. Examples might be construction zone warnings, for example, or bumps or debris that may be in the street. Sometimes warning signs in a location where an accident occurred to indicate that a driver should have slowed down in that area to respond to the hazard in place.
- 5 – Stop Sign. Running through stop signs is one of the most common reasons that accidents occur. Inattention is a dominant cause for this type of traffic control error. This type of traffic control is often noted when a vehicle ignores the right of way at intersections as well.
- 6 – No Passing Zone. When cars ignore no passing zone restrictions, they sometimes end up in the line of oncoming traffic because they cannot see that they are coming. These accidents can be severe because they occur at higher speeds.
- 7 – Lanes. Although lane markers are sometimes overlooked as traffic control devices, they are actually extremely vital traffic controls. When a vehicle leaves its lane, severe accidents occur, often in large part because other vehicles expect drivers to stay in their lane and may not have time to react to a car leaving its lane before a crash occurs.
- 8 – Other. This category lets the officer indicate that another traffic control device should have controlled the situation and may have contributed to the collision. If this device is marked, it will often include a notation by the officer indicate what this device was and how it affected the accident.
- 9 – Flashing Lights. Flashing lights could consist of any type of light, but they are often seen in construction zones, near stop signs or intersections, and other high-hazard areas. They may also include utility work nearby as well.
- 10 – Yield Sign. This separate category was added in 2018. While yield signs have been a part of the Motor Vehicle Report in the past, they were previously included with a stop sign violation. But, yield signs are treated differently to control the flow of traffic, so they were provided with their own separate notation.
Using Traffic Control Information in Your Car Accident Case
John Foy & Associates knows how vital a traffic control notation on your crash report can be. Let us help you use this information effectively in your car accident case. Fill out the form to your right or call us at 404-400-4000 to get your FREE consultation today.