Understanding Georgia Motor Vehicle Crash Report Codes
Vehicle configuration refers to the type of vehicle and the load it may carry, whether that load is cargo or passengers. Unlike cargo body type, which refers to what kind of cargo a vehicle can carry, vehicle configuration has to do mainly with how large and heavy-duty a vehicle is, or how many axles it has.
The type of vehicle involved in a car accident will have an effect on the kind of damages, the parties that may be included and may even indicate the reason that another driver was unable to control their vehicle. At first glance, vehicle configuration may not seem like a big deal, but it can have a significant impact on your personal injury case.
Vehicle Configurations Listed on the Crash Report
The Georgia Motor Vehicle Crash Report has codes for nine overarching types of vehicles. These include:
- 1 – Bus (Seating for More Than 15 Passengers). Large buses include public transportation, school buses, charter buses, and other similar vehicles. Drivers in these vehicles must often hold unique licenses and be specially trained to operate these buses. Bus accidents can lead to serious injuries that affect a much larger number of people compared to the average car accident.
- 2 – Single Unit Truck: 2 Axles. Many commercial trucks will fall under this type of vehicle configuration. An axle is a good indication of the number of tires on the vehicle. When there are two axles, there are four tires—two on each axle. These vehicles often aren’t as large as a traditional semi-truck, but they can be.
- 3 – Single Unit Truck: 3 or More Axles. These vehicles are much larger. They may include oversized trucks. These bigger trucks are harder to control, which can lead to an increased potential for trucking accidents.
- 4 – Truck Trailer. When a commercial truck consists of two parts, a tractor and a trailer, this configuration will be used when the semi is carrying a cargo load. These vehicles are some of the most common commercial trucks on the road.
- 5 – Truck Tractor (Bobtail). There are situations where the tractor portion of the truck will need to travel without a load. This is often referred to as “bobtailing.” When a tractor does not have a load, it’s less likely that the owner of the load that the truck driver was on the way to pick up will be involved in your personal injury case after a crash.
- 6 – Tractor with Twin Trailers. These vehicles are sometimes referred to as “long combination” vehicles. They have more than one trailer attached, often with a longer bar between them. Commercial semis sometimes use this configuration, but it’s also used by construction companies to carry materials as well. These long vehicles are tough to control, and drivers need to be extremely cautious when operating them. Some areas don’t allow them at all, but the State of Georgia permits them on most interstates and highways.
- 7 – Unknown Heavy Truck. When an officer knows that the vehicle is a larger, heavy truck, but is unsure of the type, they can mark this category. In some situations, the officer will get more information about the vehicle to do an update on the report later, but not always. This type of investigation is more likely to be completed if the accident is severe.
- 8 – Bus/Large Van (Seats for 9 to 15 Occupants Including Driver). This category was added in 2018 to account for larger vans that don’t necessarily fall under the category of bus. Some nine passenger vans don’t have special license requirements, but they are still harder to drive because they are larger and have much bigger blind spots. When inexperienced or careless drivers operate these vehicles, it may lead to accidents that cause damages and injuries—and legal liability.
- 9 – Vehicle 10,000 Pounds or Less, Placarded for Hazardous Materials. There are many types of vehicles that can haul hazardous materials. While most are larger commercial vehicles, that is not always the case. This category was added in 2018 to account for vehicles that fall in between passenger vehicles and trucks but that are permitted to carry hazardous materials. Hazardous materials must be marked based on federal legal requirements because this type of cargo presents unique risks, including increased likelihood of fire or combustion and the potential for environmental damage if the material spills on the road or affects nearby wildlife or homeowners.
Using Vehicle Configuration Data in Your Car Accident Case
Knowing the vehicle configuration can say a lot about the severity of your car accident, even without knowing anything else about the crash. You can use this information to convey the facts of the incident to an insurance company or jury. Let John Foy & Associates help you with this process. Fill out the form to your right or call us at 404-400-4000 to get your FREE consultation today.