While not every car accident involves obscured vision, it’s common enough that the Georgia motor vehicle crash report has its own “Vision Obscured By” section. “Vision Obscured By” will include a code from 1 to 7 explaining what, if anything, obscured the driver’s vision. It can help determine who is at fault in the accident.
Unfortunately, it’s not always transparent to the motorist themselves what these codes mean. The officers have a helpful overlay that tells them exactly what number to choose — and they’ve been given instructions on how to use it. But as the person receiving this report, you typically have none of these resources. It can feel like a mystery, and it’s frustrating.
Understanding the “Vision Obscured By” Codes on Your Crash Report
Here are the “vision obscured by” codes an officer can use:
- Not Obscured. This is most common, and it’s used in the majority of cases. If there was no vision issue, officers will write in number 1.
- Headlights. The driver was “night blinded” by incoming headlights (often high beams).
- Sunlight. If the motorist found themselves driving directly into the sun, officers will use this code — but note that indirect sunlight often becomes an issue when there is moisture on the windshield, which would be number 6.
- Parked Vehicle. This is mainly used in intersection accidents, where one person couldn’t see traffic coming from the left or right side because of parked vehicles. (This is unfortunately common at many of the most dangerous intersections.)
- Trees, Bushes. Again, this mostly applies at intersections or on curves.
- Rain, Snow, Ice on Windshield. In Georgia, it’s usually ran or condensation — not snow. These can obscure vision on their own or compound with sunlight to become almost blinding.
- Other. Sometimes it’s something not covered here, like mud on the windshield, fog, or a smoke cloud. If the officer chooses “other,” they should write in an explanation.
Why does the cause of vision being obscured matter?
It matters because, most of the time, if vision is a factor in the accident then it is essential to understanding who is at fault. Here are two examples:
- Driver #1 can’t see and ends up veering out of their lane into a parked car. The reason they couldn’t see was because an oncoming vehicle had its high beams on and didn’t turn them off, even after Driver #1 flashes their lights a couple of times. The oncoming driver is at fault.
- Driver #2 can’t see and veers into a parked car… but the reason is because the sun reflected off of dust on their windshield. In theory, being blinded by the sun seems like no one’s fault, but everyone has a responsibility to keep their windshield clean (or to slow down and pull over if they’re suddenly blinded). Driver #2 is at fault.
This is why car accident lawyers treat the crash report as such an important piece of information.
Using “Vision Obscured By” in Your Car Accident Case
John Foy & Associates can help you build the strongest case possible — even if your vision was obscured. For over 20 years, we have helped car accident victims recover the most money possible. Let us give you a FREE consultation. Fill out the form to your right or call us at 404-400-4000 to get your FREE consultation today.