When the police receive a report of a motor vehicle accident, the officer who attends the scene brings a blank template known as a crash report to fill out with information about the incident. This template includes information fields like the date and time of the accident, as well as specific details about it, such as the weather that day.
The crash report template varies from state to state, with some states having more detailed templates than others. A study by the National Safety Council (NSC) examined all 50 states’ crash reports to compare them, in order to determine whether they are recording enough information about the collisions reported.
Many States’ Crash Reports Lack Fields for Handheld Phone Use
Today, talking on handheld devices and text messaging while driving are responsible for thousands of collisions every year. In its 2017 study, the NSC found that 48 states’ crash reports include fields for information about whether one or more parties involved in a collision were using a handheld device at the time of the crash.
However, only three states have specific fields for distraction by such devices, and 18 provide a space to note distracted driving as a factor in a collision. This is one of the 23 factors found to cause collisions that the NSC recommends states add to their crash reports.
Other notable findings from the 2017 study include:
- Forty-nine states have fields for general driver fatigue
- Thirty-two states lack fields to note specific types of drug influence
- Twenty-four states have fields to specifically report text messaging as a factor in a collision
Why are Crash Reports Important in Personal Injury Claims?
A crash report is sometimes known as an official police report. Whatever you call it, it is a critical part of any car accident claim. The crash report provides a snapshot of the conditions present at the time of the collision.
In the weeks and months that follow a car accident, it can be easy for these details to blur in a victim’s mind, distorting their testimony and testimonies from other parties who witnessed or were involved in the collision. Referring to the official police report can make it easier to separate the facts from the feelings about a crash.
Always Call the Police After an Accident
Any individual involved in a car accident, no matter how seemingly minor, should call the police immediately after the collision, to have an officer sent to the scene. The officer’s job is to fill out the crash report, and determine whether any laws were broken at the time of the collision, such as a driver exceeding the posted speed limit or committing another traffic violation.
A victim should not leave the scene of a collision without a copy of this report. It can be used to support a personal injury claim.
Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Represent Injured Car Accident Victims Seeking Compensation for their Damages
The crash report for your collision is just one of the pieces of evidence you will need to support your personal injury claim. Learn more about what you will need, and how to effectively use each piece of evidence you have in order to support your claim, by speaking with one of the experienced Delaware car accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC. Fill out our online form or call 302-888-1221 to set up your free consultation in our Wilmington, Delaware office. We proudly serve clients from Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.