Driver Knowledge Tests

How many types of vehicle crash are there?

Police use a coding system to help them quickly describe a crash. It’s supplied as a matrix of ‘road user movements’ and based on 86 different crash scenarios. A crash could involve more than one of the codes. The matrixes are after the descriptions of the accidents.

Pedestrians (on foot or in toy or pram)

Near side – pedestrian walks from the left

Emerging – pedestrian walks from behind an object

Far side – pedestrian walks from the right

Playing, working, lying, standing on carriageway

Walking with traffic – walking in the same direction as the vehicle that hit them

Facing traffic – walking in the opposite direction as the vehicle that hit them

On footpath or median strip

Driveway – crossing a driveway when a vehicle pulls in or out

Other pedestrian – any other scenarios

Vehicles from adjacent direction (intersections only)

Cross traffic – vehicles colliding at 90 degrees (or thereabouts)

Right far – a driver is turning right into an intersection and another vehicle is coming from the left

Left far – a driver is turning left into an intersection and the other vehicle is coming from the left

Right near – a driver is turning into an intersection and another vehicle is coming from the right

Two right turning – a driver is turning right into an intersection and another vehicle coming from the right is also turning right

Right/left far – a driver is turning right into an intersection and another vehicle from from the right is turning left

Left near – a driver is turning left into an intersection and another vehicle is coming from the left

Left/right far – a driver is turning right into an intersection and another vehicle is coming from the left, turning left

Two left turning – a driver is turning left into an intersection and another vehicle is coming from the left, turning left

Other adjacent – any other combinations not described, e.g. three vehicles involved from different directions

Vehicles from opposing directions

Head on (not overtaking) – two vehicles crash into one another from opposing directions

Right through – a driver is turning right and crashes into a vehicle from the opposing direction

Left through – a driver is turning left and crashes into a vehicle from the opposing direction

Right/left – a driver is turning right and crashes into a vehicle from the opposing direction turning left

Right/right – a driver is turning right and crashes into a vehicle from the opposing direction turning right

Left/left – a driver is turning left and crashes into a vehicle from the opposing direction turning left

Other opposing direction

Vehicles from the same direction

Vehicles in the same lane – nose-to-tail accident

Left rear – a vehicle is turning left and another driver runs into the back of it

Right rear – as per left rear, but turning right

Lane side swipe – a driver changes lanes and hits the side of another vehicle behind the line of the front

Lane change right (not overtaking) – a driver changes lanes and hits the side of another vehicle ahead of the line of the front (i.e. cutting back in before the overtaking move is completed)

Lane change left (not overtaking) – as per lane change right

Right turn side swipe – a driver turns right, for example, from the left lane of a two-lane one-way street and hits a vehicle in the right lane that’s going straight ahead, or is also turning right

Left turn side swipe – as per right turn side swipe

Other same direction

Manoeuvring

U-turn – another vehicle from either direction hits the turning vehicle

U-turn into fixed object or parked vehicle – the turning vehicle hits another stationary vehicle or object

Leaving parking – a driver pulling away from the kerb hits another vehicle already on the road

Entering parking – a driver reversing into a parallel park hits another vehicle already on the road

Parking vehicles – a driver parallel parking hits one of the vehicles already parked in front or behind it

Reversing – a driver hits another vehicle on the road while reversing back up it

Reversing into a fixed object or parked vehicle

Emerging from driveway

From footpath – a driver driving off the footpath onto the road hits another vehicle

Other manoeuvring – e.g. reversing around a corner

Overtaking

Head-on (including side swipe)

Out of control – a driver loses control while overtaking

Pulling out – a driver pulls out, but another vehicle is already overtaking

Overtake turning – a driver tries to overtake another vehicle that’s turning right

Cutting in – a driver cuts back in too soon after overtaking

Pulling out rear end – a driver pulls out to overtake but collides with the back of another vehicle in the overtaking lane

Other overtaking

On-path

Parked – a vehicle crashes into a parked vehicle

Double-parked – a driver crashes into a double-parked vehicle

Accident or broken down – a driver crashes into a vehicle that’s already crashed or is broken down

Vehicle door – a driver runs into another vehicle’s open door

Permanent obstruction on carriageway – a driver runs into a feature that is usually there, for example a chicane or traffic island

Temporary road works – a driver runs into road works that aren’t usually there

Struck object on carriageway

Animal (not ridden) – from cats to cassowaries

Other on path

Off-path, on straight

Off carriageway to left – a driver loses control and exits the road to the left

Left off carriageway into object or parked vehicle – a driver steers off the road and into something stationary on the side of the road

Off carriageway to right – as per left

Right off carriageway into object or parked vehicle – as per left.

Out of control on carriageway – a driver loses control on a straight road, e.g. through hitting oil

Off-path, on curve or turning

Off carriageway left on right bend – a driver loses control turning right on a bend and exits the road on the outside of the bend

Off carriageway left on right bend into object or parked vehicle – as above but hits something

Off carriageway right on right bend – as per left, but exits the road on the inside of the bend

Off carriageway right on right bend into object or parked vehicle – as per left, but hits something

Off carriageway right on left bend – a driver loses control turning left on a bend and exits the road on the outside of the bend

Off carriageway right on left bend into object or parked vehicle – as above but hits something

Off carriageway left on left bend – as per right but driver exits the bend on the inside

Off carriageway on left bend into object or parked vehicle – as per right, but hits something

Out of control on carriageway – driver loses control but stays on the road

Other curve

Miscellaneous

Fell in or from a vehicle

Load or missile struck vehicle

Struck train or aeroplane

Parked vehicle ran away into object or another parked vehicle – for example, handbrake failure

Parked vehicle ran away into vehicle – the other vehicle is moving

Struck while boarding or alighting vehicle

Other, e.g. struck while attending to a vehicle, e.g. changing tyre

Unknown – circumstances are clear.

The diagrams below give a visual representation of what happened in the accident.

Police will augment the reports with the types of vehicles (e.g. motorbike vs car), the condition of the road surface (e.g. pot holed), weather conditions (e.g. light rain), vehicle conditions (e.g. car had defective suspension), the state of the driver (e.g. on drugs, or fell asleep), and whether there were any other contributing factors such as signage missing.

Darren is an expert on driving and transport, and is a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists

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