Understanding Your Accident Report (Part 2)


If you’ve been involved in an accident the form DMV-349 accident report contains a wealth of important information. The accident report contains some information that is clear to the first time viewer, however a form DMV-349 also contains dozens of coded boxes that establish critical bits of information when it comes to the circumstances of your accident. This series of posts will explore not only some of the information clearly listed on your accident report but also some of the important report coding.

The information most readily apparent on the first page of an accident report includes the date, time, and location of the accident, as well as the identity of the drivers and owners of the vehicles. However some of the most important information lies in examining the numbered code boxes on the sides of the page.

The code boxes on the left hand side of the first page of an accident report correspond to the conditions of the area the accident occured. More specifically:

  • Box 1 establishes whether the accident occured in a rural (1), mixed (2), or urban (3) area.
  • Box 2 identifies the predominant development type including farms or wooded areas (1), residential (2), or industrial (5) developments.
  • Box 3 establishes the road conditions including whether the road was dry (1), (wet) 2, or icy (4).
  • Boxes 4, 5, and 6 show the weather conditions and whether they contributed to the cause of the crash.
  • Box 7 identifies the ambient light at the time of the accident including whether the road was lighted or not if the accident occurred after dusk.


These code boxes help to provide a picture of the surrounding conditions when the accident occurred. The next post will discuss the code boxes that correspond to the law enforcement officer’s understanding of the contributing causes of the accident.