After a motor vehicle accident, no matter the cause, a local or state investigating police officer who arrives at the scene completes a six-page report known as the “Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report (Form CR-3).” The Texas car accident report establishes that police responded to the event. It offers a detailed account of collected information for use as a reference by other members of law enforcement who might later need to try to understand better the event or actions taken by officers.
Without this report, a driver, passengers, pedestrians, or anyone else, such as insurers, investigators, lawyers, and judges, would have a lot of difficulties determining “fault” for legal proceedings. The report creates a timeline of events and context related to a fault, such as if a driver acted negligently, a pedestrian ignored traffic lights, and environmental elements contributed to the damage and other scenarios.
Given that a driver can lose their license, experience financial losses, or potentially deal with criminal charges related to personal injury or death, a Texas car accident is a critical document that must contain accurate information. To find out if a report that you receive portrays a motor vehicle incident without errors or mistakes, use our easy-to-read guide:
The “Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report (Form CR-3)” contains several reporting references and additional details pages. Officials typically consider Page 1 and Page 2 the actual report. As a result, many websites, legal firms, and others only break down the first two pages. We go a step further. This guide section outlines what you need to know on Pages 3, 4, 5, and 6.
– Pages 3 and 4
Always pull these pages as a reference source while reading Pages 1 and 2. They contain descriptive codes used by law enforcement. Always pay special attention to codes and compare them to the descriptions to ensure that the investigating officer uses accurate ones.
– Page 5
This page contains details about anyone else involved in the accident that the officer didn’t have enough room to include on Page 1. It’s a straightforward continuation of the page that outlines the accident date, time, and location and then adds details.
– Page 6
The last page contains details about anyone else who died at the scene of the accident that the officer didn’t have enough room to include on Page 2. It follows the same format as the “Disposition of Injured/Killed” section.
The first page of a Texas car accident report features classification data and specific details about the driver or driver, anyone involved in the accident, vehicle or vehicle, and location. It also outlines drug and alcohol details, if applicable.
– Top Margin
The area marked “Law Enforcement and TxDOT Use ONLY” describes the accident using “Classification Identifiers”:
1. FATAL – It caused a fatality.
2. CMV – It involved a commercial motor vehicle.
3. SCHOOL BUS – It involved a school bus.
4. RAILROAD – It involved a train, railcar, or railroad crossing.
5. MAB – It involved a Medical Advisory Board scenario in which the driver was mentally unstable, physically ill, or taking medication.
6. SUPPLEMENT – The officer completed a supplement to the original report that adds to it or amends, corrects, or revises it.
7. ACTIVE SCHOOL ZONE – The accident happened within an active school zone that had reduced speed requirements and traffic warnings.
The three next boxes indicate:
1. Total Num. Units: The number of people and motor vehicles or trailers involved in the accident. If the accident involved two vehicles, a train, and a pedestrian, for example, then this box would contain the number “004.” If it involved a trailer, the box would contain “005.”
2. Total Num. Prsns: This number reflects the exact number of people involved in the accident, including drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. For example, “008” means that the accident involved eight people. If this box contains “000,” no people were involved.
3. TxDOT Crash ID: This is a unique number assigned to the report after the officer submitted it internally.
4. Page_ of _: The report typically contains a minimum of two pages. This area makes the current and exact number of total pages clear.
– Section 1: Identification & Location
Subsection 1: General Details
This subsection provides general details related to the time and location of the accident. The Crash Date is in a 6-digit “Month/Day/Year” format represented by MM/DD/YYYY. The Crash Time is in 4-digit military format. The time might represent the exact time or moment someone discovered it.
In the next two boxes, the officer can use internal agency/department (Case ID) or local (Local Use) identifiers separate from the Crash ID. This area is followed by boxes outlining the full, unabbreviated County Name and City Name or Outside City Limits location where the accident occurred.
The next box answers a question about the estimated monetary amount of damage. If the officer checked “Yes,” they felt the accident resulted in more than $1,000 in damage. If the officer checked “No” and they made an incorrect estimate, the report should include an additional supplement reflecting that a later investigation determined a higher estimate amount.
If the officer or their agency/department could determine the exact Latitude and Longitude coordinates of the accident, then the report features seven numbers in the first box and eight numbers in the second box. Important note: The report must still include the exact street address even if it contains these coordinates.
Subsection 2: Road on Which Crash Occurred
This subsection outlines details about the road location. Please refer to the codes on Pages 3 and 4.
The first grouping of boxes describes roadways and highways. The Rdwy Sys. is a roadway system, such as a state highway, U.S. highway, toll road, park road, or spur. The Hwy. Num. is the exact highway number up to 4 digits. The Rdwy. Part is the roadway used before a Texas car accident. The Block Num. is the city block where the accident happened, if applicable.
The second grouping of boxes provides street details. The Street Prefix is direction information, such as NE (Northeast) or (W) for West. The Street Name is the full name. The Street Suffix describes the street type, such as RD (Road) or ST (Street).
The next box answers a question related to personal location accidents. If checked, the accident happened on a private driveway, road, property, or parking lot where the driver paid to use the lot. A checked Toll Road/Toll Lane would indicate a toll road or lane accident.
Speed Limit notes the exact speed limit posted in the area where the accident took place. The officer must also confirm if the accident happened in a construction zone with or without workers. The officer can use Street Desc. To include an up to 40-character additional description of the street.
Subsection 3: Intersecting Road, Or If Crash Not at an Intersection, Nearest Intersecting Road or Reference Marker
This subsection provides additional details about an accident near an intersection or reference mile marker—the At Int. Box indicates if it happened at an intersection. The next five boxes outline road and highway details related to the intersecting or nearest intersecting road or reference marker—the Distance from Int. or Ref. Marker and FT MI boxes refer to the distance from the accident, as a number, to the nearest intersection or reference marker up to 1,000 ft. or 250 mi. And confirmation that the distance is measured in feet or miles.
Dir. from Int. or Ref. Marker provides directional details, such as NE (Northeast) or (W) West. Reference Marker is the marker number of up to five alphanumeric characters. Street Desc. Is another optional street description area.
RRX Num. indicates the closest railroad crossing number if the accident involved a railroad crossing.
– Section 2: Vehicle, Drivers & Persons
Subsection 1: Primary Vehicle and Driver Details
This section offers you everything you need to know about the vehicle, driver or drivers, and other people involved in the accident. It contains two subsections.
In the first subsection, the Unit Num. is the number for an electronically or push/pull powered vehicle involved in the accident, such as a motor vehicle, train, trailer, or even a pedestrian in a wheelchair, a pedal cyclist, or herded or ridden animals. The Unit Desc. is the code that describes the Unit Num. in more detail. The officer can also mark the Unit as a Parked Vehicle or a Hit and Run.
The next grouping of boxes is self-explanatory. They provide the license plate (LP), vehicle (Veh.), and driver’s license (DL) details, including the license state and number, 17-digit alphanumeric vehicle VIN, 4-digit vehicle year, and the vehicle color, make, model, and body style. The officer uses Pol., Fire, EMS on Emergency (Explain in Narrative if checked) if a firest response vehicle was involved in the accident. The following boxes include the driver’s license ID, state, number, class, CDL endorsements and restrictions, if applicable, and the driver’s date of birth and address.
Each person in the accident is assigned a number that the officer enters into the Person Num. box. Prsn Type describes the person as a driver, passenger, or other descriptor followed by their Seat Position, if applicable. The next line details their name, followed by boxes for injury severity, age, ethnicity, and gender (Sex). If a person was thrown from the vehicle, the officer uses the Eject. box to describe the extent of their ejection. They must then describe seat belt usage (Restr.) followed by airbag availability and helmet status, if applicable.
The next box details if the person wishes solicitation offers (Sol.) from service providers who help after accidents, such as doctors, lawyers, and private investigators. The last set of boxes on this first line covers driver alcohol and drug use, including the type and result for alcohol specimens, type and result for drug specimens, and drug category.
The last grouping of boxes supplies vehicle ownership and insurance information, including the owner/lessee status, name and address, status of proof of financial/insurance responsibility, confirmation of the proof as expired or exempt, the type of proof, the provider’s name, the policy or account number, and the provider’s phone number. The officer adds one or two vehicle damage ratings, checks if they inventoried the vehicle before its removal, and provides the name of the tow-truck company and drop-off destination.
Subsection 2: Secondary Vehicle and Driver Details
If another unit or vehicle was involved in the accident, then the officer fills in their information in this subsection, in the same way, that they filled out Subsection 1. As noted earlier in our guide, the officer can add additional units/vehicles and people on Page 5.
The second page of a Texas car accident report, on the back of Page 1, features more in-depth information about the events leading up to the accident, the outcome, and the response by police and other first responders. It also offers a text narrative of the events that occurred before, during, and immediately after the accident and a visual reference. This page breaks down by section as follows after the Top Margin details:
– Section 1: Disposition of Injured/Killed
With Page 6, this section talks about anyone who died due to the Texas car accident. The Unit Num. field references the specific vehicle that the person was riding in at the time of the accident and Prin. Num. describes their status as a driver, passenger, or another type, as indicated on Page 1. The Taken To, Taken By, Date of Death, and Time of Death are self-explanatory.
– Section 2: Charges
This section starts each line with the Unit. Num and Prsn. Num. to cross-reference against people noted on Page 1, followed by charge details. The officer can only describe one charge per line—a specific Prsn. Num. might appear on several lines with different charges. The Citation/Reference Num. box provides a specific number that the officer’s agency/department uses as a descriptor for a charge.
– Section 3: Damage
The third section is also self-explanatory. It describes non-vehicle property damaged during the accident, including cargo in a freight scenario, guard rails, road signs, street lights, buildings, pedestrian property and other inanimate objects, and domestic animals. Each line also supplies the property owner’s name and address.
– Section 4: CMV
The officer applies a Unit Num. related to a commercial motor vehicle in this section. As long as it’s not a hit and runs, the officer can choose different descriptors for the vehicle, including if it weighed 10,001+ lbs., transported hazardous materials, had a 9+ seating capacity, or sustained severe damage adversely affected operation.
The other boxes describe its purpose—the Veh. Oper. Code describes the type of commerce handled by the vehicle. This area is followed by carrier information, including ID type and number, corporate name, and primary address. The officer must also describe the vehicle type, bus type, registered gross vehicle weight, and associated rating (RGVW/GVWR).
If any hazardous material release happened during the accident, the officer fills out the Hazmat Released box, followed by the hazardous material class and identification numbers. The Cargo Body Type code follows this area.
If the Texas car accident involved a trailer, the officer provides the trailer unit number, registered gross vehicle weight and weight rating, trailer type, and if it sustained damage. This area contains boxes to describe up to two trailers.
The last set of boxes describes up to four events, followed by the number of axles and tires involved in the accident.
– Section 5: Factors & Conditions
Subsection 1: Contributing Factors (Investigator’s Opinion)
This subsection describes anything an investigating officer believed contributed to the accident per unit/vehicle number. They can list up to three contributing factors, and two may have contributed per number. Each factor code is listed in order from primary factor to last from left to right.
Subsection 2: Vehicle Defects (Investigator’s Opinion)
The officer lists any vehicle defects that they believe contributed or may have contributed to the accident using the same format as the previous subsection.
Subsection 3: Environmental and Roadway Conditions
The investigator details the environmental and roadway conditions that may or may not have contributed to the accident, such as weather and light conditions. They describe road conditions, including the entering or intersection road shape, type and alignment, and surface conditions. They also describe traffic control, including the presence of traffic lights, road signs, or crosswalks.
– Section 6: Narrative and Diagram
The investigating officer describes the crash in their own words as they believe it happened based on all of the evidence at the scene. They provide a detailed narrative of up to 12,000 characters and use unit numbers for cross-referencing purposes rather than any information already provided in detail elsewhere.
They also sketch a not-to-scale “field diagram” that visually shows the accident as they have interpreted it, including the vehicles, road signs or markers, pedestrians, any nearby damaged property, the direction of travel by all vehicles, and impact areas.
– Section 7: Investigator
The last section contains important details about the officer, including the time they received notification of the accident, the method of notification, the time they arrived on the scene, and the date. They note if they completed the investigation, their name and identification number, originating agency/department identification number and name, and the code for their service region.
As you can see, a Texas car accident report is incredibly extensive. Yet, you should never feel overwhelmed or irritated by its length. A thorough and accurate report benefits all parties more than a sparse, inaccurate one, especially when attempting to determine fault during a lawsuit.