Contributory factors definitions
Definitions of Contributory Factors from STATS20
Contributory Factors should only be completed for accidents which were attended by a police officer.
Road Environment Contributed
Codes 101 – 110 should be used where the road itself, or related street furniture, is deemed to have contributed to the accident. This includes animals or objects in the carriageway. Use codes 702 - 704 where the road environment is linked to visibility problems or codes 801 - 810 where a pedestrian in the carriageway contributed to the accident. The reporting officer should identify the vehicle (or in exceptional circumstances, the pedestrian) to which the code applies. Wherever possible, the reporting officer should identify the one participant to which the code most applies. Only where two or more vehicles are equally affected by the same code should that code be attributed to more than one vehicle.
101 Poor or defective road surface
Includes any obvious road surface defect such as potholes and cracks. Also includes roads where a worn surface or poor skid resistance is thought to have contributed to the accident.
102 Deposit on road (eg. oil, mud, chippings)
Include any deposit arising from human (or animal) activity which has made sections of the road surface slippery or which has caused traction control problems for a vehicle.
103 Slippery road (due to weather)
To be used where the weather has caused the road surface to become slippery. This will be, mainly, wet or icy roads but will also include roads which are slippery because of melting tarmac.
104 Inadequate or masked signs or road markings
The warning or directional road signs or road markings, at the accident location, could not be clearly seen or read. Includes road signs which are obscured by trees/vegetation or where the sign is unreadable due to glare or poor condition. Also includes road markings which have been worn away or covered by snow. This code should also be used where the size, siting or lack of road signs or markings contributed to the accident.
105 Defective traffic signals
A totally, or partially, defective automatic traffic signal contributed to the accident. Includes traffic signals which have previously been damaged by vehicle impact and have become misaligned. Part-time signals outside the times of normal operation (and, therefore, not illuminated) should not be regarded as defective.
106 Traffic calming (eg. speed cushions, road humps, chicanes)
To be included where any traffic calming measure has contributed to the accident.
107 Temporary road layout (eg. contraflow)
Includes contraflow sections on dual carriageways, single alternate line working at roadworks on two way roads and all other locations where a temporary road layout has contributed towards an accident
108 Road layout (eg. bend, hill, narrow carriageway)
Use this code where the permanent layout of the road has contributed to the accident, including narrow lanes on dual carriageways and/or adverse camber. This code is likely to be used often in conjunction with other codes (eg. loss of control on bend or poor driver behaviour on narrow road). This code should not be used where the road layout contributed to a visibility problem and in such cases use the appropriate code from the group headed 'Vision affected by' (codes 701 to 710).
109 Animal or object in carriageway
'Animal' includes any animal (not just those defined in the Road Traffic Act) which contributed to the accident, whether or not the animal was hit. Excludes ridden horses and animals pulling vehicles (eg. horse and trap) because these are treated as vehicles in their own right. Pedestrians are also not included. 'Object' is defined as any object which the driver would not expect to find in the carriageway (eg. dislodged vehicle load, fallen tree) and which caused or contributed to the accident. Excludes permanent features such as bollards, refuges, kerb etc.
110 Slippery inspection cover or road marking.
To be included where any slippery inspection cover or road marking, has contributed to the accident
Codes 201 - 206 should be used where a vehicle (including, where appropriate, pedal cycles, ridden horses, horse drawn vehicles or other non-motor vehicles) defect is identified as contributing to the accident or where there are grounds for suspecting that the defect contributed. Includes defects on towed trailers or caravans. Codes should be attributed to the towing vehicle. Use code 999 where a vehicle defect not listed below has caused, or contributed to, the accident. Brief details must be supplied.
201 Tyres illegal, defective or under-inflated
Includes tyre "blow-outs" and over-inflated tyres.
202 Defective lights or indicators
Only to be used if there was a fault with the lights or indicators. For failure to signal or turn on lights see codes 404 & 506. Also use code 506 to record a pedal cyclist without lights.
203 Defective brakes
Only to be used where there was a fault in the breaking system which contributed to the accident. Use code 307 to record a pedal cyclist failing to stop because of wet brakes.
204 Defective steering or suspension
Only to be used in cases where defective steering/suspension contributed to the accident.
205 Defective or missing mirrors
Includes mirrors which were poorly set, thereby creating a "blind spot"
206 Overloaded or poorly loaded vehicle or trailer
Includes vehicles carrying too many passengers and load movement in goods vehicles.
DRIVER/RIDER ONLY Codes 301 - 310 should be used, mainly, in cases where a driver has performed a manoeuvre or driven in such a manner as to contribute to the accident, and should be used regardless of whether or not the police propose taking further action against the driver.
These codes, which describe the driver/rider's actions, can be used in conjunction with codes 501 - 607 which provide further detail on why these actions were taken.
301 Disobeyed automatic traffic signal
Driver/Rider did not stop at automatic traffic signal set at red. Code applies to permanent and temporary traffic signals (eg. at roadworks). This code should not be used for non-junction pedestrian crossings (eg. pelican or toucan - see code 304).
302 Disobeyed "Give Way" or "Stop" sign or markings
Driver/Rider did not stop at "Stop" sign or give way at "Give Way" sign or road markings. Includes manually operated Stop/Go signs at roadworks.
Code will often be used in conjunction with codes 401 & 402.
303 Disobeyed double white lines
Driver/rider deliberately crossed double white line road markings prior to accident.
Do not use this code to record a vehicle crossing the double white lines as result of losing control.
304 Disobeyed pedestrian crossing facility
Driver/rider caused accident by failing to stop (whether intentionally or not) at a pedestrian crossing.
For this code, a pedestrian crossing is defined as a Zebra crossing or Pelican, Puffin, Toucan or similar light controlled crossing. Central refuges, without any traffic control, are not treated as pedestrian crossings for the purposes of this code.
Use code 301 for driver/riders causing pedestrian accidents at traffic signal junctions.
305 Illegal turn or direction of travel
Includes turning left/right at junctions (or performing a "U-turn") where this is not permitted, or travelling the wrong way down a one way street or on the wrong side of a dual carriageway.
Includes turnings where specific types of vehicle are banned (eg. car turning at a junction where only buses are permitted to turn).
Do not use this code where a driver crossed briefly onto the wrong side of the road during a manoeuvre (eg. overtaking).
306 Exceeding speed limit
Driver/rider caused, or contributed to the accident, by exceeding the posted speed limit. This code should also be used in cases where the actions of another road user were the immediate cause of the accident but a speeding vehicle also contributed to causing the collision.
Includes exceeding variable speed limits (eg. on motorways) and speed limits based on vehicle type (including towing).
Use this code (not code 307) if driver/rider was exceeding the speed limit and travelling too fast for the conditions.
307 Travelling too fast for conditions
Driver/rider was travelling within the speed limit, but their speed was not appropriate for the road conditions and/or vehicle type (including towing), and contributed to the accident.
308 Following too close
Driver/rider was too close to the vehicle in front to avoid collision.
309 Vehicle travelling along pavement
Code can apply to any vehicle type (including ridden horses) travelling along the pavement. Code only applies to vehicles which were intentionally travelling along the pavement. Includes pedal cycle riders or drivers of electric invalid vehicles colliding with pedestrians, or being hit by vehicles emerging from private driveways.
Do not include vehicles which were travelling along or across the pavement as a result of having lost control on the main carriageway. Also, skateboards, toy scooters and toy tricycles are not defined as vehicle types and should not be included within this code.
This code is not intended for use with shared use facilities.
310 Cyclist entering road from pavement
Pedal cyclist contributed to the accident by riding from the pavement into the road.
Also includes cyclist crossing road on pedestrian or toucan crossing.
Driver/Rider Error or reaction
DRIVER/RIDER ONLY Codes 401 - 410 relate to an error of judgement by a driver/rider, or an action resulting from another party's actions. Wherever possible, further codes should be used to explain why these actions were taken (eg. impairment or distraction).
401 Junction overshoot
Code should be used to record a driver/rider who did not stop at a junction and overshot the stop line or give way markings. This code will frequently be used in conjunction with other codes which will give further detail on why the overshoot happened. Code should not be used to record an overshoot at working automatic traffic signals (use code 301) but may be used if the automatic traffic signals are defective.
402 Junction restart (moving off at junction)
Identifies a driver/rider who has successfully stopped (or slowed to give way) at a junction, but has then moved off, and in doing so, has contributed to an accident. As with code 401, other codes can be used to explain why this action was taken (eg. impairment or distraction.
403 Poor turn or manoeuvre
Applies to any manoeuvre performed by the driver/rider which caused, or contributed to, the accident. Examples include reversing, turning left, right or U-turn, changing lanes or overtaking. Also include poor vehicle positioning (eg. in middle of road, in wrong lane at junction or encroaching into bus/cycle lane). Where codes 402 and 403 could both apply, use code 402.
404 Failed to signal or misleading signal
Indicates that driver/rider misled another road user (including pedestrian) by either giving a bad signal or by not signalling at all.
405 Failed to look properly
A driver/rider either failed to look where they were going or they looked, but misinterpreted what they saw (looked but did not see). Code may be used where driver/rider was not paying attention to the road ahead. Code may be used in conjunction with code 402.
406 Failed to judge other person's path or speed
Driver/rider misinterpreted the intentions or actions of another road user. Includes misjudging a gap in the traffic when entering a main road, misjudging an overtaking manoeuvre (including passing too close to motorised vehicles) or wrongly anticipating the vehicle ahead in a queue moving off.
407 Too close to cyclist, horse rider or pedestrian
Use this code whether or not there was contact between the cyclist/horse rider/pedestrian and the passing vehicle. Identify the passing vehicle in the "Which participant" box (not the cyclist, horse rider or pedestrian). Includes contact with overhanging wing mirrors.
408 Sudden braking
To be used where a vehicle's sudden braking caused, or contributed to, an accident (regardless of whether the driver/rider was blameworthy). Do not use this code simply to record that a vehicle braked suddenly if this did not cause, or contribute to, the accident. Code 308 will often be allocated to another vehicle in the same accident. Use code 408 to record a bus breaking suddenly, causing a passenger to fall and injure themselves. Includes vehicles braking suddenly for safety cameras.
Use when swerving is a definite decision on the part of the driver to change direction suddenly. Do not use this code simply to record that a vehicle swerved if this did not cause, or contribute to, the accident.
410 Loss of control
This code should be used where a driver/rider lost control of their vehicle, thereby causing or contributing to an accident, whether or not they were considered to be at fault. Wherever possible, at least one more code should be allocated to the same driver/rider to give an indication of why they lost control. Includes ridden horses.
Impairment or distraction
DRIVER/RIDER ONLY Codes 501 - 510 help explain why an accident happened and mainly centre on factors which hindered the driver/rider's performance. As with all codes 301 - 710, pedal cyclists, horse riders and other driver/riders of non-motor vehicles are included.
501 Impaired by alcohol
Driver/rider was affected by alcohol and behaved in a way which caused, or contributed to, the accident - whether or not they were above the legal limit.
502 Impaired by drugs (illicit or medicinal)
Driver/rider was affected by drugs and behaved in a way which caused, or contributed to, the accident. Applies to illicit drugs as well as all medicines, whether prescription or 'over the counter'.
Driver/rider was so tired that they could not drive effectively or were unable to perceive hazards.
504 Uncorrected, defective eyesight
Driver/rider's poor vision helped bring about the accident. Includes driver/rider not wearing glasses when they should, or wearing the wrong glasses.
505 Illness or disability, mental or physical
Includes driver/rider either suddenly overcome by illness (eg. fit or blackout) or generally affected by illness (eg. cold or 'flu), or driver/rider suffering from a permanent disability, which contributed to the accident. Includes where a driver/rider sneezing or coughing contributes to the accident. Also includes driver/riders suffering from poor mental health (eg. depression).
506 Not displaying lights at night or in poor visibility
Poor visibility includes twilight or other poor light conditions and/or weather related conditions (eg. rain or fog). Includes cyclists riding at night without lights as well as motor vehicle driver/riders who have failed to turn on their lights (whether intentionally or not).
507 Rider wearing dark clothing at night
To be used in accidents where, if the cyclist's clothing had been brighter, then they would have been seen in time and the accident would not have occurred. Can be used in conjunction with code 506 if necessary.
508 Driver using mobile phone
Includes 'hand held' and 'hands free' phones, where their use (or attempted use) contributed to the accident, whether or not the driver has been reported for an offence. Includes motorcycle and pedal cycle riders.
509 Distraction in vehicle
Use this code where a driver/rider was distracted by an event or action (including passenger action) occurring within the vehicle which prevented them from paying attention to the road. Examples include using SatNav, adjusting radio or mp3, attending to child in distress, eating or drinking, lighting/dropped cigarette or wasp etc in vehicle.
510 Distraction outside vehicle
Use this code where a driver/rider was distracted by an occurrence outside the vehicle (eg. admiring the scenery, reading advertisement hoarding, accident on opposite carriageway) and which prevented them from paying full attention to the driving environment before the accident.
Behaviour or inexperience
DRIVER/RIDER ONLY Codes 601 - 607 help explain why a driver/rider's actions contributed the accident.
601 Aggressive driving
Use this code where the road user (including pedal cyclist) was driving/riding in an aggressive and/or dangerous manner which caused, or contributed to, the accident. Includes cases where the driver/rider was competing (or similar interaction) with another road user. Also includes road rage, but not physical violence outside the vehicle.
602 Careless, reckless or in a hurry
Diver/rider either behaved in a negligent or thoughtless manner or was in a hurry and, therefore, behaved in an unsafe manner. This covers cases where the person shows lack of concern about the possible consequences of their actions (careless), acts in spite of the likely consequences (reckless), or fails to consider the consequences of their actions as a result of being in a hurry.
603 Nervous, uncertain or panic
Driver/rider behaved in such a nervous or uncertain manner that other road users were unable to predict their likely path, or driver/rider panicked in response to circumstances on the road.
604 Driving too slow for conditions, or slow vehicle (eg. tractor)
Use this code where a slow moving vehicle caused or contributed to the accident, even if the vehicle was not hit.
605 Learner or inexperienced driver/rider
Use this code where inexperience of driving in general, or inexperience of the particular type (but not model - see code 607) of vehicle, caused or contributed to the accident. Includes inexperienced pedal cyclists or horse riders. Also includes under-age motor vehicle driver/riders. Do not use this code simply to record the presence of a learner or inexperienced driver/rider.
606 Inexperience of driving on the left
Includes a temporary lapse by a foreign driver otherwise familiar with driving on the left. Code may be used in conjunction with codes 305, 405 and 710.
607 Unfamiliar with model of vehicle
Use this code where a reasonably experienced driver/rider makes an error because of lack of familiarity with a particular model of vehicle. Examples include a motor cycle rider on a machine with a larger engine capacity than they are used to or a car driver unfamiliar with the controls in a different model of car. Use code 605 for driver/riders unfamiliar with a particular type of vehicle.
Vision affected by
DRIVER/RIDER ONLY Codes 701 - 710 are used to record all factors which affected a driver or rider's vision. These factors are used when a failure or poor manoeuvre occurs because a driver/rider's view is obscured, preventing them from seeing a hazard, such as an approaching vehicle or a pedestrian in the road, and it appears that they could have avoided the hazard if they had been able to see it clearly.
701 Stationary or parked vehicle(s)
The view of the driver/rider was obscured by a stationary or parked vehicle so they failed to recognise the path of another road user (eg. vehicle pulling out from junction or pedestrian crossing road) leading, either directly to a collision with that road user, or to the driver taking avoiding action, which then resulted in a collision. The vehicle identified in the "Which participant" boxes should be the vehicle which was affected by the obscured vision not the masking vehicle. For pedestrian accidents, code 701 will often be used in conjunction with code 801.
Use this code where the driver/rider's vision was affected by trees, hedges or any other form of vegetation. Use code 104 where road signs are obscured by vegetation.
703 Road layout (eg. bend, winding road, hill crest)
Only use this code where the driver/rider's vision was affected by the road layout (eg. failing to see pedestrian crossing road at bend, or vehicle overtaking near crest of hill). Use code 108 where any other factor relating to the road layout, other than driver/rider vision, contributed to the accident.
704 Buildings, road signs, street furniture
Use this code where the driver/rider's vision was affected by buildings, road signs, street furniture or any other man-made feature on, or near, the highway.
705 Dazzling headlights
The vehicle identified in the "Which participant" boxes should be the vehicle in which the driver/rider was dazzled by headlights not the vehicle displaying the dazzling lights.
706 Dazzling sun Use this code where the driver is dazzled either directly by the sun or by the sun's reflection. 707 Rain, sleet, snow or fog Only use this code where the driver/rider's vision was affected by these weather conditions and this contributed to the accident. Use code 103 where the weather contributed to poor road conditions. 708 Spray from other vehicles The vehicle identified in the "Which participant" boxes should be the vehicle in which the driver/rider's vision was affected by spray not the vehicle causing the spray. 709 Visor or windscreen dirty, scratched or frosted etc. Only use this code where a dirty or scratched windscreen or visor affected the driver/rider's vision and contributed to the accident. Includes frost covered windscreen or misted windscreen/visor. Do not use this code simply to record the presence of a dirty/scratched windscreen or visor. 710 Vehicle blind spot This refers to cases where a driver is unable to see a pedestrian or another vehicle because of a blind spot caused by the design of the vehicle (eg. windscreen or door pillars) or inadequate coverage of the mirrors. Includes restricted rear vision caused by vehicle loading and blind spots on left hand drive vehicles.
PEDESTRIAN ONLY (CASUALTY OR UNINJURED) Codes 801 to 810 only apply to pedestrians who have contributed to the accident, whether or not they were injured. Where they were a casualty, they should be identified by their reference number in the "Which participant" boxes (eg. C001). Where they contributed to the accident but were not injured, the reference "U000" should be entered in the "Which participant" boxes. Do not use these codes simply to record the presence of a pedestrian, if their actions did not cause, or contribute to, the accident. INDIVIDUAL CODES 801 Crossing road masked by stationary or parked vehicle Pedestrian entered the carriageway from behind a stationary or parked vehicle which obscured him/her from the view of oncoming traffic. Code will often be used in conjunction with code 701. 802 Failed to look properly Pedestrian either failed to check the road for traffic when entering the carriageway, or looked but misinterpreted what they saw (looked but did not see). Wherever possible, at least one more code should be allocated to the pedestrian to give an indication of why they failed to look properly. 803 Failed to judge vehicle's path or speed Before entering the carriageway, pedestrian saw approaching vehicle but misjudged its speed or intended manoeuvre. May be used in conjunction with code 404. 804 Wrong use of pedestrian crossing facility Pedestrian entered the carriageway at any crossing with pedestrian lights while the lights indicated that the pedestrian should wait. Includes pedestrians entering the carriageway at a zebra crossing but failing to give the driver sufficient time to stop. Code should not be used at traffic signal junctions without pedestrian phase. 805 Dangerous action in carriageway (eg. playing) Pedestrian was acting in a dangerous manner in the carriageway either deliberately or through negligence. Examples include children playing in the street, deliberately crossing in front of speeding traffic or people collapsing drunk in the carriageway.
806 Impaired by alcohol Pedestrian was affected by alcohol (whether or not completely drunk) and behaved in a way which caused, or contributed to, the accident. This code may be used in conjunction with codes 801 - 805. 807 Impaired by drugs (illicit or medicinal) Pedestrian was affected by drugs and behaved in a way which caused, or contributed to, the accident. Applies to illicit drugs as well as all medicines, whether prescription or 'over the counter'. This code may be used in conjunction with codes 801 - 805. 808 Careless, reckless or in a hurry Pedestrian either behaved in a negligent or thoughtless manner or was in a hurry and, therefore, behaved in an unsafe manner. This covers cases where the person shows lack of concern about the possible consequences of their actions (careless), acts in spite of the likely consequences (reckless), or fails to consider the consequences of their actions as a result of being in a hurry. Also includes cases where a pedestrian was distracted (eg. using mobile phone). 809 Pedestrian wearing dark clothing at night To be used in accidents where, if the pedestrian's clothing had been brighter, then they would have been seen in time and the accident would not have occurred. 810 Disability or illness, mental or physical Includes pedestrian either suddenly overcome by illness (eg. blackout) or generally affected by illness (eg. cold or 'flu), or pedestrian suffering from a permanent disability (including poor eyesight), which contributed to the accident. Also includes pedestrians suffering from poor mental health (eg. depression).
SPECIAL CODES Codes 901 - 903 apply to vehicles being driven in special circumstances, which contributed to the accident, whilst code 904 covers one specific scenario. Code 999 should only be used where no other code adequately summarises a factor which contributed to the accident. INDIVIDUAL CODES 901 Stolen vehicle The vehicle identified in the "Which participant" box must be the stolen vehicle. Use this code only where the fact that the vehicle was stolen influenced the driver/rider's behaviour and contributed to the accident. Do not use this code simply to record the presence of a stolen vehicle. 902 Vehicle in course of crime Use this code to record a vehicle which was being in driven/ridden in the course of a crime and where this influenced the driver/rider's behaviour and contributed to the accident. Use this code also where the vehicle was being pursued by the police in response to a suspected crime. 903 Emergency vehicle on a call Use this code to record all emergency vehicles which were responding to emergency calls and which caused or contributed to the accident. Emergency vehicle should be displaying flashing blue light. Emergency vehicles include ambulances, fire engines (and other fire service vehicles), police, mountain rescue and coastguard vehicles. Also includes unmarked vehicles displaying flashing blue light. Do not include emergency vehicles not displaying flashing blue light (eg. police cars on routine patrol, ambulances conveying patients to day centres or routine hospital appointments or fire engines returning from a call). 904 Vehicle door opened or closed negligently Driver or passenger opened a vehicle door causing a collision with another vehicle (eg. pedal cycle or motor cycle) or caused a passing vehicle to swerve which then contributed to an accident. Also applies to buses in which passengers are injured by opening or closing doors. Includes drivers who close vehicle door, trapping an alighted passenger's clothing, and then driving off.
999 Other - please specify below To be used only when no contributory factor is available to describe a particular circumstance which contributed to the accident. Includes all cases where a passenger caused or contributed to their own injury (eg. jumping from vehicle, "stealing a ride" and falling from vehicle, or being drunk and falling in bus). Code will also include all vehicle defects not listed in codes 201 - 206 (eg. Wheel became detached from vehicle, e