Military

Chapter 10

MP Traffic Accident
Report Form

DA Form 3946, Military Police Traffic Accident Report, is prepared on all accidents reported to the Military Police. This form is one of the special tools needed to make sense out of the confusion at the accident scene.

General Instructions

Form 3946 is used to accomplish the following:

Record information concerning traffic accidents reported to and investigated by the Military Police.

Provide information to the commanders concerning accidents involving members of their commands.

Provide information concerning accidents to those involved in the accident, or their representatives.

Provide management information for analysis, review and development of accident prevention and safety programs.

The form is designed for one or two-car accidents. If three or more vehicles are involved, you must continue on additional forms.

There is one rule for numbering the vehicles involved in an accident:

Military vehicles are always designated Vehicle Number 1 if a military vehicle is involved. If there are no military vehicles involved, or if all the vehicles are military, then numbering is based on whatever is easier or makes sense to the person completing the form.

If continuation forms are used, the drivers and occupants should be listed on the same form as their respective vehicles.

Guidance on release of information is contained in AR 340-17. Coordination with the local SJA should be made prior to all releases of information from the forms.

Block-by-Block Instructions

The figures shown above, show a properly completed DA Form 3946 (front and back). In the following instructions, each block is shown separately and followed by a description of how to make the proper entry.

Insert the MPR number, CID ROI number (if applicable) and any other report number prescribed by local PM SOP. If these numbers are not known, leave this space blank.

Enter year, month, and day on which accident occurred. For example, 30 Apr 1977 would be entered, "77 04 30."

Enter time in hours and minutes at which the accident occurred. Use military time (such as 2350 hours). Time of accident means actual moment of the accident, not the time the accident was reported and not the time the investigation began.

Mark an "X" in the box to the left of the day of the week accident occurred.

Location

Indicate with an "X" whether the accident occurred on or off a military reservation.

Enter the route number and/or name of the highway or street, road, alley, etc., on which the accident occurred. Use official name rather than some nickname.

If accident occurred on a military reservation or in a city, enter the name of the reservation or city and state. If outside US, enter name of reservation, state/district, and name of country. If the accident occurred off a military reservation and outside a city, enter the word "outside," then the name of the nearest installation or city. Next, enter the word "in," and note the county, district, state and country (if not in US) in which the accident occurred. For example, "outside Anniston, AL, in Calhoun County, AL."

If accident occurred within an intersection, enter the name and/or route number of the intersecting highway, street, road, alley, etc. If the accident occurred at the intersection of a highway with an entrance or exit ramp, this ramp must be accurately identified by name and/or number to permit follow-up engineering and enforcement action. If the accident occurred at the intersection of a road and a railroad, identify the railroad crossing number. "Within an intersection," means that area within imaginary lines drawn from the edges of the intersecting roads on through the intersection.

If the accident did not occur in an intersection or on an entrance/exit ramp, enter the nearest intersecting street or landmark. Then enter in feet the distance between the center line of the nearest intersecting street and the location of the key event of the accident. Direction is the compass direction from the intersection or landmark to the location of the accident.

Enter the approximate miles from the nearest military installation or city (identified previously) if the accident did not occur within either. "City or Town" also refers to a military reservation, if that is what has been entered in the name and location block. If kilometers are used, strike out "Miles" and enter "Km." Again, the direction is from the installation or city to the scene of the accident.

Mark an "X" in the box or boxes that best describe the area in which the accident occurred. If none of those listed is appropriate, check "Other" and briefly describe in the space after it.

Type Accident

Mark (X) the box or boxes which best describe the incident. If a vehicle hit both an object and a pedestrian, mark only the box indicating the first impact. If "Other" is marked, explain in the space provided (for example, "Vehicle-Animal").

Enter the total number of vehicles involved in the accident. If more than two vehicles are involved, additional copies of DA Form 3946 must be used. Indicate the number of people killed and the number injured in the appropriate blocks. Disposition of killed and injured personnel will be explained in the "Description of Collision" block in Part B of the form. Mark an "X" in "Property Damage Only" block if there were no human fatalities or injuries. If any person claims an injury, it will be recorded as an injury even though the person does not appear to be injured.

Weather, Light, And Road Conditions

Mark an "X" in appropriate blocks for each vehicle. If necessary, more than one block may be checked, especially in the "Character," "Conditions." "Defects," and "Weather" blocks. If "Other" is marked in any column, explain in the "Description of Collision" block on the other side of the form, or on a continuation sheet. The blocks to be marked are to the left of the descriptions.

Traffic Control

Mark an "X" by any control devices affecting either vehicle. Explain "Other" devices in the "Description of Collision" block on the other side, or on a continuation sheet. If necessary, more than one block may be marked. Again, the blocks to be marked are to the left of the descriptions.

Vehicle Description

Enter the USA Registration Number if it is a military vehicle. Always make sure that numbers on the hood match the data plate in the vehicle. If it is a nongovernment vehicle, enter the license number and state, district or county.

Enter make of the vehicle (for example: passenger vehicles--"Dodge," "Chevrolet," "Volkswagen;" trucks--"Ford," "International;" motorcycles--"BMW," "Honda," etc.).

Enter the last two digits of the vehicle's model year, such as "57," "69," "73," etc.

Describe the model and style of the vehicle (for example: "Malibu, 2-door;" "Continental convertible," etc.). For common military vehicles, use "common" tonnage descriptions (for example: "¼ ton truck," "2½-ton truck," etc.).

Enter unit bumper markings if it is a tactical military vehicle. If the military vehicle is nontactical (commercial) enter the license plate number. If privately owned, enter decal number and color, if appropriate. Example: "AB430 (blue)."

Mark an "X" for privately owned or Government owned. If the registered owner is the driver, enter "NA."

If the owner is not the driver, enter owner's last name, first name, middle initial. If owner is military, also include rank and SSN (Social Security Number). If owner is a civilian, include SSN. If it is a Government-owned vehicle, enter "US Government."

Enter military address (unit or dispatching motor pool, station or location, state or district, and country if not US) if the owner is military; use current mailing address of owner if civilian. Be sure to include zip code on all US addresses.

Enter name of insurance company or agent. If a company, the city and state will normally be all the address needed. If a private agent is given, list the complete address of the agent. No effort will be made to ascertain the limits of insurance of any of the parties.

Driver Information

If there was no driver in the vehicle at the time of the accident, enter "No driver" in name block. If the driver is a service member, enter last name, first name, middle initial, rank, and his military address (unit, station, state, zip code). If the driver is a dependent, enter last name, first name, middle initial, dependency status and abbreviated unit of sponsor (such as "d/wife of CPT Harry B. Smith, 3/19 Arty"). A dependent's local mailing address should also be entered here (including zip code). For civilians, list last name, first name, and middle initial. Enter a married woman's name as: "Jones, Mary E.," not "Mrs. Dave Jones."

Enter SSN for all US personnel. If foreign, use military identification number or appropriate civilian identification number. If no number is available or known, enter "UNK."

Enter age in years.

Place an "X" in appropriate block, "Male" or "Female."

If the driver is military and driving a military vehicle, enter the driver's military license number and the station where issued (such as: "USA-383-70, Fort McClellan, AL"). In the case of military personnel driving military vehicles and having military licenses, enter "US Government" in the block for "State." For civilians, including dependents, enter the operator's license number and issuing state. If an international license, note "Inter" in the block for "State."

If limitations or restrictions are stated on license of driver, mark an "X" in "Yes" block and specify. Examples are "glasses," "Day-time only," etc. If a military driver is operating a vehicle for which he is not qualified as indicated on his license, this is not to be entered here but should be noted on an appropriate citation and in the "Description of Collision" block. If no limitations are noted on the driver's license, put an "X" in the "No" block.

Enter the operator's driving experience in years. For drivers with less than one year of experience, cross out the word "years," add "months," and make the appropriate entry. Unless it is clearly unreasonable, the driver's word should be accepted for this information.

The numbers referring to "codes" are red on the form. These red numbers refer to the red numbers at the bottom of the page. Enter only the appropriate letter or number.

Codes

Category

A. Army Officer--commissioned or warrant Army officer on active duty. Included are reservists and national guard personnel on active duty for training (ADT) status.

B. Army Enlisted--enlisted Army personnel on active duty. Included are reservists and national guard personnel on ADT status.

C. Other Service Officer--US Navy, Marine, Air Force, and Coast Guard, commissioned and warrant officers. Included are reservists and national guard personnel on ADT status.

D. Other Service Enlisted--US Navy, Marine, Air Force, and Coast Guard enlisted personnel. Included are reservists and national guard personnel on ADT status.

E. Civilian--all US civilians, including DA civilian employees.

F. Dependent--dependents of all US service personnel.

G. Other--foreign nationals (both military and civilian) should be included here.

Injury Class

A. No Injury--entered when there are no apparent or claimed injuries on the part of the individual concerned.

B. Dead at Scene--entered when competent medical authority has pronounced individual dead at the scene.

C. Dead on Arrival--individual pronounced dead upon arrival at hospital or medical facility.

D. Died in Hospital--individual alive upon arrival, but died while in hospital or medical facility.

E. Incapacitating Injury--any injury that prevents the injured person from walking, driving, or normally continuing other activities. Includes severe lacerations, broken or distorted limbs, unconsciousness, etc. This does not include momentary unconsciousness, broken fingers and toes, simple complaint of pain, etc.

F. Non-Incap (Evident) Injury--any injury other than fatal or incapacitating. Includes broken fingers or toes, abrasions, etc. This does not include limping, complaint of pain, nausea, momentary unconsciousness, etc.

G. Possible Injury--any injury reported by the police or claimed by the individual, such as momentary unconsciousness, claim of injuries not evident, limping, complaint of pain, nausea, hysteria, whiplash, etc.

H. Injury Unknown--applies when it is not possible to objectively determine, at the time of the accident, whether there is no injury (Code A) or possible injury (Code G).

Shoulder/Lap Belts

A. Lap Belt Used--make this determination based on what is observed at the scene and what is told to you. If told the belt or belts were in use and there is evidence to the contrary, further inquiry may be necessary, or "Unknown" code may have to be used.

B. Shoulder Harness Used--use the same guidance as with lap belt.

C. Both Used--enter if both lap and shoulder harness were in use at the time of the accident.

D. Not Used--enter if neither lap belt nor shoulder harness were in use at the time of the accident, but were installed in this seat position.

E. Not Installed--enter if neither lap belt nor shoulder harness are installed in this position in the vehicle.

F. Lap Belt Failed--applies only when the belt was in use and failed at the time of the accident. Thus, if a belt was used at the time of the accident, but failed, the appropriate code would be "F," not "A." Belt failure may consist of torn webbing, seat belt anchorage assembly torn from vehicle structure, bolt sheared off, buckle broken, and so forth.

G. Shoulder Harness Failed--same guidance as with lap belt failures.

H. Both Failed--lap belt and shoulder harness were both in use and both failed.

U. Unknown--evidence as to use of belts is nonexistent, contradictory, or inconclusive. Investigator has no way of knowing if belts were in use.

Seat Position

Enter the seat position code that best describes the individual's position in the vehicle before the accident. If more than one person is occupying a seat position (such as child on the lap of a passenger), use the same code twice or as required and explain in the "Description of Collision" block.

1. Front left seat (normally operator's position).

2. Front center seat.

3. Front right seat.

4. Rear left seat.

5. Rear center seat.

6. Rear right seat.

7. Other Position (Bus-Motorcycle--If codes 1 through 6 cannot be used for identifying the seat position of individuals in vehicles such as commercial and school buses, trucks, motorcycles, station wagons, side or rear facing seats etc., enter a "7" for "Other Position."

8. Position Unknown--If the seat position cannot be determined, enter an "8" for "Position Unknown."

Occupants

Information here does not include drivers. For military occupants, list last name, first name, middle initial, rank and SSN. Military unit addresses should be used for all military personnel. If the individual is a dependent, enter last name, first name, middle initial, SSN, dependency status and abbreviated unit of sponsor (such as "d/son of SP4 Joe E. Jones, 385th Trans"). Local mailing addresses should be used for dependents. For civilians enter last name, first name, middle initial and SSN. Enter a married woman's name as "Johnson, Beverly S.," not "Mrs. James Johnson."

Enter the number to indicate which vehicle the occupant was in. If more than two vehicles were involved, the numbering should continue on additional forms. Try to list the occupants on the same form the driver and vehicle in which the person was riding is on. For example, occupants in Vehicle 3 should be listed on the same additional form as the driver and vehicle description of Vehicle 3.

Enter the age of each individual.

Enter "M" or "F" for each individual listed.

Fill in the appropriate code as detailed above.

Pedestrians

Enter the name and address of any pedestrian involved in the accident. Enter the information in the same manner that "Occupants" were entered in the preceding paragraph. Also, enter the appropriate code for age, sex, category, and injury, as explained above.

Complete in a manner that best describes exactly what the pedestrian was doing at the time of the accident. Strike out inappropriate words or enter words that are more appropriate.

For example, see figure above. If the pedestrian was merely standing and not in motion at the time of the accident, strike out "going" on the form and write in where he was standing in the spaces provided. For example, "standing on NW corner of 8th & K Street."

Mark "X" in the appropriate blocks. More than one condition may apply. Again, the blocks are to the left of the conditions.

Witnesses

Enter names and addresses of witnesses in the same manner as occupants were entered above. Enter telephone numbers for all witnesses.

Vehicle and Other Property Damage

Making dollar estimates of damage can be a difficult and confusing task. Therefore, no dollar damage estimates will be made on this form.

The damage marking on these diagrams is not expected to be a technical masterpiece. Rather, it is required to give the reviewer a basic idea of where the damage occurred on each vehicle.

In each box referring to a damaged vehicle, circle the number of each damaged area. More than one number may be circled. Be sure to also circle numbers 13-17 if they apply.

Shade in the area of severest impact. Areas suffering "contact" (collision or direct) damage should be shaded, and the appropriate number should be circled. Areas suffering just induced or indirect damage should be indicated by circling the representing number, not by shading.

Draw an arrow showing the principal direction of force. There should be one arrow for each spot on the car where a contact occurred. In most cases, there will be only one arrow per vehicle. When the vehicle was involved in more than one collision, such as when a car is struck by another car and forced into a third car, there should be an arrow for each point of contact.

For each damaged vehicle, mark an "X" in the appropriate box to indicate severity of damage. The classifications are defined as follows:

Disabling damage--The vehicle is damaged so badly that it cannot be driven from the scene.

Functional damage--The vehicle can still be driven, but it has been damaged enough to impair its operation or the functioning of one or more of its components.

Other motor vehicle damage--The vehicle is in no way disabled or functionally impaired. Damage does not interfere with normal operation of the vehicle. This category includes such damage as dents in fenders, broken trim, etc.

No damage--The vehicle was involved but damaged in no way. An example of this might be a pedestrian collision in which the vehicle itself was not harmed.

If the vehicle was towed away, write in the name of the towing or wrecker service that removed it. Local wrecker companies will normally be familiar, so it will not usually be necessary to include an address. If the vehicle is towed away by a military wrecker, simply enter "military wrecker." Also, identify the destination of the towed vehicle. For example, if a vehicle was towed by Acme Auto Repair to their garage in Anniston, AL, this section would appear as: "Acme Garage, Anniston, AL." If the vehicle is not towed away, list what its disposition was in this space ("released to operator").

If a bus, motorcycle, trailer, or other nonautomobile type vehicle is involved and damaged, use the space available for sketching the type of vehicle. As in the other damage sections discussed above, shade in the areas receiving the severest damage and use arrows to indicate the direction of force at collision points.

Enter a description of damage to property other than vehicles. Make this description as concise as possible without leaving out important facts. Try to restrict description to the space allotted. In cases of severe damage to high value items (such as 21/2 ton truck hitting a parked helicopter at high speed), supporting descriptions of damage should be attached in the form of statements and/or estimates of repair cost.

Sketch of Collision

"A picture is worth a thousand words."

A detailed diagram of a big, complex accident is not going to fit in the space allotted for a diagram. Most of our accidents, however, are relatively minor and simple. The space on the form should be sufficient for most of these minor accidents. Serious accidents will require more thorough diagrams on separate sheets.

Depending on the severity of the accident, the following items should be noted on the diagram (the simpler the accident, the fewer items needed):

Draw arrow indicating north in the circle at upper right.

Include and identify:

  • Roadway layout.
  • Vehicles.
  • Pedestrians.
  • Objects on or off the roadway.
  • Traffic controls.
  • Skidmarks.
  • Unusual or temporary conditions (ice patch, stones, gravel, etc.).

Locate probable point of impact.

Show positions of vehicles, pedestrians, or objects at point of impact.

Show probable vehicle and pedestrian paths before and after the collision.

Use broken lines to indicate probable paths followed before the collision or point of impact. Use solid lines to indicate paths followed after the collision or point of impact.

Description of Collision

This form contains a significant amount of information in many places. It is not necessary to repeat all of this information in this block. As with the sketch block, the space provided here for description will be sufficient for most accidents. Only in the most serious accidents will it be necessary to use a continuation sheet. Indicate here what probably happened before, during and after the collision. Include information not on diagram or not on other parts of the form. Describe special conditions or events associated with the collision such as vehicle(s) on fire, immersed or submerged, roadway lights not operating, operator restrictions, color (shade) of clothing of pedestrians, disposition of injured personnel (" transported to Haines Army Hospital"), etc.

This description should be based on the best judgment of the investigator, supported by the evidence available.

Only the last names of persons identified else-where in the report need be used in this block; these last names will be printed or typed in all capitals. In only the most serious, complicated accidents should it be necessary to continue on an additional sheet.

Driver's Action Before Accident

Mark an "X" in the block to indicate direction each vehicle was traveling immediately prior to the accident.

Use "X" to indicate one or more of the of the actions the drivers of the respective vehicles were executing immediately prior to the accident. The blocks to be marked are to the left of the descriptions. In the case of parked vehicles, mark in "Other" block and enter "parked vehicle" in the space provided.

Enter the best estimate possible for each items listed. If the item is not applicable to the accident being reported, enter "NA" in the block. If it is impossible to make a reasonable estimate, enter "UNK."

Contributing Circumstances

Mark "X" in appropriate blocks for drivers and vehicles. More than one block per vehicle may be marked. The blocks to be marked are to the left of the descriptions.

Any time alcohol appears to be involved, a DD Form 1920, Alcoholic Influence Report must be completed and attached to the form. "Drugs Involved" may be marked only when this determination has been made by medical authorities. If pedestrian action contributed to the accident, such as disregarding a traffic signal or being under the influence of alcohol, it should be noted in the "Description of Collision" block.

Military Police Activity

Enter last name, first name, and middle initial of all personnel charged with any offense in connection with the accident. If their names do not appear elsewhere on this form, enter all information required in the "Name and Address" portion under the heading "Occupants" discussed earlier in this field manual.

List charges for each individual charged. For example, if one driver was charged with going 50 mph in a 35 mph zone, this entry would read "speeding, 50/35."

List report number for each person charged. If cited on a DA Form 3975, this will normally be the same MPR number that appears at the top of this form. If the individuals are cited on DD Form 1805 or DD Form 1408, enter the sequential number of the form in this block.

Enter time the Military Police were first notified (whether first notification was made to the desk or directly to a patrol). Entry will be in military time.

Enter the time the first Military Police personnel arrived at the scene of the accident. Again, it will be in military time. Should on-duty MPs be involved in the accident, local policy will determine the need for a separate investigative unit.

Enter the location of places other than the accident scene or the provost marshal's office where statements were taken or the investigation was continued. For instance, "El Paso, TX, PD;" or, "Johnson Army Hospital."

Enter the names of other agencies participating in the investigation. If another agency did the entire investigation and the information on the form is based on that report, state, "All information supplied by Anniston, AL, PD," or whomever. When another agency conducted most of the investigation, attach a copy of that agency's report.

Operators of military vehicles are required to exchange completed DD Forms 518. Mark an "X" to indicate whether or not these forms were exchanged. Forms need not be exchanged when only privately owned vehicles are involved.

Military operators of military vehicles are also required to complete Standard Form 91. Mark an "X" to indicate if the forms were completed. The Standard Form 91 is to be turned into the operator's unit by the operator; it is not to be taken by the Military Police.

Place an "X" to indicate if this DA Form 3946 was completed from an investigation at the scene of the accident. If it was not, explain why. Example: "completed from witness reports-scene under hostile fire," etc.

Enter the date this form is completed and signed by the investigator.

Enter the name of the person who actually observed the accident scene and supplied the information for completion of this form. If more than one person assisted, enter the name of the senior investigator. List additional investigators on the DA Form 3975 that will accompany this form in distribution.

The signature of the person whose name appears in the preceding block, and grade, if applicable, is entered here.

The final "approval" line should be completed as required by local policy.



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