The purpose and scope of this SAE Recommended Practice is to provide a basis for classification of the extent of vehicle deformation caused by vehicle accidents on the highway. It is necessary to classify collision contact deformation (as opposed to induced deformation) so that the accident deformation may be segregated into rather narrow limits. Studies of collision deformation can then be performed on one or many data banks with assurance that the data under study are of essentially the same type.
The seven-character code is also an expression useful to persons engaged in automobile safety, to describe appropriately a field-damaged vehicle with conciseness in their oral and written communications. Although this classification system was established primarily for use by professional teams investigating accidents in depth, other groups may also find it useful.