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Crash Statistics
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CRASH STATISTICS DATA SOURCES
Crash Statistics contain descriptive statistics about fatal and non-fatal (injury and property damage only) large truck and bus crashes. The State and National profiles include some of the major aspects of truck and bus crashes. Additional crash data on trucks, buses, truck and bus drivers, and motor carriers can be obtained from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The State Profile results are generated from several data sources: the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), the Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) Crash and Census data, and the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA's) Highway Statistic Series.
Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS):   The FARS is a census of crashes involving any motor vehicle on a trafficway, but only fatal crashes. It is generally considered to be the most reliable national crash database. A large truck is defined in the FARS as a truck with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 10,000 pounds. A bus is defined in the FARS as large motor vehicles used to carry more than 10 passengers, including school buses, inter-city buses and transit buses. FARS is maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The Crash Profile Reports use the most recently released 2005 - 2009 FARS datasets.
General Estimates System (GES).  GES is a probability-based nationally representative sample of all police-reported fatal, injury, and property damage only crashes. The data from GES yield national estimates, calculated using a weighting procedure, but cannot give State-level estimates. Also, GES is a sample of motor vehicle crashes, and the results generated are estimates. The GES definition of a large truck is the same as the FARS definition. GES is maintained by NHTSA.
Highway Statistic Series:   The Highway Statistics Series consists of annual reports containing analyzed statistical data on motor fuel; motor vehicles; driver licensing; highway-user taxation; State and local government highway finance; highway mileage, and Federal aid for highways. The series is used for tracking the road mileage in the United States, financing information for the various states, and is used in formulation with FHWA's apportionment of Federal funds to the States by the U.S. Congress. A large truck is defined by FHWA as all vehicles on a single frame including trucks, camping and recreational vehicles, etc. having at least two axles and six tires. A bus is defined by FHWA as all vehicles manufactured as traditional passenger-carrying buses with two axles, six tires and three or more axles. This category includes only traditional buses (including school buses) functioning as passenger-carrying vehicles. The Highway Statistic Series is maintained by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS)  The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) operates and maintains the MCMIS. MCMIS contains information on the safety fitness of commercial motor carriers and hazardous material (HM) shippers subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) and the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMRs). MCMIS is a collection of safety information including state-reported crashes, compliance review and roadside inspections results, enforcement data, and motor carrier census data. The Crash Profiles module uses the MCMIS Crash and Census data to compile and publish the State Profiles and several National reports.
  • The MCMIS Census data contains records for several hundred thousand active entities, i.e., motor carriers, hazardous materials shippers, and registrants (entities who register vehicles but are not carriers). In order to identify each entity, MCMIS assigns a unique number to each entity record. This number is referred to as the record census number. This is also the number supplied to an entity as their USDOT number. The Crash Profile Reports use the MCMIS Census data as of December 2009.
  • The MCMIS Crash data includes crashes that are reported by states to the FMCSA through the SAFETYNET computer reporting system. The Crash File includes the National Governors' Association (NGA) recommended data elements collected on trucks and buses involved in crashes that meet the NGA recommended crash threshold. A State reportable crash must involve a truck (a vehicle designed, used, or maintained primarily for carrying property, with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of more than 10,000 lbs.) or bus (a vehicle with seats for at least nine people, including the driver). The crash must result in at least one fatality; one injury where the person injured is taken to a medical facility for immediate medical attention; or one vehicle having been towed from the scene as a result of disabling damage suffered in the crash. The Crash Profile Reports use the MCMIS Crash data as of September 2010.
Neither FARS nor MCMIS databases contain information on crash causation or fault. The data can be only suggestive about why truck and bus crashes occur. Even so, the data can point toward problem areas that may need to be addressed, and toward possible countermeasures.
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