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NATIONAL NCHRP SYNTHESIS 350 COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM Crash Records Systems A Synthesis of Highway Practice
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TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE 2005 (Membership as of November 2005) OFFICERS Chair: John R. Njord, Executive Director, Utah DOT Vice Chair: Michael D. Meyer, Professor, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology Executive Director: Robert E. Skinner, Jr., Transportation Research Board MEMBERS MICHAEL W. BEHRENS, Executive Director, Texas DOT ALLEN D. BIEHLER, Secretary, Pennsylvania DOT LARRY L. BROWN, SR., Executive Director, Mississippi DOT DEBORAH H. BUTLER, Vice President, Customer Service, Norfolk Southern Corporation and Subsidiaries, Atlanta, GA ANNE P. CANBY, President, Surface Transportation Policy Project, Washington, DC JOHN L. CRAIG, Director, Nebraska Department of Roads DOUGLAS G. DUNCAN, President and CEO, FedEx Freight, Memphis, TN NICHOLAS J. GARBER, Professor of Civil Engineering, University of Virginia ANGELA GITTENS, Vice President, Airport Business Services, HNTB Corporation, Miami, FL GENEVIEVE GIULIANO, Director, Metrans Transportation Center, and Professor, School of Policy, Planning, and Development, USC, Los Angeles BERNARD S. GROSECLOSE, JR., President and CEO, South Carolina State Ports Authority SUSAN HANSON, Landry University Professor of Geography, Graduate School of Geography, Clark University JAMES R. HERTWIG, President, CSX Intermodal, Jacksonville, FL GLORIA JEAN JEFF, Director, Michigan DOT ADIB K. KANAFANI, Cahill Professor of Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley HERBERT S. LEVINSON, Principal, Herbert S. Levinson Transportation Consultant, New Haven, CT SUE MCNEIL, Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Delaware MICHAEL R. MORRIS, Director of Transportation, North Central Texas Council of Governments CAROL A. MURRAY, Commissioner, New Hampshire DOT MICHAEL S. TOWNES, President and CEO, Hampton Roads Transit, Hampton, VA C. MICHAEL WALTON, Ernest H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering, University of Texas, Austin LINDA S. WATSON, Executive Director, LYNX--Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority MARION C. BLAKEY, Federal Aviation Administrator, U.S.DOT (ex officio) JOSEPH H. BOARDMAN, Federal Railroad Administrator, U.S.DOT (ex officio) REBECCA M. BREWSTER, President and COO, American Transportation Research Institute, Smyrna, GA (ex officio) GEORGE BUGLIARELLO, Chancellor, Polytechnic University, and Foreign Secretary, National Academy of Engineering (ex officio) J. RICHARD CAPKA, Acting Administrator, Federal Highway Administration, U.S.DOT (ex officio) THOMAS H. COLLINS (Adm., U.S. Coast Guard), Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard (ex officio) JAMES J. EBERHARDT, Chief Scientist, Office of FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies, U.S. Department of Energy (ex officio) JACQUELINE GLASSMAN, Deputy Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S.DOT (ex officio) EDWARD R. HAMBERGER, President and CEO, Association of American Railroads (ex officio) DAVID B. HORNER, Acting Deputy Administrator, Federal Transit Administration, U.S.DOT (ex officio) JOHN C. HORSLEY, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (ex officio) JOHN E. JAMIAN, Acting Administrator, Maritime Administration, U.S.DOT (ex officio) EDWARD JOHNSON, Director, Applied Science Directorate, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (ex officio) ASHOK G. KAVEESHWAR, Research and Innovative Technology Administrator, U.S.DOT (ex officio) BRIGHAM MCCOWN, Deputy Administrator, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, U.S.DOT (ex officio) WILLIAM W. MILLAR, President, American Public Transportation Association (ex officio) SUZANNE RUDZINSKI, Director, Transportation and Regional Programs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (ex officio) ANNETTE M. SANDBERG, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT (ex officio) JEFFREY N. SHANE, Under Secretary for Policy, U.S.DOT (ex officio) CARL A. STROCK (Maj. Gen., U.S. Army), Chief of Engineers and Commanding General, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ex officio) NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM Transportation Research Board Executive Committee Subcommittee for NCHRP JOHN R. NJORD, Utah DOT (Chair) MICHAEL D. MEYER, Georgia Institute of Technology J. RICHARD CAPKA, Federal Highway Administration ROBERT E. SKINNER, JR., Transportation Research Board JOHN C. HORSLEY, American Association of State Highway MICHAEL S. TOWNES, Hampton Roads Transit, Hampton, VA and Transportation Officials C. MICHAEL WALTON, University of Texas, Austin
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NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM NCHRP SYNTHESIS 350 Crash Records Systems A Synthesis of Highway Practice CONSULTANTS BARBARA HILGER DELUCIA and ROBERT A. SCOPATZ Data Nexus, Inc. College Station, Texas TOPIC PANEL JANICE BENTON, California Department of Transportation MARY JENSEN, Iowa Department of Transportation EDWARD V. MILTON, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration RICHARD PAIN, Transportation Research Board BHAGWANT PERSAUD, Ryerson Polytechnic University TONY SMALL, Texas Department of Public Safety JEFFREY A. SWAN, PinnacleOne MARION WATERS, III, Gresham Smith and Partners CHARLES A. AIKEN, Federal Highway Administration (Liaison) MIKE GRIFFITH, Federal Highway Administration (Liaison) S UBJECT A REAS Planning and Administration; Highway Operations, Capacity, and Traffic Control; Safety and Human Performance Research Sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials in Cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD WASHINGTON, D.C. 2005 www.TRB.org
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NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM NCHRP SYNTHESIS 350 Systematic, well-designed research provides the most effective Project 20-5 FY 2003 (Topic 35-03) approach to the solution of many problems facing highway ISSN 0547-5570 administrators and engineers. Often, highway problems are of local ISBN 0-309-09754-1 interest and can best be studied by highway departments Library of Congress Control No. 2005927780 individually or in cooperation with their state universities and © Transportation Research Board others. However, the accelerating growth of highway transportation develops increasingly complex problems of wide interest to Price $16.00 highway authorities. These problems are best studied through a coordinated program of cooperative research. In recognition of these needs, the highway administrators of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials initiated in 1962 an objective national highway research NOTICE program employing modern scientific techniques. This program is The project that is the subject of this report was a part of the National supported on a continuing basis by funds from participating Cooperative Highway Research Program conducted by the Transportation member states of the Association and it receives the full cooperation Research Board with the approval of the Governing Board of the National and support of the Federal Highway Administration, United States Research Council. Such approval reflects the Governing Board's judgment that Department of Transportation. the program concerned is of national importance and appropriate with respect The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies to both the purposes and resources of the National Research Council. was requested by the Association to administer the research The members of the technical committee selected to monitor this project and program because of the Board's recognized objectivity and to review this report were chosen for recognized scholarly competence and with due consideration for the balance of disciplines appropriate to the project. understanding of modern research practices. The Board is uniquely The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied are those of the research suited for this purpose as it maintains an extensive committee agency that performed the research, and, while they have been accepted as structure from which authorities on any highway transportation appropriate by the technical committee, they are not necessarily those of the subject may be drawn; it possesses avenues of communications and Transportation Research Board, the National Research Council, the American cooperation with federal, state, and local governmental agencies, Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, or the Federal universities, and industry; its relationship to the National Research Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation. Council is an insurance of objectivity; it maintains a full-time Each report is reviewed and accepted for publication by the technical research correlation staff of specialists in highway transportation committee according to procedures established and monitored by the matters to bring the findings of research directly to those who are in Transportation Research Board Executive Committee and the Governing a position to use them. Board of the National Research Council. The program is developed on the basis of research needs identified by chief administrators of the highway and transportation departments and by committees of AASHTO. Each year, specific areas of research needs to be included in the program are proposed to the National Research Council and the Board by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Research projects to fulfill these needs are defined by the Board, and qualified research agencies are selected from those that have submitted proposals. Administration and surveillance of research contracts are the responsibilities of the National Research Council and the Transportation Research Board. The needs for highway research are many, and the National Cooperative Highway Research Program can make significant contributions to the solution of highway transportation problems of mutual concern to many responsible groups. The program, however, is intended to complement rather than to substitute for or duplicate other highway research programs. Published reports of the NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM are available from: Transportation Research Board Business Office NOTE: The Transportation Research Board of the National Acade- 500 Fifth Street, NW mies, the National Research Council, the Federal Highway Adminis- Washington, DC 20001 tration, the American Association of State Highway and Transporta- tion Officials, and the individual states participating in the National and can be ordered through the Internet at: Cooperative Highway Research Program do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturers' names appear herein http://www.national-academies.org/trb/bookstore solely because they are considered essential to the object of this report. Printed in the United States of America
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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished schol- ars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. On the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and techni- cal matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Acad- emy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achieve- ments of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, on its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Acad- emy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both the Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. William A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. The Transportation Research Board is a division of the National Research Council, which serves the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. The Board's mission is to promote innovation and progress in transportation through research. In an objective and interdisciplinary setting, the Board facilitates the sharing of information on transportation practice and policy by researchers and practitioners; stimulates research and offers research management services that promote technical excellence; provides expert advice on transportation policy and programs; and disseminates research results broadly and encourages their implementation. The Board's varied activities annually engage more than 5,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation. www.TRB.org www.national-academies.org
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NCHRP COMMITTEE FOR PROJECT 20-5 COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM STAFF ROBERT J. REILLY, Director, Cooperative Research Programs CHAIR CRAWFORD F. JENCKS, Manager, NCHRP GARY D. TAYLOR, CTE Engineers EILEEN P. DELANEY, Director of Publications MEMBERS NCHRP SYNTHESIS STAFF THOMAS R. BOHUSLAV, Texas DOT STEPHEN R. GODWIN, Director for Studies and Information Services DONN E. HANCHER, University of Kentucky JON WILLIAMS, Manager, Synthesis Studies DWIGHT HORNE, Federal Highway Administration DONNA L. VLASAK, Senior Program Officer YSELA LLORT, Florida DOT DON TIPPMAN, Editor WESLEY S.C. LUM, California DOT CHERYL KEITH, Senior Secretary JAMES W. MARCH, Federal Highway Administration JOHN M. MASON, JR., Pennsylvania State University CATHERINE NELSON, Oregon DOT LARRY VELASQUEZ, New Mexico DOT PAUL T. WELLS, New York State DOT FHWA LIAISON WILLIAM ZACCAGNINO TRB LIAISON MARK R. NORMAN
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FOREWORD Highway administrators, engineers, and researchers often face problems for which infor- By Staff mation already exists, either in documented form or as undocumented experience and prac- Transportation tice. This information may be fragmented, scattered, and unevaluated. As a consequence, Research Board full knowledge of what has been learned about a problem may not be brought to bear on its solution. Costly research findings may go unused, valuable experience may be overlooked, and due consideration may not be given to recommended practices for solving or alleviat- ing the problem. There is information on nearly every subject of concern to highway administrators and engineers. Much of it derives from research or from the work of practitioners faced with problems in their day-to-day work. To provide a systematic means for assembling and eval- uating such useful information and to make it available to the entire highway community, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials--through the mechanism of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program--authorized the Transportation Research Board to undertake a continuing study. This study, NCHRP Proj- ect 20-5, "Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Problems," searches out and syn- thesizes useful knowledge from all available sources and prepares concise, documented reports on specific topics. Reports from this endeavor constitute an NCHRP report series, Synthesis of Highway Practice. This synthesis series reports on current knowledge and practice, in a compact format, without the detailed directions usually found in handbooks or design manuals. Each report in the series provides a compendium of the best knowledge available on those measures found to be the most successful in resolving specific problems. PREFACE This synthesis will be of interest to state transportation agency personnel, as well as to other professionals in both the public and private sectors, who deal with the development of successful crash records systems. The report examined practices and programs in search of current information, as applied to highway and traffic safety. The following topics were addressed: crash data collection, crash processing and management, and data linkages for reporting and analysis. The situation found was characterized as a patchwork of data that ranged widely. Although no single comprehensive system examples were identified, many examples of one or more successful components were found to address the needs of three groups of stakeholders--data collectors, data managers, and data users. This synthesis also contains information about lessons learned from examples of successful systems, address- ing the needs and concerns of stakeholders and repeats this information in the context of suggested improvements for future expansion of the use and capabilities of crash records systems. Survey responses were received from 26 state departments of transportation and follow- up interviews were conducted with selected agencies. This information was combined with a review of pertinent literature. A panel of experts in the subject area guided the work of organizing and evaluating the col- lected data and reviewed the final synthesis report. A consultant was engaged to collect and synthesize the information and to write the report. Both the consultant and the members of the oversight panel are acknowledged on the title page. This synthesis is an immediately useful document that records the practices that were acceptable within the limitations of the knowl- edge available at the time of its preparation. As progress in research and practice continues, new knowledge will be added to that now at hand.
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CONTENTS 1 SUMMARY 5 CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION Background, 5 Synthesis Objectives, 6 Organization of Synthesis, 6 Survey Scope and Methodology, 6 7 CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW History, 7 Crash Data Collection, 8 Crash Data Management, 10 Technology Strategies, 10 Location Reference, 11 Institutional and Organizational Barriers, 11 13 CHAPTER THREE SURVEY RESULTS Survey Responses, 13 Summary, 18 20 CHAPTER FOUR SUCCESSFUL CRASH RECORDS SYSTEMS AND INITIATIVES Crash Data Collection, 20 Crash Processing and Management, 23 Data Linkages for Reporting and Analysis, 25 Summary, 26 28 CHAPTER FIVE CONCLUSIONS 30 REFERENCES 32 APPENDIX A SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE 35 APPENDIX B SURVEY RESPONDENTS