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66 CHAPTER 7 Improving the Accident Data Collection Process This chapter develops recommendations designed to facili- The TTC provided three separate incident reports: Occur- tate the compilation of accident data in a coordinated and con- rence Report, Surface Supervisory Occurrence Report 185L, sistent manner across LRT systems in the United States. The and Assessment and Summary Disposition Report. goal is to generate data that permits meaningful comparisons of accident rates across transportation modes, and more rigorous The Occurrence Report and the Surface Supervisory Occur- assessment of the effectiveness of safety measures, devices, and rence Report contained generally very similar informa- practices implemented on LRT alignments. The chapter pro- tion. However the Occurrence Report focused on collecting vides an overview of existing data collection experience and the information only available at the scene such as the type of various report forms used by transit agencies. Additional detail impact (i.e., sideswipe), the precise location of injured pas- regarding the accident data collection process is provided in sengers, and whether or not each vehicle sounded its horn Appendix E. or had its headlights on before impact. It is essential to have detailed and comprehensive informa- The Surface Supervisory Report focused on reporting tion to accurately identify problems, rates, and trends in LRT damage and factors contributing to the incident, such as accident data and to develop corrective actions and remedial detailed descriptions of the location and extent of damage, measures. Accident data should be collected and stored in a the specific actions of all drivers and pedestrians involved, consistent format that facilitates electronic data management classification of the severity of the incident and any injuries, and analysis. Diagrams of crossing conditions and character- and judgments (yes, no, or unknown) as to whether or not istics depicting roadway/LRT geometry where collisions each environmental factor contributed to the occurrence. occur, and collision diagrams illustrating crash experience The Assessment and Summary Disposition Report focused ("condition diagrams" and "collision diagrams," respectively, on identifying any evidence that could implicate the TTC in MUTCD terminology), can be useful in pinpointing prob- operator or the other motorist/pedestrian in legal respon- lems. The information contained in these diagrams is not, sibility for the incident. however, directly transferrable to the numeric format of elec- tronic databases and thus cannot be used in the statistical SEPTA provided three separate incident report forms: analysis of large sets of collisions. It is desirable to have consis- Operator's Accident Incident Report, the Supervisor's Acci- tent accident reporting formats across transit agencies. dent Investigation Report, and the SEPTA Public & Opera- tional Safety Division Incident Report. Transit Agency Data The research team reviewed the incident reporting forms As with the TTC, the data collected on the Operator's Acci- used by 12 LRT transit agencies. The incident report forms dent Form and the Supervisor's Accident form were nearly used by these transit agencies are included in Appendix E. identical. The Operator's Accident Form included descrip- tions of the specific actions of all parties involved in the inci- dent, while the Supervisor's Accident Investigation Form Agencies with Multiple contained additional information classifying the incident Accident Report Forms and indicating the presence and types of safety features and Most agencies provided only one incident report form, but traffic control devices at the scene. three agencies provided more than one. These agencies were The Public and Operational Safety Division Incident Report the TTC, SEPTA, and SF MUNI. was a summary level report compiled using the previous two