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Potential Measures for Improving the Identification of Root Causes for Hazardous Materials Crashes 103 Table 5-1. Accident parameters. Packaging Vehicle Driver Infrastructure Situational Hazmat Configuration Age Package Type Road Surface Pre-Crash Hazardous Material Condition Cargo Body Experience Quantity Shipped Road Condition Dangerous Event GVW Condition Quantity Lost Road Type Vehicle Speed Vehicle Defect Valid License Age (Cargo Tank) Traffic Way Impact Location Vehicle Citation Issued Rollover Protection Access Control Primary Reason Response Response Inspection History Speed Limit Accident Type Training Design No. of Lanes Weather Condition Specification Location Light Condition Time of Day Health Consequence Data Breadth This section covers the type of data breadth required to upgrade the system. This is difficult to specify because it depends on the type of analysis that must be performed to get to the root cause of a class of accidents. There is not, a priori, an assumption that can be made regarding what information is important since this relates to the contributing causes. Data Breadth for Trucks. For trucks, basic data may be needed in one of five areas including vehicle, driver, packaging, infrastructure, and situational. Table 5-1, adapted from the Hazardous Materials Serious Crash Analysis: Phase 2 (Battelle 2005), can be used to insure that there is no missing data in each of the five areas. Data Breadth for Trains. For trains, basic data may be needed in one of five areas including train consist, engineer/crew, packaging/hazmat, track type, and situational. Data Breadth for Water Carriers. For water carriers, basic data may be needed in one of five areas including barge or vessel type, captain/crew, cargo configuration/hazmat, waterway, and situational. 5.4 Potential Measures for Improving Capability of Specific Databases to Identify Root Causes 5.4.1 Potential Measures for MCMIS The following potential measures apply to enhancing the ability of MCMIS to identify root causes of hazmat accidents. Provide Training in Completing Reports for Carriers and Police The goal of this effort would be to improve the reliability of the MCMIS database by provid- ing targeted training for those individuals responsible for submitting accident reports. The source of MCMIS data is the PARs that are completed by police officers. The most effective method for improving the quality of PARs would be to develop an online training package that provides police departments with guidance for investigating a crash and completing the PAR for serious hazmat crashes. The California Highway Patrol's Collision Investigation Manual could serve as a model for developing these materials.

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104 Hazardous Materials Transportation Incident Data for Root Cause Analysis Complete All Parameter Fields Fully completed MCMIS parameter fields offer the potential for the single biggest improve- ment in MCMIS crash reporting. Some fields could be required to be filled out before an acci- dent record can be uploaded, particularly those related to the vehicle, carrier, driver, route characteristics, and point of contact information. Complete Driver Condition Field Since 2004, the DRIVER_CONDITION_CODE field has been left blank. In Hazardous Materi- als Serious Crash Analysis: Phase 2 (Battelle 2005), the code "Appeared Normal" was the com- mon entry for about 94% of the vehicle crash records. Being able to flag those 6% for more detailed study might result in improved driver performance not only for the 6% identified but for some of the 94% that appeared normal but, in fact, were impaired. Since this is the only field that captures driver performance in MCMIS, it is suggested that this field be filled out again. Complete Hazmat Fields All five hazmat fields should be completely and accurately filled out for accidents involving trucks carrying hazmat. As described in Section 4.1, this is often not accomplished. If two fields must be filled out for a consistency check, this can occur in only 32% of the cases--the acci- dents where four or five of the fields are filled out. Furthermore, for the 32% of the cases where two or more descriptive fields are filled out, the entries are often inconsistent, making it difficult to accurately determine even the class of hazardous material being transported. Although it is normally possible to identify the name of the hazardous material from the data reported in the VEHICLE_HAZMAT_MATERIAL field, it should be noted that in either the recording of the information or in the electronic transmission of the data, the field is often being truncated. Bar codes could be used to supplement placards to supply the police officer with accurate data on the carrier, vehicle, driver, and type of hazardous material. These data could be read easily with an inexpensive hand-held bar code reader then transferred to a police officer's com- puter or printed and attached to the PAR. The use of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags on all large trucks transporting the most dangerous hazmat, such as TIH and explosives, should be considered. Information in the tags could include the driver, vehicle, hazmat cargo, carrier, and vehicle. This system would improve the accuracy of police reporting and also provide a valuable tool for emergency responders to identify hazmat remotely. Specify the Location Accurately The location field should be specified in a manner that enables the accident location to be found on a map. Presently, the accident location can be found on a map for about 30% of the crashes. Specifying the route number or street name followed by the longitude and latitude would appear to be a straight-forward way to register the location. The difficulty in identifying the accident location on a map is exasperated by truncation errors occurring somewhere in the recording or record transmission process, thereby eliminating key information in the LOCATION field. Provide State Personnel Access to Other Key Data State personnel entering the data into the MCMIS crash record system should have access to databases containing related information, such as the MCMIS Registration file and the 49 CFR Part 172 Hazardous Material Table. Having access to such files would enable state personnel to perform a quality control check on the hazmat entries and fill in any information missing from the PAR. Linking the data entry process with these, and other, files would make it easier to accurately populate fields in the MCMIS Crash file. Ensure that the MCMIS Report Number Be Linked to the PAR Agencies checking the quality of MCMIS crash reports should be able to easily link the PARs with the MCMIS report. Therefore, it is suggested that the PAR number be included