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16 Hazardous Materials Transportation Incident Data for Root Cause Analysis Absence of guidelines for law enforcement officers and others who are expected to file incident/ accident reports; and A linkage between a crash investigation report and death certificates and autopsy data is typically missing. Among the recommendations for addressing these inadequacies are Make greater use of sampling to obtain more detailed information on events of interest, including performing supplemental studies in conjunction with sampling. Perform special studies using other databases (e.g., Consumer Product Safety Commission's National Electronic Injury Surveillance System) to address transportation-related injuries for which data are not routinely collected by DOT agencies. Improve data collection/reporting details about crash severity and mechanisms of injury. Add photographic evidence to crash files. Make greater use of geographic information systems (GIS) to identify more precisely where the event occurred and to relate the location to surrounding features. Incorporate data from non-DOT sources (e.g., information on a death certificate) into DOT data records. Other recommendations were associated with how to make greater use of technology to improve data collection and included Provide crash investigators with handheld devices containing drop-down menus for on-scene data entry. Incorporate the use of event data recorders into the police accident reporting process. Encourage the installation of automatic crash notification in road vehicles and have this data included in the investigation. 2.2.3 "National Crash Data Bases Underestimate Underride Statistics" "National Crash Data Bases Underestimate Underride Statistics" (Road Management & Engineer- ing Journal 1999), summarizes the results of a study that selected 275 fatal truck-car crashes reported in both the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and National Accident Sampling System-- Crashworthiness Data System (NASS/CDS) for the purpose of evaluating the frequency of crashes that are characterized as underrides. Data from NASS/CDS showed that the percentage of fatal underrides of large trucks by passenger vehicles was much higher in NASS/CDS (27%) than in FARS (7%). The NASS/CDS statistics were considered to be more reliable because a larger amount of resources and personnel are devoted to investigating a crash in NASS/CDS than in FARS. This discrepancy in underrides as a crash characteristic was attributed in part to a lack of avail- able information in the FARS police reports to determine whether the crash involved an under- ride. To help alleviate this problem, it was suggested that the interview skills of FARS analysts be enhanced to help guide them in identifying and coding underrides. 2.2.4 Transportation Research Circular 231: Truck Accident Data Systems: State-of-the-Art Report Transportation Research Circular 231 (TRB 1981) summarizes the proceedings of a workshop that addressed 1. Issues that should guide the collection of truck safety data, 2. Data available to address these issues, 3. Quality and completeness of available data, and 4. Potential sources of additional data.