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Literature Review 19 Overall, GAO concluded that commercial motor vehicle crash data do not yet meet general data quality standards of completeness, timeliness, accuracy, and consistency. More specifically, for fis- cal year 2004, nearly one-third of commercial motor vehicle crashes that states are required to report to FMCSA were not reported and, of those that were reported, there were problems with accuracy, timeliness, and consistency (e.g., 15% of crash records reported to FMCSA could not be matched to the carrier's DOT number). Data quality problems most often stemmed from errors or omissions either by law enforcement officers at the scene of a crash or in the processing of crash reports to a state-level database. Among the specific problems cited were the following: 1. Infrequent opportunities for officers to receive training on filling out crash reports, 2. Unfamiliarity with what and how to report that result from infrequent occurrences of com- mercial motor vehicle crashes in an officer's jurisdiction, 3. Competing priorities at the officer level (where safety is a higher priority than data collection at the crash scene), 4. Use of manual crash reporting forms (compounded when the commercial vehicle crash report is a supplemental form), 5. Complex processes some states use to transform a report into the FMCSA format, and 6. An overall lack of quality control during data entry. To combat this problem, individual states are engaged in the following activities, utilizing federal funds allocated by FMCSA to support state efforts to collect and report commercial motor vehicle crash data: Analyzing existing data to identify problems and develop plans for addressing them, Reducing report backlogs that have not been entered into state-level databases, Developing and implementing electronic data systems for collecting and processing crash information (e.g., on-scene reporting using handheld computers), and Providing training on the definitions and criteria for commercial motor vehicle crashes and emphasizing the importance of data quality. To date, improvements in both the timeliness and number of reportable crashes have been observed, as measured by FMCSA's data quality rating system. However, GAO found that this sys- tem contains some flaws that can mask the true effectiveness of crash reporting and made specific recommendations for how to address these shortcomings. 2.2.10 In-Depth Accident Causation Data Study Methodology Development Report (SafetyNet) This report (Paulsson 2005) was prepared for the European Commission in order to develop a system for taking an independent, in-depth accident causation database and creating an investiga- tion process that identifies the main risk factors leading to a crash. The main difference between the proposed and existing systems is that this system would be constructed from the ground up with the sole purpose of determining the causes of accidents, unlike the multitude of existing databases that have to be cross-referenced, when even possible, to accomplish this objective. One major concern that this report recognizes is the need for accurate and consistent data. To address this concern, the report recommends conducting interviews and issuing questionnaires to confirm all aspects of an incident as well as implementing systems to review the procedures that data collectors are using at crashes. 2.2.11 Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010: 2006 Listening Session This listening session (Coray Gurnitz Consulting and Abacus Technology 2007) enabled partic- ipants to supply ideas on how FMCSA could improve its commercial motor vehicle safety compli- ance and enforcement programs. Among the suggestions made were the need for higher quality