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Literature Review 21 level of understanding about the details and possible cause of the crash were obtained. This would not have been possible by using only the MCMIS or HMIRS database because of often-missing or inaccurate data. For instance, the MCMIS database classified 569 crashes as accidents involving hazmat Class 3 cargo. Once this was combined with the other sources, only 465 of these actually contained hazmat Class 3 cargo, and 69 of the 569 crashes did not even represent hazmat shipments. 2.2.17 Unified Reporting of Commercial and Non-Commercial Traffic Accidents The objectives of this study (Shupe Consulting 2001) were to document the current business processes, forms, and data used for accident reporting in South Dakota and on national data- bases, and to develop a design specification for implementing a single system that could record, manage, and track accident information. It was concluded that the existing system was not well integrated with national databases (conflicts with state and FARS reporting), needed greater analysis capabilities, was time consuming to support (too much dependence on manual entry), contained inaccurate data, and lacked user accessibility. In proposing an improved system based on electronic data entry, it was recognized that challenges remain with redesigning crash report forms, establishing uniform reporting policies and procedures across the state, and providing adequate accident data collection training for law enforcement officers. 2.2.18 "Crashes Involving Long Combination Vehicles: Data Quality Problems and Recommendations for Improvement" The author (Scopatz 2001) performed a study for the AAA Safety Foundation to identify bar- riers to analysis of longer combination vehicles (LCVs)--doubles and triples operating on our nation's highways. The states of Florida, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Utah participated in a review and evaluation of their data collection and analysis practices. Oregon and Utah also par- ticipated in an audit of completed crash reports for crashes involving LCVs. It was concluded that none of the five states had a crash reporting system that adequately supports an analysis of LCV safety. Of particular note was a lack of reliable data on the specific configuration of vehicles involved in crashes. The report also contains recommendations for improving the quality of data for crashes involving large trucks and a state's ability to analyze LCV crashes. 2.2.19 "Use of Emerging Technologies for Marine Accident Data Analysis Visualization and Quality Control" This paper (Dobbins and Abkowitz 2009) focused on performing analyses of allisions, collisions, and groundings on the inland waterway system. (Note: a vessel collides with another moving vessel but allides with a fixed object such as a bridge.) The source of accident information was U.S. Coast Guard marine casualty data from 1980 through mid-2007. During that time, the Coast Guard transitioned between three major system designs. The authors found significant quality issues with the U.S. Coast Guard accident data, specifically reporting inconsistencies among regions, missing data elements, and inaccurately reported information (including geographic location). Visualization using satellite imagery (in programs such as Google Earth) proved valuable in vali- dating accident locations and understanding how the characteristics of each location may have con- tributed to accident causation and consequence. Recommendations are made as to how emerging technologies can be meaningfully applied to marine casualty data validation and analysis. 2.3 Summary of Findings and Implications A review of relevant transportation accident data collection and analysis literature over the past three decades reveals some important findings and implications regarding the current state of the art of root cause analysis. These can be conveniently separated into recognition of problems