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CHAPTER 3 Summary of Interviews with Carriers, Shippers, and Database Managers Carriers, shippers, and accident database managers were interviewed to ascertain their knowledge of reporting requirements, learn how they investigate accidents, and gather their suggestions for improving accident databases to support root cause analysis. Database managers were asked to discuss process changes or new initiatives for the databases they are managing. 3.1 Introduction To learn about their internal process for investigating accidents and determining their root causes, carriers and shippers were questioned about their knowledge of accident databases. Rep- resentative examples of the questionnaires are included in Appendix A (available on the TRB website at by searching for HMCRP Report 1). Appendix B (also available on the TRB website at by searching for HMCRP Report 1) contains the results of this effort. In several instances, based on the wishes of the interviewee, the questioning became more "free form" and did not precisely follow the questioning order. Nevertheless, the interviews pro- vided the project team with valuable insights into the carrier or shipper's process for identifying the root causes of hazmat accidents. Table B-1 in Appendix B (available on the TRB website at by searching for HMCRP Report 1) displays shipment and operator information for the 13 carriers who responded to a request to complete an interview from the National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC) and the three extremely large carriers that were interviewed via telephone. Table B-2 in Appendix B dis- plays the freight carriers' responses to questions involving a hypothetical hazmat accident in which the vehicle drove off the road. The names of the carriers have not been included in the table in order to protect the confidentiality of the respondents. Each carrier response is grouped in somewhat arbitrary categories based on the number of power units operated by the company. The following are the categories used for the table: Small, less than 100 power units; Medium, 100 to 299 power units; Large, 300 to 499 power units; Very large, 500 to 999 power units; and Extremely large, 1,000 or more power units. The carriers are listed in the order that the questionnaires were received by the researchers. Appendix B also includes the text of an interview with a major water carrier. 23