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88 Hazardous Materials Transportation Incident Data for Root Cause Analysis 4.8.3 Insights for Analyzing Root Cause The insights are divided into three categories: (1) data quality, (2) probable cause findings, and (3) summary. These categories are described in the following subsections. 4.8.4 Data Quality A comparison of the NTSB (1998) and FRA (2003) data revealed many significant differences. In five cases, there were differences in the number of fatal and non-fatal injuries. FRA establishes explicit reporting requirements and it is not known if NTSB followed the same requirements. For example, if a medical examiner determined that the driver committed suicide, the railroad would not have been required to report the fatality to FRA. Although FRA requires that the rail- road file an amended report if the person dies within 180 days of the crash, if the railroad does not follow the progress of the injured person, then they would not know if the person died within that time period and this would not be reported to FRA. Whatever the reasons, the differences were not small. For Case 3, the FRA database stated no fatalities and NTSB reported 3 fatalities. For Case 7, the FRA database stated 1 fatality and 3 injuries whereas NTSB reported 3 fatalities. In Case 26, the FRA reported 2 injuries and NTSB reported 12 injuries. In Case 55, the FRA data- base stated no injuries and NTSB reported 6 injuries. In Case 60, the FRA database reported 1 injury and 1 fatality and NTSB reported 2 fatalities. Since the NTSB finding is always more severe, one can assume that NTSB did more follow-up in the period after the accident to more accurately reflect the number of fatal and non-fatal injuries. There were 4 of the 60 cases where no corresponding FRA report could be found at the date and location listed in the NTSB report. In one case, the accident was found at the same time and location, three days later. For the other three, no report could be found. In one case, the vehicle attempted to cross at an abandoned grade crossing and that accident, while classi- fied as a grade-crossing accident by the NTSB is classified as an obstruction accident by FRA for which a grade-crossing accident report need not be filed. For the remaining two, no FRA report corresponding to the NTSB report could be found. There were large differences reported for other parameters as well. The view of oncoming trains in the vicinity of the grade crossing showed the largest discrepancy (see Table 4-27). As shown in Table 4-27, NTSB separated its assessment of obstructed view into two parame- ters, the view as the motor vehicle approached the crossing and the view of the oncoming train Table 4-27. Query on obstructed vision. NTSB Findings Sight Distance FRA Database Number Sight Distance View Parameter of Cases Limited on Limited at Stop Line Approach Yes Yes Topography 1 Yes Yes Vegetation 1 Yes Yes No Obstruction 5 Yes No Permanent Structure 1 Yes No Vegetation 1 Yes No No Obstruction 24 No Yes No Obstruction 1 No No Passing Train 1 No No No Obstruction 22