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94 Hazardous Materials Transportation Incident Data for Root Cause Analysis improvements were made in the breadth and accuracy of hazmat crash information from which safety assessments and root cause analyses can be performed. These improvements are evident by comparing initial MCMIS tables with the completed Haz- mat Accident Database. In addition to broadening the selection of eligible entries to many of the descriptive tables, new tables also were created that are not present in either MCMIS or HMIRS, such as Pre-Crash Events, Primary Reasons, and Impact Location. Moreover, data collected from PARs and from carrier correspondence for nearly 1,000 MCMIS crash records enabled many MCMIS data fields that were initially blank to be populated. Despite these improvements, some fields were largely blank. For example, no PAR captured information on evacuations. Only one state, Kentucky, captured information on road closures. The vehicle speed was captured in roughly 50% of the PARs, and the trailer dimensions, length, and width could be obtained in only one-quarter of the cases. The other fields were filled out for more than 80% of the selected crashes and in some states that figure was 100%. Some states, such as California, have extensive PARs that provide information on all of the key parameters as well as other parameters that might be of future interest. Roughly 60% of the states use a commer- cial vehicle supplement, designed to capture data required for the MCMIS Crash file. These sup- plements tend to have a uniform hazmat section that provides all of the information needed to fill out the five hazmat entries in MCMIS. Unfortunately, about 25% of the states that are known to have commercial vehicle supplements did not provide the supplemental form. Appendix E (available on the TRB website at by searching for HMCRP Report 1) presents rep- resentative analyses that were conducted using the Hazmat Accident Database. 4.9.7 Summary The Hazardous Materials Serious Crash Analysis: Phase 2 (Battelle 2005) convincingly demon- strated that by adding explanatory fields to MCMIS, selecting a sample of crashes for more detailed investigation, matching the same crash in HMIRS with the one in MCMIS, using PARs to check data quality and complete added data fields, and telephoning carriers to collect data on such elements as hazmat type and quantity, root cause analyses could be made more accurately and thoroughly. Consequently, the project team suggests that the following lessons learned from the Hazmat Serious Truck Crash Project be applied to the data collection process: Add selected explanatory fields to increase the type of data available for analysis. Select an annual population of hazmat crashes for more detailed investigation. This popula- tion could be selected based on a number of criteria such as type of crash or type of hazardous material. For example, for a particular year (or years), all rollover crashes resulting in a spill could be selected or all crashes involving a spill of Class 3 hazardous materials could be selected. The number of years selected would relate to the number of accidents available for analysis. For rarer events and hazmat classes, a larger number of years would be chosen. Match all applicable crashes to HMIRS. Use HMIRS data to supplement MCMIS data wher- ever possible. Use the PARs to supplement and check crash data. Collect PARs from the states and use them to ensure data quality and to complete data in the added fields. Telephone key contacts such as carriers to collect unique data. Carriers should be called to col- lect data on such characteristics as driver age, packaging type, and type and quantity of haz- ardous material shipped and/or spilled.