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Potential Measures for Improving the Identification of Root Causes for Hazardous Materials Crashes 97 izes the hazmat information system, including driver characteristics (e.g., age and experience); hazmat package characteristics (e.g., tank type and age); and vehicle characteristics, carrier char- acteristics, and mileage traveled. With this information, an analyst can mine a dataset and search for the common contributing causes of various classes of hazmat accidents. For example, with- out information on the number of hazmat truck drivers in various age and experience categories, it is impossible to determine those age and experience categories that are over-represented in hazmat accidents. Note that this kind of analysis is appropriate to identify coarse-grained factors that increase risk. For example, the result could be used to determine that older or younger drivers are at higher risk. This should be used with stable characteristics, such as age, vehicle type, and road type, but cannot be used to identify specific errors or transitory conditions that generated a crash, such as a distracted driver or tire failure. Currently, PHMSA is completing Phase I of the Multi Modal Hazmat Intelligence Portal (HIP) system. The system is being designed to acquire hazmat information at a single location. Under HIP, data from FAA, FMCSA, NTSB, the Coast Guard, and PHMSA will be available by carrier, shipper, manufacturer, and packaging company. Only parts of the system, which is being designed for the enforcement staff, will be available to the public. Although FMCSA is supply- ing cargo tank and hazmat compliance reviews as well as inspection results, sharing hazmat crashes in the MCMIS database is not yet part of the system and PHMSA has no immediate plan to incorporate this information into HIP. The incorporation of crash files in the future could enhance system capability. 5.2.2 Availability of Carrier Characteristics Inventory Information for Analysis with Accident Data FMCSA maintains both the MCMIS Census and Crash files. The MCMIS Census file contains inventory information that, if routinely updated and validated, could be useful for identifying which motor carrier characteristics are over-represented in hazmat crashes. A study that made such comparisons for a targeted group of 100 accidents over a one-year period might identify changes to the type of inventory information that should be collected. As a result, a program could be initiated requiring that the new information be obtained when existing carriers re-register and new carriers register for the first time. PHMSA has an annual hazmat carrier registration requirement. These data also could be used to determine which carrier characteristics are being over-represented in hazmat crashes. It is likely that additional information would be required on the vehicle configuration, pack- aging, and driver if one wished to determine whether these characteristics are being over- represented in hazmat accidents. Clearly, changes to the data elements in the current HMIRS and Hazmat Registration file would be required to capture more than carrier inventory data. Note that although privacy issues arise when a driver's name is tied to age, experience, phys- ical condition, or the extent of injuries, there is no privacy issue if the driver's name, license number, or Social Security number is not associated with the physical characteristics of the driver. Packaging could be handled in a similar fashion, without disclosing any business- sensitive information. 5.2.3 Add or Modify Inventory Data in Databases This subsection includes specific potential measures for adding inventory data to the system in key locations such as in the major incident databases or supplemental databases such as PHMSA Registration Database or MCMIS Census file.