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98 Hazardous Materials Transportation Incident Data for Root Cause Analysis 5.2.4 Link Data from HMIRS, MCMIS, RAIRS, and Other Information Sources Existing fields suitable for linking individual hazmat crashes in different databases would be described. Where needed, fields that describe the event location, such as lat/long coordi- nates, street addresses, river and rail mile points, and FIPS codes, could be added and/or better quality controlled (using GIS technology) to facilitate the linking of databases. Common accident identifiers are suggested to encourage data integration, validation, and sharing. For all hazmat truck crashes, the DOT number could be correctly reported and entered into the Crash file. The use of a police report number would be another possibility, for link- ing traffic accidents. To ensure this takes place, a copy of the police report could be submit- ted with the crash report. FIPS codes for all geographic entities (such as states, counties, cities) would be used as available. Time could be entered from the police report. MCMIS also could make sure that the report submitted to the crash file includes the police accident report number. 5.2.5 Develop a System for Each Database That Will Target About 5% of Hazmat Crashes for More Detailed Investigation Ideally, the chosen accidents would be from a common class of accidents. As one potential example, a sample of hazmat crashes involving rollovers of hazmat tanker trucks could be selected for more detailed root cause investigation. Another potential application could be the selection of crashes involving a particular commodity, such as propane, to determine if these accidents are over-represented and, if so, what measures could be developed to decrease both their frequency and severity. A further option could be the selection of hazmat crashes occurring on a particular type of roadway or involving a certain category of driver based on age and experience. Finally, a random sample from all accidents could be selected for further investigation. This approach is already being implemented, although not exclusively for crashes involving haz- mat. FRA currently supplements selected rail accidents in the RAIRS data by about 100 detailed accident investigation reports published annually. The Coast Guard does a few detailed accident investigations, and NTSB investigates almost all air crashes as well as selected serious crashes for other modes. By examining 100 accidents in detail, FRA is able to obtain additional data for acci- dents of interest and thereby probe deeper into the root and contributing causes of those accidents. The FRA example provides a workable framework for investigating the root and contributing causes of hazmat accidents. Similar additional investigations could be undertaken by each agency responsible for a major database. For trucks, a slightly different approach was taken in the Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS). This study obtained detailed parameters for approximately 1,000 heavy truck accidents. While no attempt was made to use the data in MCMIS or HMIRS, it is an example of a comprehensive approach whose only limitation is that it could not be performed on an annual basis. Although the LTCCS and NTSB reports provide potential models for these investigations, the TIFA framework that provides detailed analyses for all fatal large truck crashes is a more feasible model because it is performed annually, relies on telephone calls to check information, and is less expensive than the LTCCS approach. The Hazardous Materi- als Serious Crash Analysis: Phase 2 (Battelle 2005) applied a similar approach as that used in TIFA on a sample of hazmat crashes found in MCMIS for a particular year. In addition, the project used information for the same crash found in HMIRS wherever possible.