DataMod will affirm NHTSA's position as the leader in motor vehicle crash data collection and analysis, by collecting quality data to keep pace with emerging technologies and policy needs.
What is DataMod?
In FY 2012, Congress appropriated $25 million to NHTSA to modernize NASS. The formal project was launched in Jan 2012 and this multi-year project is targeting implementation in Jan 2016. The goal of DataMod is to affirm NHTSA's position as the leader in motor vehicle crash data collection and analysis, by collecting quality data to keep pace with emerging technologies and policy needs.
NASS was designed in the 1970s, and this 30-year old system needs to be updated to meet the data needs of the transportation community that have increased and significantly changed over the last three decades. NHTSA has a lot of work ahead in regards to the modernization efforts. Congress was specific in their request and NHTSA is looking into the following items:
- The current sample size is not large enough
- Expand the scope of its data collection to possibly include large trucks, motorcycles, and pedestrians
- Assess the need for more data from the pre-crash, crash, and post-crash phases
- Review the crash data elements to be collected
- Solicit input from interested parties--including suppliers, automakers, safety advocates, the medical community and research organizations
What data systems are impacted?
The data collection systems directly impacted by DataMod are NASS and the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). The modernization project will upgrade the affected data systems by:
- Improving the IT Infrastructure for NASS and FARS
- Updating the data collected in NASS
- Reexamining the NASS sample design.
What is the SurveyMod Component?
The SurveyMod component is the part of the project that is looking at the Data Elements - "What" - and the Statistical Methodology - "How". The Data Elements includes completing data element review and providing recommendations as to what data elements will be collected in the new system. NHTSA is looking at the statistical methodology by designing a conceptual data collection system, modernizing the sample design and developing a data collection protocol blueprint.
What is the ModCon (Information Technology) Component?
The Modernization and Consolidation (ModCon) component is the information technology (IT) part of the project. NHTSA is modernizing the back end and front end of the system and focusing on improving the customer experience. In addition, NHTSA is consolidating the NASS and FARS IT infrastructure to reduce redundancy/fiscal burden and to improve data linkage. The efforts of the ModCon component will allow provisioning for the future including technology changes, responding to agency needs and complying with Federal IT requirements.
What is the Implementation and Operations Component?
The Implementation and Operations component is focused on implementing sample design recommendations, changing data collection operations in the field, reviewing NHTSA field practices/learning from the past, evaluating costs for all data collection options and optimizing planning for new data collection.
What data elements will we collect?
NHTSA is conducting a comprehensive review of the National Automotive Sampling System (NASS) research design and data collection methods as part of a major effort to modernize the system. Users of NASS and crash data had the opportunity to comment on the future utility of current data elements, recommend additional data elements and attributes, and describe their anticipated data needs via a Federal Register Notice that was published in June 2012. NHTSA is currently reviewing the comments received for inclusion in the updated design.