Research & Data

Traffic Records

Additional Resources

NHTSA works to ensure that complete, accurate, and timely traffic safety data is collected, analyzed, and made available for decision-making at the national, State, and local levels. Analyzing reliable and accurate traffic records data is central to identifying traffic safety problems and designing effective countermeasures to reduce injuries and deaths caused by crashes. 

NHTSA’s National Driver Register and Traffic Records Division provides coordinated guidance, outreach, best-practices, and training and technical assistance designed to improve the timeliness, accuracy, completeness, uniformity, integration, and accessibility of State crash, driver, vehicle, roadway, citation and adjudication, and injury surveillance databases. The Traffic Records Team is tasked with helping States improve their traffic safety data collection, management, and analysis capabilities through evaluation, training, and technical assistance.

Excerpts from:
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
[Docket No. NHTSA-2017-0081]
Traffic Records Program Assessment Advisory; Notice of Availability

States need timely, accurate, complete, accessible, and uniform traffic records to identify and prioritize traffic safety issues and to choose appropriate safety countermeasures and evaluate their effectiveness. Traffic records program assessments provide States with the information needed to plan traffic records improvement projects.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announces the availability of a revised Traffic Records Program Assessment Advisory following review of comments received from States, associations, non-profit organizations, and individuals.

NHTSA believes it is important to provide States with flexibility in meeting the requirement to conduct an assessment of the State’s highway safety data and traffic records system.  Therefore, the Advisory provides guidance on three different assessment processes so that States may choose the process that best fits their needs. 

First, States may design their own assessment of their traffic safety information systems.  NHTSA regulations require States to list all recommendations from their most recent highway safety data and traffic records system assessment and identify whether and how they intend to address those recommendations.  23 CFR §1300.22(b)(2)(ii-iv).  A State’s assessment should, therefore, result in a comprehensive set of recommendations that will improve the State traffic safety information systems and inform the State’s traffic records strategic plan.  The Advisory lays out noteworthy practices that States may wish to consider when assessing their data systems.

Second, NHTSA has developed a self-assessment tool that States may use.  The assessment tool consists of a series of questions developed by NHTSA, with the input of subject matter experts, which will generate recommendations based on the States’ responses.  This assessment tool is available online at Traffic Records Assessment Self-Assessment Tool.  The questions are in Appendix E of the Advisory. 

Third, States may opt to participate in NHTSA’s State Traffic Records Assessment Program (STRAP) at no cost to the State.  STRAP is a peer assessment process using the questions from NHTSA’s assessment tool.  Qualified independent assessors will evaluate the State’s responses and provide recommendations; specific and actionable considerations; and a final report.  An experienced facilitator supports this process, which includes two onsite meetings and a webinar report-out.

The full Traffic Records Program Assessment Advisory is posted online at https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812601.

    The Crash Data Improvement Program (CDIP) examines the quality of a State’s crash data and provides the State with specific recommendations to improve the quality, management, and use of that data to support safety decisions. This program is free to the States and made available on a first-come, first-served basis given available funds. States that wish to request a CDIP at no expense should complete the "Application for Traffic Records Programs" and submit to their regional NHTSA office.

    The GO Team program is designed to provide resources and assistance to State traffic records professionals as they work to better their traffic records data collection, management, and analysis capabilities. GO Teams are small groups of one to three subject matter experts designed to help States address traffic records issues. States that wish to request a GO Team at no expense should complete the "Application for Traffic Records Programs" and submit to their regional NHTSA office.

    The Model Minimum Uniform Crash Criteria (MMUCC) Guideline, Fifth Edition (2017), is a voluntary guideline designed to help States determine (minimally) what crash data to collect on each reportable crash. Additionally, NHTSA and the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) developed a standardized methodology for mapping State crash data to MMUCC, MMUCC Mapping Rules, which is incorporated into the new edition. The new MMUCC website is located at www.nhtsa.gov/mmucc. States that wish to request a MMUCC Mapping at no expense should complete the "Application for Traffic Records Programs" and submit to their regional NHTSA office

    (ARCHIVE) MMUCC 4th Edition Tools:

    • Model Minimum Uniform Crash Criteria (MMUCC) - Website  |  Guideline
    • Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) - Website
    • Model Inventory of Roadway Elements (MIRE) - Website  |  Guideline
    • National EMS Information System (NEMSIS) - Website
    • Manual on Classification of Motor Vehicle Traffic Crashes 8th Ed.(ANSI D16.1) Guideline
    • National Information Exchange Model (NIEM)  - Website
    • Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS) - Website

    (2012) Traffic Records Assessments are peer evaluations of State traffic records system capabilities. Using the online State Traffic Records Assessment Program (STRAP), independent subject matter experts from State, local, and other areas examine State responses to a uniform set of questions and rate the responses against the ideal set out in the Traffic Records Program Assessment Advisory. The final report includes ratings, recommendations, and considerations that States may consider in working to improve their traffic records system performance.

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