Data Elements

Each MMUCC data element includes a definition, a set of specific attributes and a rationale for why it is needed. Data elements are divided into four major groups that describe various aspects of a crash: crash-related, vehicle-related, person-related and roadway-related.

MMUCC consists of data elements that are recommended to be captured at the crash scene, together with linked and derived data. From the crash scene information, additional data elements can be derived, which lessens the burden on law enforcement. Additional data elements are recommended through linkage to driver history, hospital and other health/injury data, and roadway inventory data.

Each group of data elements has a unique identifier that describes what type of data element it is as well as whether it is derived or linked. Some data elements are marked with a double asterisk (**) to indicate that these elements are mandated by FMCSA for crashes involving commercial motor vehicles.

The data elements are classified into four major groups: Crash, Vehicle, Person, and Roadway.

Each group may include three different types of data elements:

  1. Collected: data collected by police at the scene and recorded directly onto the crash report.
  2. Derived: data generated from computerized crash data.
  3. Linked: data generated when crash data file is linked to injury, driver history, vehicle registration, roadway inventory or other data files. The format for each linked data element includes the source of the data to be linked.

Each group of data elements has a unique identifier:

  1. Crash data element numbers are preceded by a "C."
  2. Vehicle data element numbers are preceded by a "V."
  3. Person data element numbers are preceded by a "P."
  4. Roadway data element related to a crash are preceded with an "R."

Each type of data element has a unique identifier:

  1. Crash, Vehicle and Person data elements that are derived have the letter "D" added after the group identifier (e.g., CD, VD, PD).
  2. Vehicle, Person and Roadway data elements that are linked have the letter "L" added after the group identifier (e.g., VL, PL, RL).

Crash Data Elements

Data Elements Collected at Scene

These data elements should be included on the State Police Accident Report (PAR) and collected at the scene of each crash.

Crash Data

The crash level data elements describe the overall characteristics of the crash. See Glossary for the D16.1 definition of a motor vehicle crash.

C1. Case Identifier

Definition:

The unique identifier within a given year that identifies a given crash within a state.

Attribute:
State Specific Identifier
Rationale:

Used to document a specific crash. If this identifier is available at the scene, it can also be recorded on the EMS record for linkage purposes. Enables subfiles to be created for analysis and linked back to the crash data file.

C2. Crash Date and Time

Definition:

The date (year, month, and day) and time (00:00-23:59) at which the crash occurred.

Element Attributes
Date and Time: (YYYYMMDDHHMM)

Time of Crash - Midnight is defined as 00:00 to represent the beginning of a new day. (12:00 is noon)
The attribute should represent the time the crash occurred not the time of notification of law enforcement or EMS.

Unknown

Example - Time Unknown (99:99) A fatal crash that occurs sometime during the night and is discovered and investigated the following morning where no involved persons are available to interview. This would not be used for crashes where a partial time is known.

Rationale:

Important for management/administration, evaluation, and linkage.

C3. Crash County

Definition:

The county or equivalent entity in which the crash occurred.

Element Attributes
Name of the County

Record the county or equivalent entity in which a crash occurred. If codes are used instead of name, use the GSA Geographic Locator Codes (GLC) that can be found on the Internet at: http://www.gsa.gov. If state-assigned codes are used, they should be convertible to the GSA/FIPS format.

Rationale:

Important for analyses of county area programs such as Safe Communities. Critical for linkage of the crash file to other state data files (EMS, hospital, roadway, etc.). Important for intrastate comparisons.

State and Province Codes, FIPS Codes
Geographic Locator Codes (GLC's) Overview

Worldwide Geographic Location Codes lists the number and letter codes federal agencies should use in designating geographic locations anywhere in the United States or abroad in computer programs. Use of standard codes facilitates the interchange of machine-readable data from agency to agency within the federal community and between federal offices and state and local groups.

» GSA Geographic Locator Codes

C4. Crash City/Place

Definition:

The city/place (political jurisdiction) in which the crash occurred.

Element Attributes:
Name of the Political Jurisdiction:

Record the name identifying the city/place in which the crash occurred. If codes are used instead of names, use the GSA Geographic Locator Codes (GLC) that can be found on the Internet at www.gsa.gov. If state-assigned codes are used, they should be convertible to the GSA/FIPS format.

Rationale:

Important for analyses of local area programs such as Safe Communities. Critical for linkage of the crash file to other state data files (EMS, hospital, roadway, etc.).

State and Province Codes, FIPS Codes
Geographic Locator Codes (GLC's) Overview:

Worldwide Geographic Location Codes lists the number and letter codes federal agencies should use in designating geographic locations anywhere in the United States or abroad in computer programs. Use of standard codes facilitates the interchange of machine-readable data from agency to agency within the federal community and between federal offices and state and local groups.

» GSA Geographic Locator Codes

C5. Crash Location

Definition:

The exact location on the roadway to document where the first harmful event of the crash occurred.

Attributes
Latitude/Longitude Coordinates

The optimum definition of Crash Location is a route name and GPS (global positioning system)/GIS (geographic information system) locator, if a highway agency has a linear referencing system that can relate geographic coordinates to specific locations in road inventory, traffic, driver, and other files. The location information in a crash file must have the capability to be linked to location information in these other important files required to study site-specific safety issues. GPS/GIS provides the latitude/longitude coordinates indicating where the crash occurred.

Linear Referencing System (LRS)

An LRS can create complex overlays of multiple events or occurrences along a route to support corridor planning, pavement rehabilitation, or other complex analysis. An LRS permits users to share information maintained by different data providers across different data layers. An LRS is not created by the geographic information system (GIS), but is actually replicated to model what is in the field. All linear data (traffic volumes, pavement types, speed limit zones, etc.) and point data (crashes, signs, etc.) collection efforts need only specify the location or endpoint locations in terms of the LRS components.

Link Node System (not recommended)

Note: States with no system or a link node system should plan to develop or upgrade to a linear referencing system or one that documents latitude/longitude coordinates.

Rationale:

Critical for problem identification, prevention programs, engineering evaluations mapping, and linkage purposes.

C6. First Harmful Event

Definition:

The first injury or damage-producing event that characterizes the crash type.

Attributes:
Non-Collision
Collision with Person, Motor Vehicle, or Non-Fixed Object
Collision with Fixed Object
  • Impact Attenuator / Crash Cushion
  • Bridge Overhead Structure
  • Bridge Pier or Support
  • Bridge Rail
  • Cable Barrier
  • Culvert
  • Curb
  • Ditch
  • Embankment
  • Guardrail Face
  • Guardrail End
  • Concrete Traffic Barrier
  • Other Traffic Barrier
  • Tree (standing)
  • Utility Pole / Light Support
  • Traffic Sign Support
  • Traffic Signal Support
  • Other Post, Pole, or Support
  • Fence
  • Mailbox
  • Other Fixed Object (wall, building, tunnel, etc.)
  • Unknown
Rationale:

Needed for uniformity in reported motor vehicle crash statistics, understanding crash causation, and identifying possible crash avoidance countermeasures. For analytic purposes it may be desirable to collect and use information about subsequent events, some of which may be harmful. (See Sequence of Events V20)

C7. Location of First Harmful Event Relative to the Trafficway

Definition:

The location of the First Harmful Event as it relates to its position within or outside the trafficway.

Clarification from State Police Instruction Manual:

The final resting place of the vehicle(s) is NOT a determining factor.

Element Attributes
Rationale:

Important to identify highway geometric deficiencies.

C8. Manner of Crash / Collision Impact

Definition:

The identification of the manner in which two motor vehicles in transport initially came together without regard to the direction of force. This data element refers only to crashes where the first harmful event involves a collision between two motor vehicles in transport.

Element Attributes
Rationale:

Important for evaluation of occupant injuries and structural defects. This data element can be used in conjunction with Motor Vehicle Maneuver/Action (V18) to describe the crash.

C9. Source of Information

Definition:

Affiliation of the person completing the crash report.

Element Attributes
Subfield 1 - Source of Information:
  • Law Enforcement Agency Identifier
  • Motorist

Note: The Law Enforcement Reporting Agency Identifier is a unique identifier for the law enforcement agency that provided information on the crash report.

Rationale:

Important for quality control and identification purposes. The law enforcement reporting agency identifier is critical to report SAFETYNET crashes.

C10: Weather Conditions

Definition:

The prevailing atmospheric conditions that existed at the time of the crash.

(From State Police Instruction Manuals): This element should be coded without regard to whether or not weather conditions contributed to the cause of the accident.

Element Attributes

This element is divided into Subfield 1 and Subfield 2. They share the same attributes for recording up to two applicable weather conditions.

Subfield 1 Weather Conditions:
  1. Clear
  2. Cloudy
  3. Fog, Smog, Smoke
  4. Rain
  5. Sleet, Hail (freezing rain or drizzle)
Subfield 2 Weather Conditions:
  1. Snow
  2. Blowing Snow
  3. Severe Crosswinds
  4. Blowing Sand, Soil, Dirt
  5. Other
  6. Unknown

(From State Police Instruction Manuals): if the code "Other" is used it is recommended that it be explained in the narrative.

Rationale:

Important for management/administration and evaluation. Critical for prevention programs and engineering evaluations.

C11: Light Conditions

Definition:

The type/level of light that existed at the time of the motor vehicle crash.

Element Attributes

(From State Police Instruction Manuals): if the code "Other" is used it is recommended that it be explained in the narrative.

Rationale:

Important for management/administration and evaluation. Critical for prevention programs and engineering evaluations.

C12: Roadway Surface Conditions

Definition:

The roadway surface condition at the time and place of a crash.

(From a State Police Instruction Manual): The intent of this data element is to best describe the condition of the roadway at the crash scene. It should be coded WITHOUT regard to whether or not road surface conditions contributed to causing the crash.

Element Attributes

(From a State Police Instruction Manual): if the code "Other" is used it is recommended that it be explained in the narrative.

Note that the attributes recorded in Roadway Surface Condition in most cases should work in conjunction with Weather Conditions (C10) to describe the crash environment.

Rationale:

Important to identify and correct high wet-surface crash locations and provide information for setting coefficient of pavement friction standards. Critical for prevention programs and engineering evaluations.

C13: Contributing Circumstances, Environment

Definition:

Apparent environmental conditions which may have contributed to the crash.

Element Attributes

This element is divided into Subfield 1, Subfield 2, and Subfield 3. Each have the same attributes for recording up to 3 applicable environment contributing circumstances.

Environment Circumstances:
Rationale:

Important to determine existence of unusual conditions that could be useful in determining the need for additional traffic control devices or geometric improvements. (Pedestrians and pedalcyclists are covered in traffic units.)

C14: Contributing Circumstances, Road

Definition:

Apparent condition of the road which may have contributed to the crash.

Element Attributes:

This element is divided into Subfield 1, Subfield 2, and Subfield 3. Each have the same attributes for recording up to 3 applicable roadway contributing circumstances.

Road Circumstances:
Rationale:

Important to determine highway maintenance and possible engineering needs.

C15: Relation to Junction

Definition:

The location of the First Harmful Event in relation to a junction.

Element Attributes
Attributes: Subfield 1:
Subfield 2:

Within Interchange Area:

  • No
  • Yes
  • Unknown
Rationale:

Important for site-specific safety studies to identify locations with actual or potential problems.

C16: Type of Intersection

Definition:

An intersection consists of two or more roadways that intersect at the same level.

Type of Intersection is used to record and allow separation of various intersection types such as; four-way and t-type intersections.

Intersection - An area which 1) contains a crossing or connection of two or more roadways not classified as driveway access and 2) is embraced within the prolongation of the lateral curb lines, or if none, the lateral boundary lines of the roadways. Where the distance along a roadway between two areas meeting these criteria is less than 10m (33ft.), the two areas and the roadway connecting them are considered to be parts of a single intersection.

Element Attributes
  • Not an Intersection
  • Four-Way Intersection
  • T-Intersection
  • Y-Intersection
  • Traffic Circle
  • Roundabout
  • Five-Point, or More
Rationale:

Important for site-specific safety studies to identify actual or potential safety problem locations.

C17: School Bus-Related

Definition:

Indicates if a school bus or motor vehicle functioning as a school bus for a school-related purpose is involved in the crash. The school bus, with or without a passenger on board, must be directly involved as a contact motor vehicle or indirectly involved as a non-contact motor vehicle (children struck when boarding or alighting from the school bus, two vehicles colliding as a result of the stopped school bus, etc.)

Element Attributes
  • No
  • Yes, School Bus Directly Involved
  • Yes, School Bus Indirectly Involved
Rationale:

Important in determining where and how school children are at the greatest risk of injury when being transported by school bus and the extent to which school bus operations affect overall traffic safety.

C18: Work Zone - Related

Definition:

A crash that occurs in or related to a construction, maintenance, or utility work zone, whether or not workers were actually present at the time of the crash. 'Work zone-related' crashes may also include those involving motor vehicles slowed or stopped because of the work zone, even if the first harmful event occurred before the first warning sign.

Element Attributes:
Subfield 1 - Was there a crash in or near a construction, maintenance or utility work zone?
  • Yes (complete Subfields 2-5)
  • No
  • Unknown
Subfield 2 - Location of the Crash:
  • Before the First Work Zone Warning Sign
  • Advance Warning Area
  • Transition Area
  • Activity Area
  • Termination Area
Subfield 3 - Type of Work Zone:
  • Lane Closure
  • Lane Shift / Crossover
  • Work on Shoulder orMedian
  • Intermittent or Moving Work
  • Other
Subfield 4 - Workers Present:
  • Yes
  • No
  • Unknown
Subfield 5 - Law Enforcement Present:
  • No
  • Officer Present
  • Law Enforcement Vehicle Only Present
Rationale:

Important to assess the impact on traffic safety of various types of on-highway work activity, to evaluate Traffic Control Plans used at work zones, and to make adjustments to the Traffic Control Plans for the safety of workers and the traveling public. This data element needs to be collected at the scene because work zones are relatively short term or moving operations that are not recorded in permanent road inventory files.

Vehicle Data Elements

The motor vehicle data elements describe the characteristics, events, and consequences of the motor vehicle(s) involved in the crash.

V1: Vehicle Identification Number

Definition:

A unique combination of alphanumeric or numeric characters assigned to a specific motor vehicle that is designated by the manufacturer.

Element Attributes:
Motor Vehicle Identification Number

Manufacturer assigned number (permanently affixed to the motor vehicle).

(From State Police Instruction Manuals): Enter the VIN from the vehicle, usually available from the driver's side dashboard near the windshield. The VIN should have 17 alphanumeric characters for vehicles manufactured after 1980. Do NOT copy the VIN from the vehicle registration; typographical errors may exist, or the plates may be on the wrong vehicle.

Rationale:

Important to identify specific motor vehicle design characteristics and occupant protection systems for effectiveness evaluations.

Common VIN Locations

V2: Motor Vehicle Type

Definition:

Motor vehicle unit type and number assigned to uniquely identify each motor vehicle involved in the crash. This number is not assigned to pedestrians or bicyclists. (See Non-Motorist Number (P21).)

Element Attributes
Subfield 1 - Type:
Subfield 2 - Number:
  • Sequential number
Rationale:

Uniquely identifies each motor vehicle unit involved in the crash. Permits occupants to be assigned to the appropriate motor vehicle.

V3. Motor Vehicle Registration State and Year

Definition:

The state, commonwealth, territory, Indian Nation, U.S. Government, foreign country, etc., issuing the registration plate and the year of registration as indicated on the registration plate displayed on the motor vehicle. For foreign countries, MMUCC requires only the name of the country. Border states may want to collect the name of individual Canadian provinces or Mexican states.

Element Attribute
Motor Vehicle Registration State and Year:
  1. State Identifier (State, foreign country, U.S. Government, Indian Nation, etc. See Appendix G.)
  2. Year of Motor Vehicle Registration (YYYY)
Rationale:

This element is critical in providing linkage between the crash and motor vehicle registration files to access the motor vehicle identification number.

State and Province Codes, FIPS Codes
Geographic Locator Codes (GLC's) Overview

Worldwide Geographic Location Codes lists the number and letter codes federal agencies should use in designating geographic locations anywhere in the United States or abroad in computer programs. Use of standard codes facilitates the interchange of machine-readable data from agency to agency within the federal community and between federal offices and state and local groups.

View the codes locator page of the GSA website

V4: Motor Vehicle License Plate Number

Definition:

The alphanumeric identifier or other characters, exactly as displayed, on the registration plate or tag affixed to the motor vehicle. For combination trucks, motor vehicle plate number is obtained from the power unit or tractor.

Element Attribute
Motor Vehicle License Plate Number

Alphanumeric Identifier (Assigned by the state, foreign country, U.S. Government, or Indian Nation)

Rationale:

Critical for linkage between the crash and motor vehicle registration files.


V5. Motor Vehicle Make

Definition:

The distinctive (coded) name applied to a group of motor vehicles by a manufacturer.

Element Attributes
Name

Assigned by motor vehicle manufacturer.
See Appendix M for current National Crime Information Center (NCIC) standard.

Rationale:

Important for use in identifying motor vehicle make, for evaluation, research and crash comparison purposes.

NCIC Codes

Click here to view the codes. The NCIC codes will open up in a new browser window.

V6: Motor Vehicle Model Year

Definition:

The year which is assigned to a motor vehicle by the manufacturer.

Element Attributes
Model Year

YYYY as assigned by motor vehicle manufacturer.
(obtain from the vehicle registration)

Rationale:

Important for use in identifying motor vehicle model year for evaluation, research, and crash comparison purposes.

V7. Motor Vehicle Model

Definition:

The manufacturer-assigned code denoting a family of motor vehicles (within a make) that have a degree of similarity in construction, such as body, chassis, etc.

Element Attributes
Code for model

Assigned by motor vehicle manufacturer
(obtain from the vehicle registration)

Rationale:

Important for use in identifying the motor vehicle model for evaluation, research, and crash comparison purposes.

V8: Motor Vehicle Body Type Category

Definition:

The category indicating the general configuration or shape of a motor vehicle distinguished by characteristics such as number of doors, rows of seats, windows, or roof line.

Element Attributes
Rationale:

Important to identify the specific type of motor vehicle involved in the crash for evaluation and comparison purposes.

V9. Total Occupants in Motor Vehicle

Definition:

The total number of injured and uninjured occupants in this motor vehicle involved in the crash, including persons in or on the motor vehicle at the time of the crash.

Element Attribute:
Total number of injured and uninjured occupants including the driver.
Rationale:

Important for the officer at the scene to indicate how many people (injured and uninjured) are involved for reporting purposes. Useful for evaluating the effectiveness of countermeasures that prevent or reduce injury and injury severity.

V10. Special Function of Motor Vehicle in Transport

Definition:

The type of special function being served by this vehicle regardless of whether the function is marked on the vehicle.

Element Attributes:
  • No Special Function
  • Taxi
  • Vehicle Used as School Bus
  • Vehicle Used as Other Bus
  • Military
  • Police
  • Ambulance
  • Fire Truck
  • Unknown
Rationale:

Important to evaluate the outcome of vehicles used for special uses that are involved in crashes.

V11. Emergency Motor Vehicle Use

Definition:

Indicates operation of any motor vehicle that is legally authorized by a government authority to respond to emergencies with or without the use of emergency warning equipment, such as a police vehicle, fire truck, or ambulance while actually engaged in such response.

Select “Yes” only if the motor vehicle involved in the crash was on an emergency response, regardless of whether the emergency warning equipment was in use.

Element Attributes
No

Is used if the motor vehicle was not on an emergency response.

Yes

Is used if the motor vehicle was on an emergency response, regardless of whether the emergency equipment was actuated.

Unknown

Is used if it cannot be determined that the vehicle was responding to an emergency at the time of the accident.

Rationale:

Driver behavior related to emergency vehicle response is an emerging national issue. This is true for both operators of emergency vehicles and operators of vehicles in the vicinity of an emergency vehicle engaged in a response. It is the intent of this element to gather information that will guide development of training or other countermeasures to reduce the number of crashes involving emergency vehicle response.

V12: Motor Vehicle Posted/Statutory Speed Limit

Definition:

The posted/statutory speed limit for the motor vehicle at the time of the crash. The authorization may be indicated by the posted speed limit, blinking sign at construction zones, etc.

Element Attributes
Rationale:

Important for evaluation purposes (even though the speed of the motor vehicle at the time of the crash may differ significantly from the authorized speed limit).

V13: Direction of Travel Before Crash

Definition:

The direction of a motor vehicle’s travel on the roadway before the crash. Notice that this is not a compass direction, but a direction consistent with the designated direction of the road. For example, the direction of a state designated North-South highway must be either Northbound or Southbound even though a motor vehicle may have been traveling due east as a result of a short segment of the highway having an East-West orientation.

Element Attributes
Rationale:

Important to indicate direction the motor vehicle was traveling before the crash for evaluation purposes.

V14: Trafficway Description

Definition:

Indication of whether or not the trafficway for this vehicle is divided and whether it serves one-way or two-way traffic. (A divided trafficway is one on which roadways for travel in opposite directions are physically separated by a median.)

Element Attributes
Rationale:

Used in classifying crashes as well as identifying the environment of a particular crash. Note that the data must be in a road inventory file or collected by the reporting officer at the scene. It is not readily derived from other road data such as classification or route. Important to guide future trafficway design and traffic control.

V15. Total Lanes in Roadway

Definition:

Total number of lanes in the roadway on which this motor vehicle was traveling.

Element Attributes:
For undivided highways:

Enter the total through lanes in both directions, excluding designated turn lanes.

For divided highways:

Enter the total through lanes for the roadway on which the motor vehicle under consideration was traveling. See Appendix E for diagram of the trafficway.

Rationale:

Used in studying roadway safety issues as well as identifying the environment of a particular crash.

V16: Roadway Alignment and Grade

Definition:

The geometric or layout and inclination characteristics of the roadway in the direction of travel for this vehicle.

Element Attributes
Subfield 1 - Horizontal Alignment:
  • Straight
  • Curve Left
  • Curve Right
Subfield 2 - Grade:
  • Level
  • Hillcrest
  • Uphill
  • Downhill
  • Sag (bottom)
Rationale:

Important to document the horizontal alignment and grade of the roadway as it relates to this specific vehicle involved in the crash for the purpose of evaluating vehicles that run-off-road, rollover, or are runaways.

Attribute Diagram

V27: Gross Vehicle Weight / Gross Combination Weight

Definition:

The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) is the amount recommended by the manufacturer as the upper limit to the operational weight for a motor vehicle and any cargo (human or other) to be carried.

The Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) is the sum of all GVWRs for each unit in a combination-unit motor vehicle. Thus, for single-unit trucks there is no difference between the GVWR and the GCWR. For combination trucks (truck tractors pulling a single semi-trailer, truck tractors pulling double or triple trailers, trucks pulling trailers, and trucks pulling other motor vehicles) the GCWR is the total of the GVWRs of all units in the combination. (See Example).

(From a State Police Instruction Manual): GVWR and GCWR are manufacturer designated weight ratings, not the loaded weights from the bill of lading or the scaled weight of the vehicle.

(See ANSI'D16, 7th Edition for additional definitions)

Element Attributes:

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of the power unit of a combination-unit truck or a single-unit straight truck:
Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) of the power unit and towed units of a combination-unit truck:

  • Not Applicable
  • 10,000 lbs. or less
  • 10,001 - 26,000 lbs.
  • More than 26,000 lbs.
Rationale:

(**Required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration CFR 350.201.) The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) imposes certain regulations on all single or combination-unit trucks that have a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) of more than 10,000 lbs. Additional regulations are imposed on all motor vehicles with GCWRs of more than 26,000 lbs. This data element is collected at the scene because FMCSA requires reporting within 90 days.

V17. Traffic Control Device Type

Definition:

The type of traffic control device (TCD) applicable to this motor vehicle at the crash location.

Element Attributes:
Subfield 1 - Type TCD:
  • No Controls
  • Person (including flagger, law enforcement, crossing guard, etc.)
  • Traffic Control Signal
  • Flashing Traffic Control Signal
  • School Zone Sign/Device
  • Stop Sign
  • Yield Sign
  • Warning Sign
  • Railway Crossing Device
  • Other
  • Unknown
Subfield 2 - Inoperative/Missing?
  • Yes
  • No
  • Unknown
Rationale:

This element needs to be collected at the scene because the presence of specific devices is better verified at the time of the crash. It is also important for ascertaining the relationship between the use of various traffic control devices (TCD) and crashes and identifying the need for upgraded TCDs at specific crash locations.

V18. Motor Vehicle Maneuver/Action

Definition:

The controlled maneuver for this motor vehicle prior to the beginning of the sequence of events.

Element Attributes:
  • Movements Essentially Straight Ahead
  • Backing
  • Changing Lanes
  • Overtaking/Passing
  • Turning Right
  • Turning Left
  • Making U-Turn
  • Leaving Traffic Lane
  • Entering Traffic Lane
  • Slowing
  • Negotiating a Curve
  • Parked
  • Stopped in Traffic
  • Other
  • Unknown
Rationale:

Important for evaluation purposes, particularly when combined with sequence of events.

V19. Area(s) of Impact

Definition:

The area of the motor vehicle that received the initial impact and the area that was most damaged in a crash.

Element Attributes:
Subfield 1 - Area of Initial Impact:
  • Non-Collision
  • 12-point Clock Diagram (Appendix J)
  • Top (roof)
  • Undercarriage
  • Unknown
Subfield 2 - Most Damaged Area:

See attributes in Subfield 1

Rationale:

Important for use in evaluating injury severity in relation to motor vehicle impact and crash severity.

V20. Sequence of Events

Definition:

The events in sequence related to this motor vehicle, including both non-
collision as well as collision events. For examples, refer to Appendix L.

Element Attributes:
Subfield 1 - First Event

Non-Collision:

  • Overturn/Rollover
  • Fire/Explosion
  • Immersion
  • Jackknife
  • Cargo/Equipment Loss or Shift
  • Equipment Failure (blown tire, brake failure, etc.)
  • Separation of Units
  • Ran Off Roadway Right
  • Ran Off Roadway Left
  • Cross Median
  • Cross Centerline
  • Downhill Runaway
  • Fell/Jumped From Motor Vehicle
  • Reentering Roadway
  • Thrown or Falling Object
  • Other Non-Collision

Collision With Person, Motor Vehicle, or Non-Fixed Object:

  • Pedestrian
  • Pedalcycle
  • Railway Vehicle (train, engine)
  • Animal
  • Motor Vehicle In Transport
  • Parked Motor Vehicle
  • Struck By Falling, Shifting Cargo or Anything Set in Motion By Motor Vehicle
  • Work Zone/Maintenance Equipment
  • Other Non-Fixed Object

Collision With Fixed Object:

  • Impact Attenuator/Crash Cushion
  • Bridge Overhead Structure
  • Bridge Pier or Support
  • Bridge Rail
  • Cable Barrier
  • Culvert
  • Curb
  • Ditch
  • Embankment
  • Guardrail Face
  • Guardrail End
  • Concrete Traffic Barrier
  • Other Traffic Barrier
  • Tree (standing)
  • Utility Pole/Light Support
  • Traffic Sign Support
  • Traffic Signal Support
  • Other Post, Pole, or Support
  • Fence
  • Mailbox
  • Other Fixed Object (wall, building, tunnel, etc.)
  • Unknown
Subfield 2 - Second Event

See attributes in Subfield 1

Subfield 3 - Third Event

See attributes in Subfield 1

Subfield 4 - Fourth Event

See attributes in Subfield 1

Rationale:

Important for use in conjunction with most harmful event and motor vehicle maneuver to generate complete information about the crash.

V21. Most Harmful Event for this Motor Vehicle

Definition:

Event that resulted in the most severe injury or, if no injury, the greatest property damage involving this motor vehicle.

Element Attributes:
Non-Collision:
  • Overturn/Rollover
  • Fire/Explosion
  • Immersion
  • Jackknife
  • Cargo/Equipment Loss or Shift
  • Fell/Jumped From Motor Vehicle
  • Thrown or Falling Object
  • Other Non-Collision
Collision With Person, Motor Vehicle, or Non-Fixed Object:
  • Pedestrian
  • Pedalcycle
  • Railway Vehicle (train, engine)
  • Animal
  • Motor Vehicle in Transport
  • Parked Motor Vehicle
  • Struck by Falling, Shifting Cargo or Anything Set in Motion by Motor Vehicle
  • Work Zone / Maintenance Equipment
  • Other Non-Fixed Object
Collision With Fixed Object:
  • Impact Attenuator/Crash Cushion
  • Bridge Overhead Structure
  • Bridge Pier or Support
  • Bridge Rail
  • Cable Barrier
  • Culvert
  • Curb
  • Ditch
  • Embankment
  • Guardrail Face
  • Guardrail End
  • Concrete Traffic Barrier
  • Other Traffic Barrier
  • Tree (standing)
  • Utility Pole/Light Support
  • Traffic Sign Support
  • Traffic Signal Support
  • Fence
  • Mailbox
  • Other Post, Pole, or Support
  • Other Fixed Object (wall, building, tunnel, etc.)
Unknown
Rationale:

Important for use in conjunction with the Sequence of Events (V20) to generate complete information about the crash.

V22. Bus Use

Definition:

This element describes the common type of bus service this vehicle was being used as at the time of the crash. Buses are any motor vehicle with seats to transport nine (9) or more people, including the driver’s seat. This element does not include vans which are owned and operated for personal use. Refer to the Glossary for attribute definitions.

Element Attributes:
  • Not a Bus
  • School
  • Transit/Commuter
  • Intercity
  • Charter/Tour
  • Shuttle
Rationale:

This data element provides additional information to evaluate the outcome of motor vehicles used as buses that are involved in crashes.

V23. Hit and Run

Definition:

Refers to cases where the vehicle, or the driver of the vehicle, in transport is a contact vehicle in the crash and departs the scene without stopping to render aid or report the crash.

Element Attributes:
  • No, Did Not Leave Scene
  • Yes, Driver or Car and Driver Left Scene
Rationale:

Important for uniformity, quality control and identification purposes in reported motor vehicle crash statistics.

V24. Extent of Damage / Removal

Definition:

Estimation of total damage to motor vehicle from crash. Disabling damage implies damage to the motor vehicle that is sufficient to require the motor vehicle to be towed or carried from the scene. Towed Due to Disabling Damage identifies whether a vehicle involved in a crash is removed from the scene. “Yes” is used for vehicles towed due to disabling damage in the crash. “No” is used for those that are driven from the scene or towed for other reasons (i.e., the driver is arrested or without required license, vehicle is placed out of service because it is unsafe to drive or impounded, etc.). Towing assistance without removal of the vehicle from the scene, such as pulling a vehicle out of a ditch, is not considered to be “towed” for the purposes of this element.

NOTE: For states requiring a more detailed set of damage description
attributes on the crash report (e.g.; moderate/severe, severe, very severe), Towed Due to Disabling Damage is important to specifically identify if the vehicle was towed due to disabling vehicle damage.

Element Attributes:
Subfield 1 - Extent of Damage
  • No Damage
  • Minor Damage
  • Functional Damage
  • Disabling Damage
  • Unknown
Subfield 2 - Towed Due to Disabling Damage
  • Yes
  • No
Rationale:

Standardizing the extent of damage a motor vehicle sustains in a crash is essential to consistent collection of crash data. Towed Due to Disabling Damage is important to identifying non-injury, “tow-away” crashes involving any vehicle towed due to damage sustained in the crash. This information is vital to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in their selection criteria for truck and bus crashes.

V25. Contributing Circumstances, Motor Vehicle

Definition:

Pre-existing motor vehicle defects or maintenance conditions that may have contributed to the crash.

Element Attributes:
None
Subfield 1 - Motor Vehicle Circumstance 1:
  • Brakes
  • Exhaust System
  • Body, Doors
  • Steering
  • Power Train
  • Suspension
  • Tires
  • Wheels
  • Lights (head, signal, tail)
  • Windows/Windshield
  • Mirrors
  • Wipers
  • Truck Coupling / Trailer Hitch / Safety Chains
  • Other
  • Unknown
Subfield 2 - Motor Vehicle Circumstance 2

See attributes in Subfield 1

Rationale:

Important for determining the significance of pre-existing problems, including equipment and operation, in motor vehicles involved in crashes that could be useful in determining the need for improvements in manufacturing and consumer alerts.

V26. Motor Carrier Identification

Definition:

The identification number, name and address of an individual, partnership or corporation responsible for the transportation of persons or property as indicated on the shipping manifest.

Element Attributes:
Subfield 1:

US DOT Number (7 digits, right justified)

Subfield 2:

If no US DOT Number, State Issued Identification Number and State name

Subfield 3:

Name

Subfield 4:

Street Address

  • Street or P.O. Box
  • City
  • State (two-letter code)
  • Zip Code
  • Country
Subfield 5:

Commercial/Non-Commercial

  • Interstate Carrier
  • Intrastate Carrier
  • Not in Commerce/Government
  • Not in Commerce/Other Truck
Rationale:

(**Required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration CFR 350.201.) The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has the authority to fine and sanction unsafe interstate (and some intrastate) truck and bus companies. A key way to identify potentially unsafe motor carriers is to collect crash data by the identification number, name, and address of the company. The street address allows FMCSA to visit carriers to conduct review of compliance with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and provides a crosscheck for the correct identity of the carrier. The identification number (found on the power unit, and assigned by the U.S. DOT or by a State) is a key element for carrier identification in the FMCSA databases for crashes and other carrier information. This data element is collected at the scene to meet FMCSA 90 day reporting requirements.

V28. Vehicle Configuration

Definition:

Indicates the general configuration of this motor vehicle. (Refer to Appendix K for chart displaying types of truck configurations.)

Element Attributes:
  • Vehicle 10,000 pounds or less placarded for hazardous materials
  • Single-Unit Truck (2-axle and GVWR more than10,000 lbs)
  • Single-Unit Truck (3 or more axles)
  • Truck Pulling Trailer(s)
  • Truck Tractor (bobtail)
  • Truck Tractor/Semi-Trailer
  • Truck Tractor/Double
  • Truck Tractor/Triple
  • Truck More Than 10,000 lbs, Cannot Classify
  • Bus/Large Van (seats for 9-15 occupants, including driver)
  • Bus (seats for more than 15 occupants, including driver)
  • Unknown
Rationale:

(**Required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration CFR 350.201.) This data element provides information about the general configuration of the motor vehicle that is important to evaluate the types of motor vehicles that have the most crashes and the effectiveness of various safety countermeasures. This data element is collected at the scene because FMCSA requires reporting within 90 days.

V29. Cargo Body Type

Definition:

The type of body for buses and trucks more than 10,000 lbs GVWR.

Element Attributes:
  • No Cargo Body – (bobtail, light motor vehicle with hazardous materials [HM] placard, etc.)
  • Bus
  • Van/Enclosed Box
  • Grain/chips/gravel
  • Pole-Trailer
  • Cargo Tank
  • Log
  • Intermodal Container Chassis
  • Vehicle Towing Another Vehicle
  • Flatbed
  • Dump
  • Concrete Mixer
  • Auto Transporter
  • Garbage/Refuse
  • Other
  • Not Applicable – (motor vehicle 10,000 lbs or less not displaying HM placard)
  • Unknown
Rationale:

(**Required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration CFR 350.201.) This data element provides additional information about the motor vehicle, including all major cargo body types. The information it provides can be important in helping FMCSA make decisions on regulatory strategies for different types of motor vehicles. This data element is collected at the scene because FMCSA requires reporting within 90 days.

V30. Hazardous Materials (Cargo Only)

Definition:

Indication of whether or not the motor vehicle had a hazardous materials placard as required by Federal/State regulations, and whether or not harzardous materials were released.

Element Attributes:
Subfield 1 - Did this motor vehicle display a hazardous materials (HM) placard?
  • Yes (go to Subfield 2)
  • No
  • Not Applicable
Subfield 2 - If Subfield 1 answer is “Yes,” record from the hazardous materials placard:
  1. 4-digit Hazardous Materials ID number or name taken from the middle of the diamond or from the rectangular box; and
  2. 1-digit Class number from bottom of diamond
Subfield 3 - Release of hazardous materials from the package (cargo compartment):

Hazardous materials that were released from the package (cargo compartment) should be documented whether or not the motor vehicle displayed a placard.

  • Yes
  • No
  • Not Applicable
Rationale:

(**currently required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration CFR 350.201.) FMCSA devotes special attention to motor carriers that transport hazardous materials (HM), including calculating risk assessments, determining response methods, imposing tighter regulations and conducting compliance reviews on a higher percentage of HM carriers. Getting good data on crashes involving trucks carrying HM and whether HM are spilled during the crashes helps FMCSA focus law enforcement efforts. This data element is collected at the scene because FMCSA requires reporting within 90 days.

Person Data Elements

The person data elements describe the characteristics, actions, and consequences to the persons involved in the crash.

P1: Date of Birth

Definition:

The year, month, and day of birth (or age to be used only when date of birth cannot be obtained) of the person involved in a crash.

Element Attributes
Subfield 1: Date of Birth
  • YYYMMDD
  • Unknown
Subfield 2: Age
  • AAA

(From a State Police Instruction Manual): Record the date of birth exactly as it appears on the driver's license. Note that unborn fetuses are not considered persons for the purposes of crash reporting.

Rationale:

Accurate reporting of date of birth is used to assess the effectiveness of occupant protection systems for specific age groups, and to identify the need for safety programs directed toward them. This element is also critical in providing linkage between the crash, EMS, and hospital records.

P2. Sex

Definition:

The sex of the person involved in the crash.

Element Attributes:
  • Male
  • Female
  • Unknown
Rationale:

Necessary, for example, to evaluate the effect of sex of the person involved on occupant protection systems and motor vehicle design characteristics.

P3: Person Type

Definition:

Type of person involved in a crash.

Element Attributes
Motorist (occupant of vehicle in transport):
  • Driver
  • Passenger
Non-Motorist (non-occupant of vehicle in transport):
  • Pedestrian
  • Other Pedestrian (wheelchair, person in a building, skater, pedestrian conveyance)
  • Bicyclist
  • Other Cyclist
  • Occupant of Motor Vehicle Not in Transport (parked, etc.)
  • Occupant of a Non-Motor Vehicle Transportation Device
  • Unknown type of Non- Motorist
  • Unknown
Rationale:

Need to know person type for classification purposes to evaluate specific countermeasures designed for specific people.
Note regarding Person Type (from the FARS Coding Manual): An involved person in a crash should maintain Person Type during the crash. Once the unstabilized situation begins, a driver, passenger or non-motorist should not change Person Type until the crash stabilizes. If a person is entering or exiting a vehicle before the unstabilized situation begins, try to determine if the person has successfully changed type before control is lost. (i.e., a pedestrian getting into an automobile that begins to move, a passenger stepping off of a bus as it begins to pull away, etc.).

P4: Injury Status

Definition:

The injury severity level for a person involved in a crash.

Element Attributes
KABCO Severity Scale (From most severe to least)
  • Fatal Injury (K)
  • Nonfatal Injury:
  • Incapacitating (A)
  • Non-Incapacitating (B)
  • Possible (C)
  • No Injury (O)
  • Unknown
Rationale:

Necessary for injury outcome analysis and evaluation. It is also critical in providing linkage between the crash, EMS, and hospital records.

P5: Occupant's Motor Vehicle Unit Number

Definition:

The unique number assigned for this crash to the motor vehicle in which this person was an occupant.

Element Attribute:
Number to indicate in which motor vehicle the occupant was located.
Rationale:

Important to link occupants back to motor vehicles in which they were riding. Necessary, for example, to evaluate the effect motor vehicle type and specific make/model have on occupant protection effectiveness and injury status.

P6: Seating Position

Definition:

The location for this occupant in, on, or outside of the motor vehicle prior to the first event in the Sequence of Events. See Example Diagram.

(From a State Police Instruction Manual): Note - More than one person may have the same seating position. Example, a child being held in the lap of another occupant or a person sitting in front of the driver of a motorcycle.

Element Attributes
Subfield 1 - Row:
  • Front
  • Second
  • Third
  • Fourth
  • Other Row (bus, 15 passenger van, etc.)
  • Unknown
Subfield 2 - Seat:
  • Left (usually the motor vehicle or motorcycle driver except for postal vehicles and some foreign vehicles)
  • Middle
  • Right
  • Other
  • Unknown
Subfield 3 - Other Location:
  • Not Applicable
  • Sleeper Section of Cab (Truck)
  • Other Enclosed Cargo Area
  • Unenclosed Cargo Area
  • Trailing Unit
  • Riding on Motor Vehicle Exterior (non-trailing unit)
  • Unknown

Other Seat (in any row) (from FARS Coding Manual) - persons lying across the seat or when there are two or more people seated in the middle.

Rationale:

Without known seating position of each person in the motor vehicle, it is not possible to fully evaluate, for example, the effect of occupant protection programs.

P7: Restraint Systems Use / Helmet Use

Definition:

The restraint equipment in use by the occupant, or the helmet use by a motorcyclist, at the time of the crash.

Element Attributes
Subfield 1: Restraint Systems
  • Not Applicable
  • None Used-Motor Vehicle Occupant
  • Shoulder and Lap Belt Used
  • Shoulder Belt Only Used
  • Lap Belt Only Used
  • Restraint Used Type Unknown
  • Child Restraint System Forward Facing
  • Child Restraint System Rear Facing
  • Booster Seat
  • Child Restraint Type Unknown
  • Other
  • Unknown
Subfield 2: Helmet Use
  • DOT-Compliant Motorcycle Helmet
  • Other Helmet
  • No Helmet
Rationale:

Proper classification of the use of available occupant restraint systems and helmet use is vital to evaluating the effectiveness of such equipment.

P8: Air Bag Deployed

Definition:

Deployment status of an air bag relative to the position in the vehicle for this occupant.

Element Attributes
  • Not Applicable
  • Not Deployed
  • Deployed: Front
  • Deployed: Side
  • Deployed: Other (knee, air belt, etc.)
  • Deployed: Combination
  • Deployed: Curtain
  • Deployment Unknown
Rationale:

Necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of air bags and other occupant protection equipment, especially at a time when air bags are becoming standard equipment.

P9: Ejection

Definition:

Occupant completely or partially thrown from the interior of the motor vehicle, excluding motorcycles, as a result of a crash.

Element Attributes
  • Not Ejected
  • Ejected, Partially
  • Ejected, Totally
  • Not Applicable
  • Unknown

Note regarding ejected persons: any occupant including the driver ejected from the interior of the vehicle during the crash (unless stabilization occurs) should be considered an occupant of the motor vehicle from which they were ejected when counting Total Occupants in Motor Vehicle V9.

Rationale:

Occupant protection systems prevent or mitigate ejections to various degrees. Analyses of the effectiveness of safety belts depend on information from this data element.

Occupant (from ANSI D16) - an occupant is any person who is part of a transport vehicle.

P10: Driver License Jurisdiction

Definition:

The geographic or political entity issuing a driver license. Includes the States of the United States (including the District of Columbia and outlying areas), Indian Nations, U.S. Government, Canadian Provinces, and Mexican States (including the Distrito Federal), as well as other jurisdictions.

Element Attributes
  • Not Applicable
  • Not Licensed
  • State
  • Indian Nation
  • U.S. Government
  • Canadian Province
  • Mexican State
  • International License (other than Mexico, Canada)
  • Unknown

Use this Link to See the FIPS Codes (This link will open a new bowser window)

Rationale:

Necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of various licensing laws. This element is also critical in providing linkage between the crash and driver license files at the state level.

P11: Driver License Number, Class, CDL, Endorsements

Definition:

A unique set of alphanumeric characters assigned by the authorizing agent issuing a driver license to the individual.

Element Attributes
Subfield 1: License Number

Alphanumeric identifier assigned by the authorizing jurisdiction (State, foreign country, U.S. Government, Indian Nation, etc.)

Subfield 2: Class

This indicates the type of driver's license issued by the State and the type of motor vehicle the driver is qualified to drive.

  • None
  • Not Applicable
  • Class A - details
  • Class B - details
  • Class C - details
  • Regular Driver's License Class - details
  • Class M - details
Subfield 3: Commercial Driver License (CDL)

This indicates whether the driver's license is a commercial driver license (CDL). Also, this information is important to separate the non-commercial licenses included by some States in Class C with the commercial licenses.

  • No
  • Yes
Subfield 4: Endorsements

This indicates any endorsements to the driver's license, both commercial and non-commercial.

  • None / Not Applicable
  • T - Double/Triple Trailers (Applies to Class A)
  • P - Passenger (Applies to transportation of 16 or more people including the driver)
  • N - Tank Vehicle (Required on any A, B, or C for transporting liquid or gaseous material with a tank attached to the vehicle)
  • H - Hazardous Materials (Required on any A, B, or C for transporting hazardous material requiring placarding)
  • X - Combination of Tank Vehicle and Hazardous Materials
  • S - School
  • Other non-commercial license endorsements (e.g.; motorcycle, etc.)

Endorsements: Issued to drivers after successfully completing a specialized test that qualifies them to operate that specific type of vehicle.

Rationale:

This element is critical in providing linkage between the crash and driver license files at the state level. This information is mandated by FMCSA for commercial drivers.

P12: Driver Name

Definition:

The full name of the individual driver.

Element Attributes
Name

The length and type of a name field is 35 alphanumeric symbols (ANS).

Guidance: (Source: Based on Driver History Record Data Dictionary, May 22, 1990, pages B5-B6.

Names of Persons - There are four subfields within the name field and each ends in a spacer ("@") except for the final field. SUFFIX. Spacers must be used to differentiate the name subfields. From left to right, the code is composed of LAST NAME, @, FIRST NAME, @ MIDDLE NAMES SEPARATED BY SPACES, @, SUFFIX. A spacer must follow every subfield except for SUFFIX, even when the subfields contain no data.

Rationale:

This data element should be collected to corroborate the driver license number and to facilitate linkage when names are available in the health and insurance files. When possible, obtain this information from the driver license (via a bar code or smart license or via on-line linkage).

P13: Driver Actions at Time of Crash

Definition:

The actions by the driver that may have contributed to the crash. This data element is based on the judgment of the law enforcement officer investigating the crash and need not match Violation Codes (P14).

Element Attributes:

This element is divided into 4 Subfields. Each have the same attributes for recording up to 4 applicable driver actions.

Driver Actions (Subfields 1-4):
  • No Contributing Action
  • Ran Off Roadway
  • Failed to Yield Right-of-Way
  • Ran Red Light
  • Ran Stop Sign
  • Disregarded Other Traffic Sign
  • Disregarded Other Road Markings
  • Exceeded Posted Speed Limit
  • Drove Too Fast For Conditions
  • Improper Turn
  • Improper Backing
  • Improper Passing
  • Wrong Side or Wrong Way
  • Followed Too Closely
  • Failed to Keep in Proper Lane
  • Operated Motor Vehicle in Erratic, Reckless, Careless, Negligent or Aggressive Manner
  • Swerved or Avoided Due to Wind, Slippery Surface, Motor Vehicle, Object, Non-Motorist in Roadway, etc.
  • Over-Correcting/Over-Steering
  • Other Contributing Action
  • Unknown
Rationale:

Important for evaluating the effect that dangerous driver behavior has on crashes.

P14: Violation Codes

Definition:

All motor vehicle-related violation codes, if any, which apply to this driver.

Element Attributes

The element is divided into two subfields for recording up to 2 violations.

Subfield 1, Subfield 2:
  • No Violation
  • (Violation Code)
  • Unknown

From the FARS 2002 Coding Manual
Note: AAMVAnet Code Dictionary (ACD) of violation codes can be accessed at www.aamva.org

Rationale:

Important for evaluation of safety laws and enforcement practices. This information is not available from the driver license file.

P15: Driver Distracted By

Definition:

Distractions which may have influenced the driver performance. The distractions can be inside the motor vehicle (internal) or outside the motor vehicle (external).

Element Attributes:

  • Not Distracted
  • Electronic Communication Device
  • Other Electronic Device (navigation device, DVD player, etc.)
  • Other Inside the Vehicle
  • External Distraction (outside the vehicle)
  • Unknown
Rationale:

Important for evaluating the effect that driver behavior has on crashes.

P16: Condition at Time of Crash

Definition:

Any relevant condition of the individual (motorist or non-motorist) that is directly related to the crash.

Element Attributes:
  1. Apparently Normal
  2. Physically Impaired
  3. Emotional (depressed, angry, disturbed, etc.)
  4. Ill (sick), Fainted
  5. Asleep or Fatigued
  6. Under the Influence of Medications/Drugs/Alcohol
  7. Other
  8. Unknown
Rationale:

Important for evaluating the effect that fatigue, medications/alcohol/drugs/other conditions have on the crash.

P17: Law Enforcement Suspects Alcohol Use

Definition:

Driver or non-motorist involved in the crash suspected by law enforcement to have used alcohol.

Element Attributes
  • No
  • Yes
  • Unknown

Unknown (from FARS Coding Manual): unable to take a position as to involvement (officer still may order an evidential test)

Rationale:

Alcohol - related crashes remain a serious traffic safety problem. Identifying crashes in which alcohol may have been involved will help evaluate the effectiveness of programs to decrease the incidence of drunk driving or to identify problem areas.

This element is used in part to develop the crash derived element Alcohol Involvement (CD7).

Additional Information:

This element is reflective of the officer's opinion of the use (presence) of alcohol, not a judgment of quantity. The officer's opinion as to alcohol's contribution to the crash is recorded in the Driver and Non-Motorist Condition elements (P14, P24). It is based upon a factor or combination of factors such as:

  • His or her on-scene evaluation (Observation, Behavioral/Field Sobriety Test, e.g. eye gaze/nystagmus, walking a line)
  • BAC testing
  • Other sources (witness statements, coroner's report)

P18: Alcohol Test

Definition:

Indication of the presence of alcohol by test, type and result.

Element Attributes:
Subfield 1 - Test Status:
  • Test Not Given
  • Test Refused
  • Test Given
  • Unknown if Tested
Subfield 2 - Type of Test:
  • Blood
  • Breath
  • Urine
Subfield 3 - BAC Test Result:
  • Value
  • Pending
  • Unknown
  • Other
Rationale:

Alcohol remains the most prevalent drug involved in motor vehicle crashes. Capturing alcohol concentration whenever a driver or non-motorist is tested will provide an accurate assessment of the role of alcohol involvement. The type of test used to obtain the alcohol concentration also is important information to collect.

P19: Law Enforcement Suspects Drug Use

Definition:

Driver or non-motorist involved in the crash suspected by law enforcement to have used drugs.

Element Attributes:
  • No
  • Yes
  • Unknown

Unknown (from FARS Coding Manual): unable to take a position as to involvement (still may order an evidential test)

Rationale:

Drug-related crashes remain a serious traffic safety problem. Identifying crashes in which drugs may have been involved will help evaluate the effectiveness of programs to decrease the incidence of driving while under the influence of drugs.

This element is used in part to develop the crash derived element Drug Involvement (CD8).

Additional Information:

This element is reflective of the officer's opinion of the use drugs. The officer's opinion as to drug's contribution to the crash is recorded in the Driver and Non-Motorist Condition elements (P14, P24). It is based upon a factor or combination of factors such as:

  • His or her on-scene evaluation (Observation, Behavioral/Field Sobriety Test, e.g. eye gaze/nystagmus, walking a line)
  • BAC testing
  • Other sources (witness statements, coroner's report)

P20: Drug Test

Definition:

Indication of the presence of drug test, type and result. Excludes drugs administered post-crash. See Drug Test Result (PL3) to document drug name and value.

An example of drugs administered post-crash would be pain killers such as lidocaine.

Element Attributes
Subfield 1: Test Status
  • Test Not Given
  • Test Refused
  • Test Given
  • Unknown if Tested
Subfield 2: Type of Test
  • Blood
  • Urine
  • Other
Subfield 3: Drug Test Result
  • Negative
  • Positive
  • Unknown
Rationale:

Identifying drug-related crashes helps to develop and evaluate programs directed at reducing their involvement. Whenever evidence of other drug use is available, it should be captured.

P21: Non-Motorist Number

Definition:

The unique number assigned to the non-motorist involved in the crash.

Rationale:

Important for management/administration and evaluation. Needed to determine number and type of non-motorists involved in crash. Needed to track non-motorist action before the crash as well as injuries sustained.

Attribute:

Sequential Number (uniquely identifying the non-motorist involved in the crash)

P22: Non-Motorist Action/Circumstance Prior to Crash

Definition:

The action of the non-motorist immediately prior to the crash and an indication of whether the non-motorist was walking/cycling to/from school.

Non-motorist - any person other than an occupant of a motor vehicle in transport. This includes pedestrians, bicyclists, other cyclists, occupants of other motor vehicles not in transport, and occupants of transport vehicles other than motor vehicles.

Element Attributes
  • Crossing Roadway
  • Waiting to Cross Roadway
  • Walking/Cycling Along Roadway with Traffic (In or Adjacent to Travel Lane)
  • Walking/Cycling Along Roadway Against Traffic (In or Adjacent to Travel Lane)
  • Walking/Cycling on Sidewalk
  • In Roadway - Other (Working, Playing, etc.)
  • Adjacent to Roadway (e.g., Shoulder, Median)
  • Going to or from School (K-12)
  • Working in Trafficway (Incident Response)
  • Other
  • None
  • Unknown

*Note - The attributes "Going to or from School (K-12)" and "Working in Trafficway (Incident Response)" take precedence when more than one attribute is applicable.

Rationale:

The development of effective roadway design and operation, education, and enforcement measures to accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists and prevent crashes with motor vehicles is enhanced by the collection of the actions and circumstances prior to the crash.

Useful in combination with Element P23 Non-Motorist Actions/Circumstances at Time of Crash to develop a complete picture of a person's contribution to a crash.

P23: Non-Motorist Actions/Circumstances at Time of Crash

Definition:

The actions/circumstances of the non-motorist that may have contributed to the crash. This data element is based on the judgment of the law enforcement officer investigating the crash.

Non-motorist - any person other than an occupant of a motor vehicle in transport. This includes pedestrians, bicyclists, other cyclists, occupants of other motor vehicles not in transport, and occupants of transport vehicles other than motor vehicles.

Element Attributes

This element is divided into Subfields 1 and 2 for recording up to 2 attributes.

Subfield 1:
  • No Improper Action
  • Dart/Dash
  • Failure to Yield Right-Of-Way
  • Failure to Obey Traffic Signs, Signals, or Officer
  • In Roadway Improperly (Standing, Lying, Working, Playing)
  • Disabled Vehicle Related (Working on, Pushing, Leaving/Approaching)
  • Entering/Exiting Parked/Standing Vehicle
Subfield 2:
  • Inattentive (talking, eating, etc.)
  • Not Visible (Dark Clothing, No Lighting, etc.)
  • Improper Turn/Merge
  • Improper Passing
  • Wrong-Way Riding or Walking
  • Other
  • Unknown
Rationale:

The development of effective roadway design and operation, education, and enforcement measures to accommodate pedestrians and cyclists and prevent crashes with motor vehicles is enhanced by the collection of the actions and circumstances at the time of the crash..

Useful in combination with Element P22 Non-Motorist Action/Cricumstance Prior to Crash to develop a complete picture of a person's contribution to a crash.

P24: Non- Motorist Location at Time of Crash

Definition:

The location of the non-motorist with respect to the roadway at the time of the crash.

This element provides detail for non-motorist crashes beyond the crash level element C7 Location of First Harmful Event.

Element Attributes
Rationale:

The development of effective roadway design and operation, education, and enforcement measures to accommodate pedestrians and cyclists and prevent crashes with motor vehicles is enhanced by the collection of the location of the non-motorist at the time of crash.

This element provides a complete picture of the non-motorist's role in the crash when examined with Non-motorist Actions P22 (Prior) & P23 (at Time of Crash).

P25: Non-Motorist Safety Equipment

Definition:

The safety equipment(s) used by the non-motorist.

Element Attributes

This element is divided into to Subfields 1 and 2 for recording up to 2 attributes.

Safety Equipment Used by Non-Motorist (Subfield 1 and Subfield 2):
Rationale:

Used to evaluate effectiveness of non-motorist safety equipment. Important to calculate usage statistics for the development and evaluation of the effectiveness of educational countermeasures. The use of two sub-fields allows for the recording of two types of safety equipment, such as a helmet and reflective clothing.

P26: Unit Number of Motor Vehicle Striking Non-Motorist

Definition:

Number assigned to identify the motor vehicle that struck the non-motorist in the crash.

Element Attribute:

Unit number of motor vehicle that was the first motor vehicle to strike the non-motorist.

Rationale:

Used for tracking. Important when multiple motor vehicles are involved in the crash.

P27: Transported to Medical Facility By

Definition:

Type and identity of unit providing transport to the medical facility receiving the patient.

Element Attributes
Subfield 1: Source of Transport
  • Not Transported
  • EMS Air
  • EMS Ground
  • Law Enforcement
  • Other
  • Unknown
Subfield 2:

EMS Response Agency Identifier ID for EMS Agency That Responds

Subfield 3:

EMS Response Run Number

Subfield 4

Name or number of medical facility receiving patient

Rationale:

Important to trace victim from the scene of crash through the health care system. Facilitates linkage of injured crash victims with Emergency Medical Services data files.

Roadway Data Elements

RL1: Bridge/Structure Identification Number

Definition:

A unique federal inspection/inventory identifier assigned to a bridge, underpass, overpass, or tunnel bridge/structure that is also linkable to the national bridge inventory.

Source: Obtained by linking Crash Location (C5) to the Roadway Inventory data.

Attribute:

Number as described in Recording and Coding Guide for the Structure Inventory and Appraisal of the Nation’s Bridges, December 1988, Federal Highway Administration, item 8 and HPMS/90, item 77.

Rationale:

Important to link specific geometric data describing the bridge for problem identification analysis and for determining the relationship between bridge structure characteristics and crashes.

RL2: Roadway Curvature

Definition:

The measurement of the curvature in the roadway expressed in terms of its radius, length, and superelevation. The unit of measurement is feet.

Source: Obtained by linking Crash Location (C5) to the Roadway Inventory data. See Roadway Alignment and Grade (V16).

Element Attributes:
Not Applicable
Subfield 1:

Curve: Radius

Subfield 2:

Length

Subfield 3:

Superelevation

Rationale:

Curve data is used in searching for and diagnosing high-crash locations. Important for determining relationship between horizontal alignment-related crashes to guide future highway design, speed limits, and driver skill training
(motorcycle curve entering speed, etc.).

RL3. Grade

Definition:

The inclination of the roadway, expressed in the rate of rise or fall in feet per 100 feet of horizontal distance.

Source: Obtained by linking Crash Location (C5) to the Roadway Inventory data. See Roadway Alignment and Grade (V16).

Element Attributes:
Subfield 1 - Direction of Slope:

Up (+) or Down (-)

Subfield 2 - Percent of Slope:

Nearest Percent of Slope

Rationale:

Used to identify possible causes and countermeasures for a high crash site.

RL4. Part of National Highway System

Definition:

Designation as part of the National Highway System.

Source: Obtained by linking Crash Location (C5) to the Roadway Inventory data.

Element Attributes:
  • Yes
  • No
  • Unknown
Rationale:

Important to monitor highway safety on the National Highway System.

RL5. Roadway Functional Class

Definition:

The character of service or function of streets or highways. The classification of rural and urban is determined by State and local officials in cooperation with each other and approved by the Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation.

Source: Obtained by linking Crash Location (C5) to the Roadway Inventory data.

Element Attributes:
Rural:
  • Principal Arterial-Interstate
  • Principal Arterial-Other
  • Minor Arterial
  • Major Collector
  • Minor Collector
  • Local
  • Unknown Rural
Urban:
  • Principal Arterial-Interstate
  • Principal Arterial-Other Freeway or Expressway
  • Principal Arterial-Other
  • Minor Arterial
  • Collector
  • Local
  • Unknown Urban
Unknown
Rationale:

Important for comparing crash rates/safety experience of highways of similar design characteristics so as to identify those highways or highway sections that have abnormal rates/experience for future improvements as well as generalized study of the highways in a region or State. Knowledge of the land use is needed in analyzing crashes as part of a network analysis.

RL6. Annual Average Daily Traffic

Definition:

The average number of motor vehicles passing a point on a trafficway in a day,
for all days of the year, during a specified calendar year.
Source: Obtained by linking Crash Location (C5) to the Roadway Inventory data.

Element Attributes:
  • Subfield 1 - AADT Year
  • Subfield 2 - AADT
  • Subfield 3 - Truck (over 10,000 lbs.) Percentage
  • Subfield 4 - Motorcycle Percentage
Rationale:

Important to normalize crash data to account for exposure.

RL7. Widths of Lane(s) and Shoulder(s)

Definition:

Widths (in feet) of the lane(s) and of the shoulder(s) where crash occurred.

Source: Obtained by linking Crash Location (C5) to the Roadway Inventory data.

Element Attributes:
  • Subfield 1 - Lane Width
  • Subfield 2 - Right Shoulder Width
  • Subfield 3 - Left Shoulder Width
Rationale:

Important to monitor the association of lane/shoulder widths and the frequency of crashes.

RL8. Width of Median

Definition:

Width from travel lane edge to travel lane edge of the portion of divided highway separating the road for traffic in opposing directions where the crash occurred. If a crash occurs at a mid-block section, the median width is based on the mid-block section. If the crash occurs at an intersection, the median width is based on the median widths at the intersection.

Source: Obtained by linking Crash Location (C5) to the Roadway Inventory data.

Element Attribute:
Width of Median
Rationale:

Important to monitor the need for medians to protect motorists from oncoming traffic.

RL9. Access Control

Definition:

The degree that access to abutting land is fully, partially, or not controlled by a public authority. Full access control provides access only at interchanges (interstate, etc.). Partial access control provides no private access. No access control permits private access (driveway, etc.).

Source: Obtained by linking Crash Location (C5) to the Roadway Inventory data.

Element Attributes:
  • Full Access Control
  • Partial access Control
  • No Access Control
Rationale:

Highly correlated with crash rates and, therefore, useful in identifying high hazard locations. Important to guide future highway design and traffic control.

RL10. Railway Crossing ID

Definition:

A unique US DOT/AAR number assigned for identification purposes to a railroad crossing by a state highway agency in cooperation with the Federal Railroad Administration.

Source: Obtained by linking Crash Location (C5) to State or Federal Railway Administration data.

Element Attribute:
State specific number assigned by a State in cooperation with the American Association of Railroads.
Rationale:

The data are used in high crash locations as well as high-risk corridors.
Important for determining the need for additional controls and evaluating the
efficacy of various types of controls.

RL11. Roadway Lighting

Definition:

Type of roadway illumination.

Source: Obtained by linking Crash Location (C5) to the Roadway Inventory data.

Element Attributes:
  • No Lighting
  • Spot Illumination on One Side
  • Spot Illumination on Both Sides
  • Continuous Lighting on One Side
  • Continuous Lighting on Both Sides
Rationale:

Recognized as having a benefit to safe highway operations. Information about the presence of lighting is an important element in analysis of a spot location, a section of highway, or a network analysis. Important for determining the affects of highway illumination on nighttime crashes to guide future installations.

RL12. Pavement Markings, Longitudinal

Definition:

The longitudinal markings (paint, plastic, or other) used on the roadway surface to guide or control the path followed by drivers.

Element Attributes:
Subfield 1 - Edgeline Presence/Type
  • No Marked Edgeline
  • Standard Width Edgeline
  • Wide Edgeline
  • Other
Subfield 2 - Centerline Presence/Type
  • No Marked Centerline
  • Standard Centerline Markings
  • Centerline With Centerline Rumble Strip
Subfield 3 - Lane Line Markings
  • No Lane Markings
  • Standard Lane Line
  • Wide Lane Line
Rationale:

Important to know about the existence of pavement markings for the analysis of crash data. Useful for determining the effects of various types of longitudinal markings on various types of crashes to guide future applications.

RL13. Presence/Type of Bicycle Facility

Definition:

Any road, path, or way which is specifically designated as being open to bicycle travel, regardless of whether such facilities are designated for the exclusive use of bicycles or are to be shared with other transportation modes.

Source: Obtained by linking Crash Location (C5) to the Roadway Inventory data.

Attributes:
Subfield 1 - Facility
  • None
  • Wide Curb Lane
  • Marked Bicycle Lane
  • Unmarked Paved Shoulder
  • Separate Bicycle Path/Trail
  • Unknown
Subfield 2 - Signed Bicycle Route
  • Yes
  • No
  • Unknown
  • Not Applicable
Rationale:

Needed to determine usage and safety of bicycle facilities. Needed to determine the location of bicycle crashes in relation to a bicycle facility. Important for ascertaining the relative safety performance of various types/ classes of bike paths to guide future design/operation decisions.

RL14. Traffic Control Type at Intersection

Definition:

Type of traffic control device at intersection where crash occurred.

Source: Obtained by linking Crash Location (C5) to the Roadway Inventory data.

Element Attributes:
  • No Control
  • Stop Signs on Cross Street Only
  • All-Way Stop Signs
  • All-Way Flasher (red on cross street)
  • All-Way Flasher (red on all legs)
  • Yield Signs on Cross Street Only
  • Signals Pre-Timed (2 Phase)
  • Signals Pre-Timed (multi-phase)
  • Signals Semi-Actuated (2 Phase)
  • Signals Semi-Actuated (multi-phase)
  • Signals Fully Actuated (2 Phase)
  • Signals Fully Actuated (multi-phase)
  • Other
  • Unknown
Rationale:

Important to understand the relationship between crashes at intersections and the type of traffic control device present.

RL15. Mainline Number of Lanes at Intersection

Definition:

Number of through lanes on the mainline approaches of an intersection, including all lanes with through movement (through and left-turn, or through and right-turn) but not exclusive turn lanes.

Source: Obtained by linking Crash Location (C5) to the Roadway Inventory data.

Element Attributes:
  • One Lane
  • Two Lanes
  • Three Lanes
  • Four to Six Lanes
  • Seven or More Lanes
  • Unknown
Rationale:

Important to describe the intersection.

RL16. Side-Road Number of Lanes at Intersection

Definition:

Number of through lanes on the side-road approaches at intersection including all lanes with through movement (through and left-turn, or through and right- turn) but not exclusive turn lanes.

Source: Obtained by linking Crash Location (C5) to the Roadway Inventory data.

Element Attributes:
  • One Lane
  • Two Lanes
  • Three Lanes
  • Four to Six Lanes
  • Seven or More Lanes
  • Unknown
Rationale:

Important to describe the intersection.

RL17. Total Volume of Entering Vehicles

Definition:

Total entering vehicles for all approaches of an intersection.

Source: Obtained by linking Crash Location (C5) to the Roadway Inventory data.

Element Attributes:
  • Subfield 1 - AADT Year
  • Subfield 2 - AADT
Rationale:

Important to understand volume of crashes as a measure of exposure for the mainline approaches.