Highway Safety: Federal and State Efforts Related to Accidents That Involve Non-Commercial Vehicles Carrying Unsecured Loads

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) collects limited information on crashes involving vehicles carrying unsecured loads but plans to make changes to collect better information. Currently, NHTSA collects some data in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System and the National Automotive Sampling System General Estimates System. However, the systems do not currently have a data category to distinguish between debris resulting from natural sources (such as a tree branch) and debris resulting from human error (such as an unsecured load). As a result, NHTSA cannot currently ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. November 15, 2012.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) collects limited information on crashes involving vehicles carrying unsecured loads but plans to make changes to collect better information. Currently, NHTSA collects some data in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System and the National Automotive Sampling System General Estimates System. However, the systems do not currently have a data category to distinguish between debris resulting from natural sources (such as a tree branch) and debris resulting from human error (such as an unsecured load). As a result, NHTSA cannot currently identify how many crashes involve vehicles carrying unsecured loads. NHTSA intends to make changes to both its systems to better identify crashes involving unsecured loads. These changes will go into effect in 2013. However, NHTSA may still face challenges collecting this data because 1) law enforcement officials face difficulties in determining whether a crash involved an unsecured load and 2) states do not collect uniform data on unsecured loads in their police crash reports. NHTSA officials stated that they would likely recommend changes to the Model Minimum Uniform Crash Criteria (MMUCC)—voluntary guidelines intended to create uniform data in police crash reports; however, the revised guidelines will not be released until 2017 because of MMUCC’s 5-year cycle of updates. NHTSA officials acknowledged that even with the changes in its data systems, data improvements will take time to implement and data on unsecured-load crashes will likely continue to be imprecise."

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The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • November 15, 2012

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Highway Safety: Federal and State Efforts Related to Accidents That Involve Non-Commercial Vehicles Carrying Unsecured Loads, report, November 15, 2012; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc300082/: accessed September 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.