HOW WILL CRASH REPORTING CAPTURE CHILD DATA?
The world of AV crash reporting is quickly evolving. The Model Minimum Uniform Crash Criteria (MMUCC), a minimum, standardized data set for describing motor vehicle crashes and the vehicles and persons involved, should be enhanced to include information relevant to child passengers.
The safety community must have AV reporting needs in the MMUCC Guidelines as the technology evolves, especially since the MMUCC is only updated every 5 years. Currently, it is hard for officers to ascertain the level of autonomy that a vehicle is using during a crash. Having a consistent training tool for law enforcement may make states more inclined to add these data points to their crash reporting tool.
The Consortium makes the following recommendations:
1) NHTSA should create a universal training tutorial to assist law enforcement officers/first responders to better know and understand how to ascertain the AV capability and use in vehicles at the time of a crash. Specifically:
a) NHTSA should add “best practice” crash reporting tools to their website.
b) NHTSA should create a “train the trainer” video or on-line training module for law enforcement officers to be educated on how to complete the AV section and child passenger safety restraint portion of the crash reports.
c) Encourage incentives to states to update their crash reports to be more consistent with NHTSA/MMUCC Guidelines.
2) Propose the following changes to MMUCC for considerations of the on-scene and advocacy role of law enforcement and first responders:
Reason for change
Specific Change Requested
As we review crash data where children are involved, it is helpful to know their weight to determine if the type of restraint they were using was appropriate.
Child(ren)’s approximate weight (for children under age 13)
We want to know the initial impression of the officer as to the fault of the crash (who or what). If the AV features are engaged, it will be important to know if there is a technology fault that needs to be addressed.
Who or what is at fault in the crash as determined by the on-scene officer.
As we move into the new opportunities that will present with AVs, there could come a time when children are riding alone in these vehicles. While this data being asked for will certainly help child passenger safety advocates with crash analysis now, having LE officers well versed in collecting this information will be important for the world of AV transportation that lies ahead.
If a car seat was used, how was it installed? Lower anchors _____ Top tether _____ Seat belt _____ Not attached /secured _____ Unable to determine _____ Who installed the seat? ________________ Was the seat choice and direction appropriate for the child? Yes _____ No _____ Unable to determine _____
3) Update Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) to include the vehicle's SAE automated level for consistent crash data collection and reporting purposes. Knowing the AV level of the vehicle will help determine whether the crash and/or child injuries sustained in the crash were potentially avoidable.
- The MMUCC guideline manual Section on AV reporting/data collection (begins on page 121 hard copy/127 on-line)
- This report offered by John Siegler on the discrepancy in reporting on a state-by-state basis was given at the 2018 Traffic Records Forum.
- This report by the National Safety Council also points to the importance of states having accurate and complete traffic crash data collection.
- State example: Michigan has a very comprehensive crash report with information on AV features.