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Directions in Highway Safety Cover - Summer 2012 Download Newsletter pdf
[2.2 MB, 12 pgs.]

Summer 2012

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New Guidelines to Help States Better Collect Crash Data

MMUCC Guideline cover

The Fourth Edition of the Model Minimum Uniform Crash Criteria (MMUCC) Guideline was announced on July 2. It can be found online at www.mmucc.us. Updated, online MMUCC training will become available at that website in August.

MMUCC is a voluntary guideline of data elements and their attributes that states are encouraged to collect at the scene of a crash. The guideline was first developed in 1998 and has been updated two times prior to this new version. All states collect a large percentage of the data recommended in the guideline, and most states continue to revise their Police Accident Report (PAR) forms so that they are consistent with the MMUCC recommendations.

“Accurate data is essential for states in planning their highway safety programs and selecting countermeasures that will have the most impact in reducing crashes, serious injuries and fatalities,” said Barbara Harsha, GHSA Executive Director. “States use their crash data to better assess where to invest their limited resources. MMUCC provides the tool that helps states collect the most complete, accurate and informative crash data.”

“Increasing our understanding of the dangers that continue to threaten drivers and passengers traveling on our roadways is essential to improving traffic safety,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. “The new guidelines will serve as a useful tool for gathering more accurate and consistent crash data on emerging safety issues, including distracted driving.”

One of the changes in the 4th Edition is a fuller definition of distracted driving. The new version includes attributes such as: manually operating an electronic communications device; talking on hands-free electronic device; talking on hand-held electronic device; other activity; electronic device; passenger; other inside the vehicle (eating, personal hygiene, etc.) and outside the vehicle.

MMUCC also includes a better definition of serious injuries by breaking injuries into five logical categories and providing clear definitions for each category. The five categories include: fatal, suspected serious injury, suspected minor injury, possible injury and no apparent injury. This is intended to encourage better collection of serious injury data until such time that states can easily link electronic crash data with other electronic injury data such as EMS and hospital databases.

There are also new data elements describing speeding-related crashes, crashes on private property and secondary crashes. The data element “Areas of Impact” has been changed to “Extent of Damage” which requires officers to identify all areas of damage on the vehicle. New attributes and a diagram have been added for identifying EMS vehicles and personnel involved in crashes. There are also new attributes that will require an officer to distinguish between reckless, aggressive and inattentive/careless/ negligent/erratic driving. Officers will also be encouraged to enter the names – and not just the data – of drivers and passengers in crashes.

States will be able to use federal funding authorized under the new surface transportation legislation – MAP-21 – to make improvements in their crash and other related data systems and come into compliance with the new MMUCC guideline.

GHSA and NHTSA co-managed the update process which was underwritten with funding from NHTSA. They sought comments online and at meetings and used those comments to update this edition of the guideline.

A MMUCC Expert Panel consisting of state and local law enforcement officials, state traffic records coordinators, state department of transportation representatives, state health officials, members of the research community and officials from five federal agencies helped GHSA and NHTSA oversee the effort.