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Estimating Motor Carrier Management Information System Crash File Underreporting From Carrier Records: Research Brief
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    Research Brief : Estimating Motor Carrier Management Information System Crash File Underreporting From Carrier Records
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  • Abstract:
    This study estimated a significant amount of underreporting to the MCMIS crash file by the States, for the carriers who cooperated in the study. For the study carriers, it appears that the MCMIS file contained about 66 percent of their reportable crashes. Several sources of underreporting were identified. Arranging them in the chronological order of the crash reporting process (from crash event to State crash file to the MCMIS crash file), highlights the vulnerabilities in the reporting process. 1. About 56 percent of the missing crashes apparently had no police report filed. They were in the carriers’ crash data but were not found in State crash data. If no crash report is filed, the case cannot appear in the MCMIS crash file. 2. Among the missing crashes that were reported to State crash files, several factors contributed to their either not being uploaded to or not being found in the MCMIS crash file: a) Of the “study carrier” crashes that couldn’t be found in MCMIS by UMTRI, but could be found in State files, over half were cases that had either missing or incorrect DOT numbers. For the cases that had missing DOT numbers, UMTRI concluded that the officers filling out the Police Accident Reports believed that the crash was not reportable. For the cases that had incorrect DOT numbers, they were uploaded to MCMIS, but UMTRI couldn’t identify them due to the incorrect numbers. b) About 24 percent of the records missed were medium- and heavy-duty trucks that were misclassified as light vehicles. c) MCMIS-reportable crashes involving only trucks with in-State plates were less likely to be reported by States to MCMIS. d) In about half of the MCMIS-reportable cases in State files that were not reported, the crash severity, as coded, met the MCMIS severity threshold and the vehicles met the MCMIS vehicle criteria. This points to problems within States for identifying crashes in their data meeting the MCMIS reporting criteria.

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