Guideline Helps States with Crash Data Collection

The 4th Edition of the Model Minimum Uniform Crash Criteria Guideline includes a broader definition of distracted driving, according to GHSA.

The 4th Edition of the Model Minimum Uniform Crash Criteria (MMUCC) Guideline has been posted online at www.mmucc.us, the Governors Highway Safety Association announced July 2.

The voluntary guideline helps states determine what data to collect at the scene of a motor vehicle crash, and this edition helps with emerging issues such as distracted driving, secondary crashes, and incidents on private property. GHSA said it also helps with determining the level of serious injury from a crash.

GHSA said states can use federal funding authorized by the new two-year highway funding law to improve their crash and related data systems and come into compliance with the guideline.

The distracted driving data element includes attributes such as manually operating an electronic communications device; talking on a hands-free electronic device; talking on a hand-held electronic device; other activity; electronic device; passenger; other inside the vehicle (eating, personal hygiene, etc.) and outside the vehicle. "The intent is for law enforcement to capture a wider range of information about drivers in crashes who were obviously distracted," said Barbara Harsha, GHSA's executive director.

"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," she added. "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."

GHSA and NHTSA co-managed the update of the guideline, which NHTSA funded.

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