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July 20 -- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT), invites comments to OMB by August 25, 2022 regarding the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and Non-Traffic Surveillance.

NHTSA is authorized by 49 U.S.C. 30182 and 23 U.S.C. 403 to collect data on motor vehicle traffic crashes to aid in the identification of issues and the development, implementation, and evaluation of motor vehicle and highway safety countermeasures to reduce fatalities and the property damage associated with motor vehicle crashes. Using this authority, NHTSA established the Fatal Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and the Non-Traffic Surveillance (NTS), which collect data on fatal motor vehicle traffic crashes. Among other things, the information aids in the establishment and enforcement of motor vehicle regulations and highway safety programs.

The FARS is in its forty-sixth year of operation and is a census of all defined crashes involving fatalities. The FARS collects data from all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. NHTSA established cooperative agreements with the 50 States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to report a standard set of data on each fatal crash within their jurisdictions. State employees extract and transcribe information from existing State files including police crash reports as well as driver license, vehicle registration, highway department, and vital statistics files. This collected information comprises a national database, Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), that is NHTSA's and many States' principal means of tracking trends involving motor vehicle traffic fatalities and quantifying problems or potential problems in highway safety.

The Non-Traffic Surveillance (NTS) is a data collection effort for collecting information about counts and details regarding fatalities and injuries that occur in non-traffic crashes and non-crash incidents. Non-traffic crashes are crashes that occur off a public trafficway (e.g., private roads, parking lots, or driveways), and non-crash incidents are incidents involving motor vehicles but without a crash scenario such as, carbon monoxide poisoning and hypo/hyperthermia. NTS non-traffic crash data are obtained through NHTSA's data collection efforts for the Crash Report Sampling System (CRSS), the Crash Investigation Sampling System (CISS), and FARS. NTS also includes data outside of NHTSA's own data collections. NTS' non-crash injury data is based upon emergency department records from a special study conducted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission's National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) All Injury Program. NTS non-crash fatality data is derived from death certificate information from the Centers for Disease Control's National Vital Statistics System.

Data is collected differently under each of NHTSA's three data collection efforts that feed into NTS. The CRSS and CISS data collection efforts obtain NTS applicable reports received from the sample sites during their normal data collection efforts for CRISS and CISS. The FARS data collection effort uncovers NTS applicable reports received from the State during their normal data collection activities for FARS. Therefore, the burden for NTS is included in each study's calculation. This notice only seeks comment on the part of the NTS data that comes from the FARS data collection effort.

NHTSA's mission is to save lives, prevent injuries, and reduce economic losses resulting from motor vehicle crashes. To accomplish this mission, NHTSA needs high-quality data on motor vehicle crashes to identify primary factors related to the source of crashes and injury outcomes. The FARS supports this mission by providing the agency with vital information about all crashes involving fatalities that occur on our nation's roadways. The FARS does this by collection of national fatality information directly from existing State files and documents and aggregates that information for research and analysis.

FARS data is used extensively by all the NHTSA program and research offices, other DOT modes, States, and local jurisdictions. The highway research community uses the FARS data for trend analysis, problem identification, and program evaluation. Congress uses the FARS data for making decisions concerning safety programs. The FARS data are also available upon request to anyone interested in highway safety.

FARS website: https://www.nhtsa.gov/research-data/fatality-analysis-reporting-system-fars  
Non-Traffic Surveillance website: https://www.nhtsa.gov/crash-data-systems/non-traffic-surveillance
Submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202206-2127-006 Click on IC List for questionnaire, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation. Submit comments through this site.
FR notice inviting public comment: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2022-15412
For AEA members wishing to submit comments, "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" is available at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806

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