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Police reports don’t collect enough accident data

Police reports in Missouri and around the country fail to capture adequate amounts of data following auto accidents, according to a recent report by the National Safety Council. This lack of data makes it harder for traffic safety experts to understand the true causes of accidents and develop effective solutions.

U.S. traffic deaths have hit or exceeded 40,000 for the last three years. To determine what data states are collecting on auto accidents, NSC researchers analyzed police reports from around the country They discovered that no jurisdiction does a thorough job of collecting relevant crash data. For example, all 50 states fail to capture information on a driver’s fatigue level at the time of an accident. Meanwhile, 32 states fail to report drivers’ hands-free cellphone use, the same number fail to provide specific drug information after drivers test positive for drug use, and 26 states fail to capture whether a driver was texting before a crash. In addition, all 50 states fail to collect data on drivers’ use of advanced driver assistance technologies, 35 states fail to list teen driver restrictions and 47 states don’t collect drivers’ use of on-board infotainment systems.

The NSC recommends that states collect 23 accident factors on their police reports. However, no state currently comes close to that. Kansas and Wisconsin lead the nation with 14 of the recommended factors, but other states collect less. In fact, Maryland, Kentucky and Nebraska only collect five of the recommended factors.

People who have been injured in car accidents that have been caused by the negligence of another motorist often need extensive medical treatment. They might want to have the help of an attorney when seeking compensation for the losses that they have incurred.