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Crash Report Development Guidance

Crash Reporting:
One of the most common oversights identified in the national review of crash reports was a unification of enforcement regulations and crash data collection guidelines that were intended to be applied independently. Although the enforcement and crash data collection efforts support one another under the umbrella safety goal, they differ in their application.  The enforcement effort involves action by application of a set of codified regulations (FMCSRs) under a controlled environment such as a roadside inspection.  The crash reporting effort involves collection of data from a population of vehicles defined in the selection criteria. (See Examples Below)

Example 1
FMCSR PART 383 relating to Commercial Driver’s Licensing (CDL).  It uses the size guideline of 26,001 lbs. or more GCWR/GVWR and seating capacity designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver. Conversely, the crash reporting criteria uses the size guideline of 10,001 lbs. or more GCWR/GVWR and seating a capacity of 9 or more passengers, including the driver.
Example 2

In FMCSR 390.5 the definition of commercial motor vehicle for regulatory purposes uses the manufacturer’s designated GVWR OR the actual scaled weight of the vehicle (GVW); whichever is greater.  For crash reporting, only the manufacturer’s designated GVWR is used.  Although using the actual weight, if greater than the GVWR is the best approach in the controlled environment of an inspection station, it is clearly not feasible to weigh every vehicle at a crash scene.