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Help Center > State Safety Data Quality

Methodology for State Safety Data Quality

The Methodology for State Safety Data Quality (SSDQ) was developed by FMCSA to evaluate the completeness, timeliness, accuracy, and consistency of the State-reported commercial motor vehicle crash and inspection records in the Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS). The SSDQ evaluation uses a 12-month time period that ends three months prior to the MCMIS snapshot for each measure, unless otherwise stated in the rating description. Eight of the nine SSDQ measures also have a leading indicator, which acts as a forecast for where measures might be trending based on the three most-recent months of data not included in the current rating.

Crash and inspection records were used in this evaluation if the original upload date fell within the 12-month time period. The quality of this data is evaluated with each monthly snapshot and the States receive ratings of 'Good', 'Fair', or 'Poor' for nine SSDQ Measures. Based on these individual ratings, plus the Overriding Indicator, each State receives an Overall State Rating. The methodology used to determine these ratings is provided below.

Overall State Rating

Considers all nine SSDQ measures and the Crash Consistency Overriding Indicator, except measures with a rating of 'Insufficient Data.' States receive an overall score based on ratings in each of the measures and the Overriding Indicator. A State that has received a 'red flag' will be automatically rated 'Poor'. A State with at least one 'Good' crash measure, one 'Good' inspection measure, and no 'Poor' measures receives a 'Good' rating. A State with only one 'Poor' measure will receive a 'Fair' rating, and any State with two or more 'Poor' measures will receive a 'Poor' rating. (See image below.)

Overall State Rating is based on ratings in each of the measures and the Overriding Indicator.

The Overall State Rating is determined as follows:

Rating Criteria
GoodGood Rating Minimum of 1 Good Crash Measure, 1 Good Inspection Measure, AND 0 Poor 
FairFair Rating Maximum of 1 Poor 
PoorPoor Rating 2+ Poor OR Red Flagged 
* States that are red flagged are automatically rated POOR overall.

 

Crash Rating

Considers the five SSDQ crash measures and the Crash Consistency Overriding Indicator, except measures with a rating of 'Insufficient Data.' States receive an overall score based on ratings in each of the crash measures and the Overriding Indicator. A State that has received a 'red flag' will be automatically rated 'Poor'. A State with at least one 'Good' measure and no 'Poor' measures receives a 'Good' rating. A State with only one 'Poor' measure will receive a 'Fair' rating, and any State with two or more 'Poor' measures will receive a 'Poor' rating. (See image below.)

The Crash Rating is based on ratings in each of the five SSDQ crash measures and the Overriding Indicator.

The Crash Rating is determined as follows:

Rating Criteria
GoodGood Rating Minimum of 1 Good AND 0 Poor 
FairFair Rating Maximum of 1 Poor 
PoorPoor Rating 2+ Poor ORRed Flagged 
* States that are red flagged are automatically rated POOR overall.

Crash Record Completeness: Average of Driver and Vehicle Identification Completeness Evaluations

The Crash Record Completeness Measure evaluates fatal and non-fatal crash records representing interstate, intrastate, and non-motor carriers, and includes large trucks and buses. This measure determines a rating based on the completeness of driver and vehicle crash data reported to FMCSA. A State's rating is determined by evaluating the completeness of the driver information and vehicle information separately and then averaging these results together. The completeness of the driver information is determined by the Driver Identification Completeness Evaluation and the completeness of the vehicle information is determined by the Vehicle Identification Completeness Evaluation.

The Crash Record Completeness measure is the average of the Driver and Vehicle Identification Completeness Evaluations
Driver Identification Completeness Evaluation

This evaluation determines the percentage of State-reported fatal and non-fatal crash records in the MCMIS database with complete driver information (i.e., the number of crash records with complete driver information divided by the number of crash records reported) over a 12-month time period. A State-reported crash record is considered complete when the following information is provided: driver license number, driver date-of-birth, driver first name, driver last name, and license class. If any of this information is missing or suspect, a record is considered incomplete. Suspect data is defined using the following guidelines.

Driver license number:

  • Entry is three characters or less
  • Unknown and derivatives, such as 'unk'
  • The same number repeated, e.g., 99999999
  • Most standard keyboard special characters (exceptions: hyphens and asterisks are allowed in the middle positions of the field)
  • Words or phrases, such as: no license, driver, class A, none, CDL, unlisted, available, unspecified, passenger

Driver date-of-birth: (Unrounded) year of event date minus (unrounded) year of driver date of birth is greater than 90 years.

Driver first and last names:

  • Length of entry is one character or less
  • Unknown
  • Most standard keyboard special characters (exceptions: hyphens are allowed in the middle position of the field; multiple spaces are allowed throughout the field)
  • Numbers in the entire field
  • Words or phrases, such as: parked, driverless vehicle, unoccupied, not available, no driver, none, left scene, hit/skip, not listed, transport, unattended
Vehicle Identification Completeness Evaluation

This evaluation determines the percentage of State-reported fatal and non-fatal crash records in the MCMIS database with complete vehicle information (i.e., the number of crash records with complete vehicle information divided by the number of crash records reported) over a 12-month time period. A State-reported crash record is considered complete when the following information is provided: license plate number, vehicle configuration, cargo body type, and gross vehicle weight rating. If any of this information is missing or suspect, a record is considered incomplete.

Suspect data is defined using the following guidelines:

Vehicle license number:

  • Entry is three characters or less
  • Unknown
  • The same number repeated, e.g., 99999999
  • Most standard keyboard special characters (exception: hyphens are allowed in the middle positions of the field)
  • Words or phrases, such as: no license, driver, class A, none, CDL, unlisted, available, unspecified, passenger

The Crash Record Completeness rating is determined as follows:

Rating Criteria
GoodGood Rating Percentage of completed driver and vehicle information is >= 85%
FairFair Rating Percentage of completed driver and vehicle information is 70 - 84%
PoorPoor Rating Percentage of completed driver and vehicle information is < 70%

 

Crash VIN Accuracy: Percentage of Valid Vehicle Identification Numbers Reported

The Crash VIN Accuracy measure evaluates crash records for interstate and intrastate carriers, including large trucks and buses. This measure determines a rating based on the completeness and accuracy of the vehicle identification number reported for the vehicle involved in the crash. A State’s rating is determined by evaluating the 17-character VIN using the 'checksum' digit in the 9th character position. The checksum digit is used to determine if the VIN is accurate based upon an algorithm that uses the other 16 characters in the VIN. Any VIN with invalid characters (i.e. I, O, or Q) or an incomplete field (i.e. less than 17 characters) does not pass the checksum algorithm and is invalid. For this measure, records with all the same numbers (i.e. 99999999999999999) are also counted as invalid.

The Crash VIN Accuracy rating is determined as follows:

Rating Criteria
GoodGood Rating Percentage of completed and accurate VIN is >= 85%
FairFair Rating Percentage of completed and accurate VIN is 70 - 84%
PoorPoor Rating Percentage of completed and accurate VIN is < 70%

 

Fatal Crash Completeness: Percentage of Fatal Crash Records Reported

The Fatal Crash Completeness Measure evaluates fatal crash records representing interstate, intrastate, and non-motor carriers, and includes only large trucks involved in crashes that occurred within the calendar year. This measure determines a rating based on a comparison of the number of State-reported fatal crash records in MCMIS to the number of fatal crash records reported in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). FARS is the national database of fatal motor vehicle crashes maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The Fatal Crash Completeness rating is determined as follows:

Rating Criteria
GoodGood Rating MCMIS as a % of FARS is >= 90%
FairFair Rating MCMIS as a % of FARS is 80 - 89%
PoorPoor Rating MCMIS as a % of FARS is < 80%
Insufficient DataInsufficient Data State has < 10 FARS records AND MCMIS as a % of FARS is < 89%

Crash Timeliness: Percentage of Crash Records Reported within 90 Days

The Crash Timeliness Measure evaluates fatal and non-fatal crash records representing interstate, intrastate, and non-motor carriers, and includes large trucks and buses. This measure determines a rating based on the percentage of crash records reported to FMCSA within 90 days over a 12-month period.

The Crash Timeliness rating is determined as follows:

Rating Criteria
GoodGood Rating Percentage reported within 90 Days is >= 90%
FairFair Rating Percentage reported within 90 Days is 65 - 89%
PoorPoor Rating Percentage reported within 90 Days is < 65%
Insufficient DataInsufficient Data State has < 15 records reported in current timeframe AND percentage reported within 90 Days is < 65%

 

Crash Accuracy: Percentage of Matched Crash Records

The Crash Accuracy Measure evaluates fatal and non-fatal crash records representing interstate carriers and intrastate carriers transporting hazardous material, and includes large trucks and buses. This measure determines a rating based on the percentage of crash records reported by the State over a 12-month period that were matched to a company registered in MCMIS. (Crash records entered per FMCSA's "Procedures for Entering Crashes without Carrier Identification into SAFETYNET" are not evaluated by this measure.)

The Crash Accuracy rating is determined as follows:

Rating Criteria
GoodGood Rating Percentage of matched records is >= 95%
FairFair Rating Percentage of matched records is 85 - 94%
PoorPoor Rating Percentage of matched records is < 85%
Insufficient DataInsufficient Data State has < 15 records reported in current timeframe AND percentage of matched records is < 85%

Crash Consistency †: Percentage of State-Reported Non-Fatal Crash Records

The Crash Consistency Overriding Indicator evaluates non-fatal crash records representing interstate, intrastate, and non-motor carriers, and includes large trucks and buses. This 'red flag' indicates States that have reported less than 50% of non-fatal crash records for the current 12-month period compared to the previous 3 year reporting average. The current evaluation period selects records based on their original upload date. However, the 3 year reporting average selects records based on event date. This difference in the selection criteria more directly reflects baseline crash volume trends over time.

The Crash Consistency Overriding Indicator 'flag' is determined as follows:

Rating Criteria
No Flag Estimate Reported is >= 50%
Red FlagRed Flag Estimate Reported is < 50%
Insufficient DataInsufficient Data State has < 15 records reported in current timeframe AND
State has < 15 records reported in previous 3 year average AND
Estimate Reported is <= 50%

† States that have an obvious and significant decline in crash record reporting will be categorized as Poor in the Overall State Rating and Crash Rating, without regard to their rating on other measures.

Inspection Record Completeness: Average of Driver and Vehicle Identification Completeness Evaluations

The Inspection Record Completeness Measure evaluates level 1, 2, and 3 roadside inspection records representing interstate and intrastate carriers, and includes large trucks and buses. This measure determines a rating based on the completeness of driver and vehicle inspection data reported to FMCSA. A State's rating is determined by evaluating the completeness of the driver information and vehicle information separately and then averaging these results together. The completeness of four (4) driver data elements are determined by the Driver Identification Completeness Evaluation and the completeness of two (2) vehicle data elements are determined by the Vehicle Identification Completeness Evaluation.

The Crash Record Completeness measure is the average of the Driver and Vehicle Identification Completeness Evaluations.
Driver Identification Completeness Evaluation This evaluation determines the percentage of State- reported level 1, 2, and 3 roadside inspection records in the MCMIS database with complete driver information (i.e., the number of inspection records with complete driver information divided by the number of inspection records reported) over a 12-month time period. A State- reported inspection record is considered complete when the following information is provided: driver license number, driver date-of-birth, driver first name, and driver last name. If any of this information is missing or suspect, a record is considered incomplete. Suspect data is defined using the following guidelines.

Driver license number:

  • Entry is three characters or less
  • Unknown and derivatives, such as "unk"
  • The same number repeated, e.g., 99999999
  • Most standard keyboard special characters (exceptions: hyphens and asterisks are allowed in the middle positions of the field)
  • Words or phrases, such as: nolicense, driver, class A, none, CDL, unlisted, available, unspecified, passenger

Driver date-of-birth: (Unrounded) year of event date minus (unrounded) year of driver date of birth is greater than 90 years.

Driver first and last names:

  • Length of entry is one character or less
  • Unknown
  • Most standard keyboard special characters (exceptions: hyphens are allowed in the middle position of the field; multiple spaces are allowed throughout the field)
  • Numbers in the entire field
  • Words or phrases, such as: parked, driverless vehicle, unoccupied, not available, no driver, none, left scene, hit/skip, not listed, transport, unattended
Vehicle Identification Completeness Evaluation This evaluation determines the percentage of State- reported level 1, 2, and 3 roadside inspection records in the MCMIS database with complete vehicle information (i.e., the number of inspection records with complete vehicle information divided by the number of inspection records reported) over a 12-month time period. A State-reported inspection record is considered complete when the following information is provided: license plate number and gross vehicle weight rating. If any of this information is missing or suspect, a record is considered incomplete. Suspect data is defined using the following guidelines:

Vehicle license number:

  • Entry is three characters or less
  • Unknown
  • The same number repeated, e.g., 99999999
  • Most standard keyboard special characters (exception: hyphens are allowed in the middle positions of the field)
  • Words or phrases, such as: nolicense, driver, class A, none, CDL, unlisted, available, unspecified, passenger

The Inspection Record Completeness rating is determined as follows:

Rating Criteria
GoodGood Rating Percentage of completed driver and vehicle information is >= 85%
FairFair Rating Percentage of completed driver and vehicle information is 70 - 84%
PoorPoor Rating Percentage of completed driver and vehicle information is < 70%

 

Inspection VIN Accuracy: Percentage of Valid Vehicle Identification Numbers Reported on the First Vehicle Unit within Inspection Records

The Inspection VIN Accuracy Measure evaluates level 1-6 roadside inspection records representing interstate and intrastate carriers, and includes large trucks and buses. This measure determines a rating based on the completeness and accuracy of the vehicle identification number reported on the first vehicle unit reported to FMCSA – all trailing units are excluded from this measure. A State’s rating is determined by evaluating the 17-character VIN using the "checksum" digit in the 9th character position. The checksum digit is used to determine if the VIN is accurate based upon an algorithm that uses the other 16 characters in the VIN. Any VIN with invalid characters (i.e. I, O, or Q) or an incomplete field (i.e. less than 17 characters) does not pass the checksum algorithm and is invalid. For this measure, records with all the same numbers (i.e. 99999999999999999) are also counted as invalid.

The Inspection VIN Accuracy rating is determined as follows:

Rating Criteria
GoodGood Rating Percentage of completed and accurate VIN is >= 85%
FairFair Rating Percentage of completed and accurate VIN is 70 - 84%
PoorPoor Rating Percentage of completed and accurate VIN is < 70%

Inspection Timeliness: Percentage of Inspection Records Reported within 21 Days

The Inspection Timeliness Measure evaluates inspection records representing interstate and intrastate carriers, and includes large trucks and buses. This measure determines a rating based on the percentage of inspection records reported to FMCSA within 21 days over a 12-month period.

The Inspection Timeliness rating is determined as follows:

Rating Criteria
GoodGood Rating Percentage reported within 21 Days is >= 90%
FairFair Rating Percentage reported within 21 Days is 65 - 89%
PoorPoor Rating Percentage reported within 21 Days is < 65%

Inspection Accuracy: Percentage of Matched Inspection Records

The Inspection Accuracy Measure evaluates inspection records representing interstate carriers and intrastate carriers transporting hazardous material, and includes large trucks and buses. This measure determines a rating based on the percentage of inspection records reported by the States over a 12-month period that were matched to a company registered in MCMIS.

The Inspection Accuracy rating is determined as follows:

Rating Criteria
GoodGood Rating Percentage of matched records is >= 95%
FairFair Rating Percentage of matched records is 85 - 94%
PoorPoor Rating Percentage of matched records is < 85%

 

  • Improvements or changes made to the "State Safety Data Quality" methodology are documented below.

    • November 30, 2018
      • Records are selected for evaluation using the initial upload date, rather than event date. Timeliness measures continue to use the event date to determine if records were
      • FMCSA added a leading indicator, which shows where measures could be trending based on the most recent three months of data.
      • The Crash Record Completeness measure now uses the same suspect data check as the Inspection Record Completeness measure.
      • The Crash VIN Accuracy is a new measure, parallel to the Inspection VIN Accuracy measure. As a result, the VIN evaluation is no longer part of the Crash Record Completeness measure.
      • The threshold for an insufficient data rating for the Fatal Crash Completeness measure is now 10 MCMIS records rather than 15. An insufficient data rating can apply to an evaluation percentage of less than 90%.
    • April 7, 2015
      • FMCSA has removed the Non-Fatal Crash Completeness (NFCC) measure from its Data Quality methodology. However, FMCSA will continue to make this information available as an improvement tool to help States evaluate the completeness of reporting non-fatal crash records. Read more about why FMCSA made this change.
    • January 27, 2012
      • The Non-Fatal Crash Completeness measure’s evaluation process was modified by adding additional States and more recent State crash data to the model, adjusting the model based on the amount of rural to urban traffic in each State, and modifying the calculation for determining the measure's rating.
         View the Interactive Guide to learn about the NFCC evaluation process
    • September 24, 2010
      • Two (2) new measures were added to the methodology, which focus on inspection reporting. These measures evaluate the completeness of driver and vehicle inspection data (Inspection Record Completeness Measure), as well as the completeness and accuracy of inspection record vehicle identification numbers (VINs) (Inspection VIN Accuracy Measure).
      • The Crash and Inspection Timeliness measures’ evaluation criteria were modified. The "good", "fair" and "poor" evaluation criteria have each increased by a value of five (5).
      • The Overall State Rating was modified to be based upon five (5) crash measures, four (4) inspection measures and one crash indicator.
      • The Overall State Rating’s evaluation criteria were modified. A state will receive a "good" overall rating if it has at least one "good" crash measure, one "good" inspection measure, and no "poor" measures. Those states that do not meet the "good" measure criteria and do not have any "poor" measures will receive a "fair" rating. The "poor" criteria have not changed.
    • October 30, 2007
      • Two (2) new measures were added to the methodology. These measures evaluate the completeness of driver and vehicle crash data (Crash Record Completeness measure) and the complete reporting of non-fatal crash records (Non-Fatal Crash Completeness measure).
      • A Crash Rating was added to evaluate only crash data quality.
    • June 23, 2006
      • The Crash Accuracy measure’s evaluation process was modified. The crash accuracy analysis now excludes all "Carrier Non-Identifiable" crash records. This modification prevents records that are entered into the Motor Carrier Management Information System using FMCSA's guidelines without carrier identification from being included in the calculation of the measure.
    • March 31, 2006
      • The Crash and Inspection Timeliness measures’ evaluation processes were modified. The timeliness analysis now includes both 'add' and 'change' records. This modification allows all crash and inspection records uploaded to MCMIS within a specific timeframe to be evaluated. The previous methodology only included 'add' records.
    • December 23, 2004
      • The Crash and Inspection Accuracy measures’ evaluation processes were modified. The analysis now includes interstate carriers and intrastate hazardous material carrier records to determine the percentage of records matched to a motor carrier in MCMIS. The previous methodology only included interstate carriers.
    •  A motor vehicle with seats for at least nine (9) people, including the driver's seat.
    •  The 9th digit of a 17-character VIN can be used to determine if the field is valid.
    •  A crash where one or more persons die within 30 days of the crash. The fatality does not have to occur at the scene of the crash. It includes any person involved in the crash, including pedestrians and bicyclists, as well as occupants of the passenger cars and trucks.
    •  Carriers that transport a commodity outside the State of its place of business.
    •  Carriers that transport a commodity only within the State of its place of business.
    •  Any truck having a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 10,000 pounds or a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) over 10,000 pounds.
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