Contrary to the misconception that data pulled from crash reports is only used for private insurance purposes, crash report data is essential for the implementation and evaluation of effective traffic safety programming and targeted enforcement efforts. Crash report data helps decision-makers understand the nature, causes, and injury outcomes of crashes, which provides context for the design of strategies and interventions that will reduce crashes and their consequences.
In Massachusetts, crash data is used to:
- Award and target state and federal highway safety funding
- Focus local and state law enforcement efforts in high-crash locations
- Conduct problem identification and develop solutions for safety programs
- Make key legislative decisions that impact citizen safety on roadways
- Identify high crash locations and make focused engineering and construction improvements to roadways
- Educate the public on safety issues (i.e.: seat belt use, aggressive driving, and speeding)
- Improve Emergency Medical Services (EMS) by training EMS personnel and deploying EMS units
By gathering more complete and accurate information about traffic crashes and developing a more comprehensive crash database, unsafe roadways can be identified, problems can be mitigated, and the State can move toward the ultimate goal of zero deaths.