Instructions:

Select ‘northbound’, ‘eastbound’, ‘southbound’, or ‘westbound’ as the direction of travel.

Definition:

The motor vehicle’s travel direction on the roadway prior to the crash. Notice that this is not a compass direction, but a direction consistent with the designated direction of the road. For example, the direction of a State-designated North-South highway must be either northbound or southbound even though a motor vehicle may have been traveling due east as a result of a short segment of the highway having an east-west orientation.

Rationale:

It is important to indicate the direction the motor vehicle was traveling prior to the crash for evaluation and comparison purposes.

Example

FAQ

Is this information necessary, even on undivided, traditional two-way roads?

Yes, all fields related to crash location and vehicle positioning are important.

Accuracy Checks

  • If Manner of Collision is recorded as ‘head on’, ‘sideswipe opposite direction’, or ‘rear to rear’, Vehicle Travel Direction cannot indicate that the vehicles were traveling in the same direction.
  • If Manner of Collision is recorded as ‘rear-end’ or ‘sideswipe same direction’, Vehicle Travel Direction cannot indicate the vehicles were traveling in opposing directions.
  • If Manner of Collision is recorded as ‘head-on’ or ‘angle’, Vehicle Travel Direction must indicate the vehicles were traveling perpendicular to one another.

Data Quality Audit Results

Report TypeAcceptableInconsistentInvalidEmpty
Local Police (electronic)56093.8%132.2%40.7%203.4%
Local Police (paper)51183.4%233.8%10.2%7812.7%
State Police (electronic)61198.1%10.2%111.8%
Total168291.8%372.0%50.3%1095.9%

Travel Direction was often incomplete for local police paper submitted reports. Auditors discussed the varying interpretation of this field, unsure if it’s the overall road lane travel direction, or the trajectory in which the vehicle was moving. This confusion may contribute to the higher rate of incomplete data for crashes on local roads.