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Section 7: Obtaining Crash Data

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Analysis of crash data is the foundation of transportation safety and planning and is a key component of the Texas Department of Transportation's (TxDOT's) roadway safety programs. On October 1, 2007, the responsibility of collecting crash data was transferred from the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) to TxDOT. The Traffic Operations Division (TRF) is responsible for the management and maintenance of the Crash Records Information System (CRIS).

CRIS is a PC-based application that contains spatial and reporting components designed to be used by TxDOT personnel to obtain and analyze crash data. Each TxDOT district has personnel licensed to have access to CRIS.

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Source of Crash Data

Texas Transportation Code (§ 550.062) requires law enforcement organizations to report traffic crashes to TxDOT no later than the 10th day after the date of the crash when a crash:

  • is investigated by a law enforcement officer and
  • results in injury to or death of a person, or damage to the property of any one person to the apparent extent of $1,000 or more.
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Crash Data and the HSIP

The Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) uses three years of crash data to perform a cost benefit analysis (SII) on all proposed safety projects. The years of data being used in a specific program are identified in the call for project proposals. Only crashes occurring in those years are used in the SII calculation (see Section 6 for information on the SII).

Crash data is one of the tools used by engineers and roadway safety professionals to identify potential highway safety improvement projects. Once locations of concern have been identified, crash data, along with traffic and roadway geometric data, is reviewed to determine appropriate countermeasures.

CRIS is the official state database for traffic crashes occurring in Texas. The HSIP only considers crashes that have been submitted to TxDOT and inputted into CRIS.

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Off - System Crash Data

For the purpose of developing Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) project proposals, the district may provide crash data to the local government. Off-system crash locations can be identified by the local street name and latitude/longitude coordinates.

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