NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


November 25, 2002 

Washington D.C. - The National Transportation Safety Board has called for improvements in the Department of Transportation (DOT) data collection programs in order to better monitor accident risks, support the analysis of risk factors and evaluate the effectiveness of accident prevention strategies.

The conclusion was part of an NTSB safety study examining data quality issues within the government's transportation agencies. The study also determined that the Bureau of Transportation Statistics' audits of DOT safety databases should be accelerated to support timely, coordinated reengineering efforts by the modal agencies.

Federal, State and local government organizations use transportation safety databases to monitor transportation accidents, and to develop programs for improving safety. The Safety Board initiated this study to highlight data quality issues within the external databases it uses when performing accident investigations, safety studies, and special investigations.

Since 1968 the Safety Board has issued 233 data recommendations asking various organizations to develop, modify, improve, address underreporting or analyze existing data within the respective database. Of the 233 data recommendations, 83% were addressed to Federal agencies.

The Board's current safety study contained one recommendation asking the Bureau of Transportation Statistics to develop a long-term program to improve the collection of data describing the exposure to transportation risk in the United States. The recommendation also requested that within each mode, representative exposure data should be maintained for distinct transportation sectors, industry segments, and travel purposes.

A complete copy of the report is available on the website. Printed copies of the report may be purchased from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) (800) 553-NTIS.

NTSB Office of Public Affairs: (202) 314-6100



The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.