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Transportation agencies should improve safety databases, NTSB study says


National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently completed a study that examined the quality of transportation agencies' safety data.

The board initiated the study to examine the data quality of external databases it uses to complete accident investigations, safety studies and special investigations.

Since 1968, the board has issued 233 data recommendations asking various transportation organizations to develop, modify, improve or analyze existing data, and address under-reporting within their database. Of those recommendations, 83 percent were addressed to federal agencies.

In the study, NTSB concluded that U.S. Department of Transportation's data collection programs should be improved to better monitor accident risks, support risk-factor analyses and evaluate the effectiveness of accident-prevention strategies, according to a prepared statement.

Federal, state and local government organizations use DOT's safety databases to monitor transportation accidents and develop safety programs.

The board also recommended that Bureau of Transportation Statistics develop a long-term program improving the collection of data pertaining to transportation risk exposure. Within each mode, exposure data should be maintained for distinct transportation sectors, industry segments and travel purposes, NTSB said.