Wyoming Collecting More Details About Car Crashes

November 29, 2010

Wyoming officials have compiled their first monthly report on vehicle crashes using more detailed information from officers in hopes of better understanding how to improve highway safety.

The system includes mores specifics about such factors as injuries and what distractions may have diverted a driver’s attention.

Stephanie Lucero of the Wyoming Department of Transportation said the details offer a more complete view of a crash.

“It gives the engineers, and anyone analyzing this data, a clearer picture of the crashes going on in the state,” Lucero told the Casper Star-Tribune.

“We can use the statistics and the data … so folks who are working on safety issues can make better decisions,” said Matt Carlson, state highway safety engineer.

The state Transportation Department receives 15,000 to 20,000 crash reports a year from law enforcement officers statewide.

Police officers, sheriff’s deputies and state troopers submit the reports on any wreck involving more than $1,000 worth of damage.

Although officers have been collecting the increased data since 2008, last month’s report was the first using the expanded information.

Officials said it takes time to compile enough data to make the results of the expanded reports usable.

“One year to the next doesn’t give you enough information to see a trend or figure out an issue or a problem,” Carlson said.

Wyoming changed the crash form that officers fill out in 2008 to comply with new federal guidelines.

Previously, the form had 150 elements. It now has 300.

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