At the scene of an accident, you may need to file a police report and this is strongly recommended for increasing your chances of having clear evidence when it comes time to file a personal injury claim. A new study from the National Safety Council reviewed 48 different state crash reports as far as information that law enforcement officers could include. They discovered that far too many crash reports do not have opportunities to collect additional data that could prove important for identifying priorities in crash investigations.


The study, called “Undercounted and Underinvested: How Incomplete Crash Reports Impact Efforts to Save Lives”, found that none of the state’s forms have an opportunity for a law enforcement officer to include a driver’s level of drowsiness at the time of an accident. 32 reports had no fields to record hands-free mobile phone or specific types of drug use and 26 states lacked fields to report texting while driving. Although 48 state crash reports do have a field to record handheld mobile use, only 3 have a field to note distraction from infotainment systems and only 18 record distracted driving that may be caused by a passenger, or electronic use.


The National Safety Council identified 23 different crash inducing factors that they argue should be included on all reports. No state currently captures all of them. As many as 40,000 individuals may have died in motor vehicle crashes in the United States in 2016, making it the most deadly year on American roads since 2007. That would represent a 14% increase from 2014 and a 6% increase from 2015. The National Safety Council and other government agencies are attempting to learn more about the causes of these fatal accidents in order to respond appropriately with educational awareness programs and regulatory responses.