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CU Comments for Improving NHTSA’s Data Collection System

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CU comments on Data Collection
Consumers Union appreciates the opportunity to offer recommendations for improvements in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) data collection system. Given the critical importance of basing safety regulations on a sound factual foundation, we believe the agency is on the right track in making improved data collection a top priority. We support the agency’s focus on the connection between state of the art data collection and developing a data base that will assist NHTSA in understanding the root causes of the deaths and injuries on the highways. Indeed, in 2003, 43,220 people were killed on the national’s highways and the nearly 3 million endured serious injuries. Moreover, the economic burden of traffic crashes is estimated at $230 billion for 2000, demonstrating that not only is there a human toll but a huge financial one as well in highway accidents.