Minnesota Crash Records Audit

Principal Investigator:

Nichole Morris, Research Associate, Mechanical Engineering

Project Summary:

In 2016, Minnesota deployed a state-of-the art electronic crash reporting system to all law enforcement officers across the state. The updated crash report was created with the officer in mind through an extensive usability and design project led by HumanFIRST. The new report included new elements not previously included in the legacy report and streamlined the process to be more intuitive and shift responsibility from the officer to the system whenever possible. The expected outcome of the report was high user satisfaction, more timely reporting, and more accurate and complete data. While preliminary testing of the new system suggests this outcome is likely, an in-depth analysis of the data is required to ensure the new report is performing as expected and to provide evidence of the value of implementing user-centric design in the creation of electronic crash reports as a national model. This study proposes a comparative audit of the crash data records collected by the legacy crash reporting system and the new MNCrash reporting system. The research team will perform statistical analyses to the selected body of data, including a detailed sampling of some 350 reports from each system, to determine the extent of change in the data's completeness, timeliness, accuracy, validity, and reliability. The audit will establish a "gold standard" for comparing the effectiveness of the new electronic report and the previous reporting procedures. The analysis will also examine the validity of pre-existing crash records which have been converted to be in concordance with the new crash data.

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