Fatal Crash Dashboard Frequently Asked Questions
The Maryland Department of State Police Automated Crash Reporting System (ACRS) and the MDSP Data Warehouse. See Fatal Crash Data Definitions for more detail.
Within this dashboard, fatal crash statistics summarize the number of occurrences in which one or more vehicles are involved in a collision that results in the loss of life. Fatality statistics summarize the total number of persons fatally injured as the result of vehicular collisions. There can be more than one person fatally injured in a motor vehicle collision.
Data from 2014 and earlier were collected through a paper-based system called the Maryland Automated Accident Reporting System (MAARS). Requests for crash data from the MAARS system should be directed to the Central Records Division of the Maryland State Police.
Requests for crash data should be directed to the Central Records Division of the Maryland State Police. Additionally, you may download crash data from the MDSP Crash Data Download application.
An official copy of an MDSP investigation report may be obtained from the Central Records Division.
You can find summary data related to motor vehicle injuries on the Zero Deaths Maryland Crash Data Resources web page. Refer to the Fatal Crash Data Definitions for an explanation of how the data may differ.
Additionally, the source of the Crash Data Resource data summaries are derived from a database maintained by MDOT-SHA. State and local agencies are assessing and implementing transition plans to derive data from the Maryland State Police Data Warehouse. MDOT and MDSP are evaluating needs and resources for this transition and additional dashboards with more information are under consideration. Additionally, you may download crash data from the MDSP Crash Data Download application.
The Maryland Open Data Portal provides motor vehicle crash data derived from ACRS; however, the data are posted quarterly and are only as complete and accurate as of the day of posting and are not updated if the officer re-opens a report and updates the information. The Maryland Open Data Portal also does not include crash reports that are still open for investigation.
The Montgomery County Open Data Portal dataset provides general information about each collision and details of all traffic collisions occurring on county and local roadways within Montgomery County, as collected via the Automated Crash Reporting System (ACRS) of the Maryland Department of State Police, and reported by the Montgomery County Police, Gaithersburg Police, Rockville Police, or the Maryland-National Capital Park Police. These collision reports are based on preliminary information supplied to the Police Department by the reporting parties. The data came directly from the Montgomery County Police Department, not the MDSP Warehouse.
The ZeroDeathsMD.gov website summarizes data from MDOT-SHA’s crash database (TANG), whereas the Fatal Dashboard derives its data from the Maryland Department of State Police Data Warehouse. As noted previously, a transition is being planned to move to using the MDSP Data Warehouse. We anticipate some data discrepancies as we bridge between two systems and processes. Additionally, a review of the ACRS data and current law enforcement practices in crash investigations resulted in some adjustments to queries/definitions of crash types. These are explained in the Fatal Crash Data Definitions document.
The Maryland Traffic Records Coordinating Committee (TRCC), comprised of representatives that include MDOT and MDSP, formally established the MDSP FARS Analyst as the authority on fatality analysis inclusion for the State of Maryland. Previously, discrepancies existed between state and federal numbers due to the way traffic fatalities were defined (e.g., fatalities occurring in parking lots, fatalities due to medical complications, etc). Following the FARS standards, MDOT and MDSP now collaborate to ensure federal and state fatalities are in sync.
However, the reporting period and cycle differs between the State of Maryland and NHTSA’s FARS and NCSA, which causes discrepancies between these numbers. Additionally, some definitions between state and federal differ. Refer to the Fatal Crash Dashboard Definitions.
MDOT evaluates all fatal crashes on state highways to determine whether infrastructure or engineering deficiencies contributed to the crash. A subset of these evaluations, those for bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities, are posted on the Pedestrian and Bicyclist Fatality Infrastructure Review web mapping application. There may be a delay of six months between the date of the crash and publication of the evaluation. The data displayed on the Pedestrian and Bicyclist Fatality Infrastructure Review application will differ from that shown on this dashboard because it is a subset of fatality data and is published at a different reporting frequency.
MDSP Fatal Crash Data follows national standards in determining the inclusion of fatally injured persons in statistical summaries, notably the ANSI D.16 Manual on Classification of Motor Vehicle Traffic Crashes, and the Model Minimum Uniform Crash Criteria (NHTSA). OCME transportation deaths do not follow the same standards and include fatal injuries on private roads, incidents that do not involve a motor vehicle (e.g., train strikes pedestrian), and boat-related incidents.
Data shown on the map depicts the location in which the crash occurred (i.e., one point per crash, not per fatality). Some locations did not have complete or accurate information provided by the investigating officer.
Under 23 U.S. Code § 148 and 23 U.S. Code § 409, safety data, reports, surveys, schedules, lists compiled or collected for the purpose of identifying, evaluating, or planning the safety enhancement of potential crash sites, hazardous roadway conditions, or railway-highway crossings are not subject to discovery or admitted into evidence in a Federal or State court proceeding or considered for other purposes in any action for damages arising from any occurrence at a location mentioned or addressed in such reports, surveys, schedules, lists, or data.