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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-18-045
Synopsis: In this special investigation report, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) examines pedestrian safety in the United States and recommends actions to help prevent pedestrian injuries and fatalities. The investigation, which began in 2016 with a public forum on pedestrian safety, was supported by an inquiry into the causes of 15 crashes in which vehicles fatally injured pedestrians on public highways—representing only a fraction of the nearly 6,000 pedestrians killed on US roads in 2016. The report reviews the past 10 years of data on highway deaths; describes previous NTSB investigations related to pedestrian safety, including the 15 fatal pedestrian crashes as well as studies of the effects of speed and alcohol on highway crashes; summarizes the issues raised during the public forum; and makes 11 recommendations for improving pedestrian safety. The report considers vehicle-based countermeasures, such as improved headlights, vehicle designs that reduce injuries to pedestrians, and collision avoidance systems. It also reviews infrastructure designs that make streets safer for pedestrians. The report emphasizes that better data are needed—especially on pedestrian activity (exposure data) and on the types and outcomes of crashes involving pedestrians—to improve federal, state, and local decision-making related to pedestrian safety. As a result of its special investigation, the NTSB made safety recommendations to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Recommendation: TO THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION: Work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop and implement a plan for the states to combine highway crash data and injury health data, with the goal of producing a national database of pedestrian injuries and fatalities. (Supersedes H-13-026)
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open - Acceptable Response
Mode: Highway
Location: Washington, DC
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Accident #: DCA15SS005
Accident Reports:
Report #: SIR-18-03
Accident Date: 8/24/2015
Issue Date: 10/23/2018
Date Closed:
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: NHTSA (Open - Acceptable Response)

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
Date: 6/10/2019
Response: We are pleased that you are working with the CDC to expand injury data collection through your National Emergency Medical Services Information System (NEMSIS) and the CDC’s data linkage program. Pending development of the recommended plan, leading to the development of a national pedestrian injury and fatality database, Safety Recommendation H-18-45 is classified OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

Date: 3/18/2019
Response: -From Jonathan Morrison, Chief Counsel: NHTSA and CDC established a memorandum of understanding in March 2016 that among other goals aims to share data applicable to understanding and mitigating motor vehicle crash injuries and deaths. NHTSA and CDC established an additional memorandum of agreement and data use and disclosure agreement in February 2018 to expand CDC researchers' use of emergency medical services (EMS) data from NHTSA's National EMS Information System (NEMSIS). NEMSIS includes the National EMS Database which collects EMS data from U.S. States and Territories. Through this system, NHTSA is helping to improve patient care through standardization, aggregation, and use of EMS data. As the NEMSIS system expands to full use in every State, NHTSA expects that it will be a powerful tool to benchmark crash injury information, including pedestrian injuries. NHTSA is working with States to facilitate adoption of NEMSIS Version 3.5, to incorporate a universally unique and anonymous identifier into the NEMSIS standard which will allow for deterministic linkage of traffic crash, EMS, and trauma data, and to promote use of EMS data by State traffic safety partners and researchers. Local, State, and national-level EMS data can provide detailed information on pedestrian traffic crashes from the perspectives of health care providers, including the condition of crash victims, prehospital care, EMS transportation decisions, and transportation disposition immediately following crashes. Individuals who are interested in exploring the motor vehicle crash data currently available in NEMSIS can go to In addition to the work on the NEMSIS database, NHTSA provides technical support for CDC's efforts with States to promote data linkage. These combined efforts will result in a system that can be used to produce a nationwide database system that includes pedestrian injuries and fatalities. Because of these efforts that are already underway in collaboration with CDC, NHTSA requests that this recommendation be listed as Open - Acceptable Response.

From: NTSB
Date: 10/23/2018
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident in the United States and significant accidents in other modes of transportation—railroad, highway, marine, and pipeline. We determine the probable cause of the accidents and issue safety recommendations aimed at preventing future accidents. In addition, we carry out special studies concerning transportation safety and coordinate the resources of the federal government and other organizations to provide assistance to victims and their family members affected by major transportation disasters. On September 25, 2018, the NTSB adopted its special investigation report Pedestrian Safety, NTSB/SIR-18/03. The details of the special investigation and the resulting safety recommendations may be found in the attached report, which can also be accessed at Among the Safety Recommendations are eight issued to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which can be found on page 42 of the report. The NTSB is vitally interested in this recommendation because it is designed to prevent accidents and save lives. We would appreciate a response within 90 days, detailing the actions you have taken or intend to take to implement this recommendation. When replying, please refer to the safety recommendation by number. We encourage you to submit your response to If it exceeds 20 megabytes, including attachments, please e-mail us at the same address for instructions. Please do not submit both an electronic copy and a hard copy of the same response.