The official record which is maintained on each licensed driver and contains records of driver's accidents and violations is frequently used as a data source in highway safety research. In recent years several studies have raised serious questions about the accuracy and completeness of such records regarding accidents and violations. This study, based on driver records maintained by the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, investigated the completeness of these official records in terms of reportable and nonreportable crashes, and the extent of reporting biases, if any, in terms of driver and or crash characteristics. A descriptive analysis was performed on four variables namely, age of driver, location of crash (rural-urban), severity of crash, and presence or absence of previous crashes on the driving record. These four variables were considered simultaneously to examine interactions. This analysis indicated that drivers with no crash recorded in the previous year who were involved in a serious crash or minor injury rural crash were assocated with high rates of recording. On the other hand, four groups of drivers had exceptionally low recording rates. All pertained to drivers over 44 years of age involved in an urban crash, three of these represented drivers with at least one recorded crash within the previous year. This study does indicate certain biases in recording which should be considered when planning to utilize driver records as a data base, or at least when interpreting results based on data from this source.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Study sponsored by North Carolina Governor's Highway Safety Program.
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

    Highway Safety Research Center
    Chapel Hill, NC  United States  27599
  • Authors:
    • HOUSE, E G
    • Waller, P F
    • KOCH, G G
  • Publication Date: 1974-9

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 41 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00081454
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Highway Safety Research Institute
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 26 1975 12:00AM