At A Glance

Noteworthy Characteristics

  • Nationally representative sample of crashes.
  • Traffic safety may affect physical activity in specific locales.
  • Designed to identify traffic safety problem areas.



To collect data about characteristics and trends for motor vehicle crashes in the United States (U.S.).

Target Population

Motor vehicle crashes reported to police in the U.S.


Began in 1988. Conducted annually. Most recent year conducted was 2015.


National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), U.S. Department of Transportation

Special Note(s)

The Crash Report Sampling System (CRSS) builds on the retiring, long running National Automotive Sampling System General Estimates System (NASS GES). CRSS is a sample of police-reported crashes involving all types of motor vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists, ranging from property-damage-only crashes to those that result in fatalities.

"Crash” is defined as both collision and non-collision harmful events (e.g., rollovers, fires, damaging jack-knifes). It must involve at least one motor vehicle traveling on a traffic way, and the result must be property damage, injury, or death.

Information for each incident is obtained from the police accident report (PAR).

Similar system in NHTSA series: Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS)

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
National Center for Statistics and Analysis
Crash Investigation Division, NVS-411
1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, DC 20590
(202) 366-5378 (TEL)
(202) 366-3189 (FAX)


Sample Design

Cross-sectional, multi-stage, stratified, probability sampling for a nationally representative sample.

Source of Information

Data are representative at the national level.

Sample Size

Approximately 50,000 crashes in 2010. Approximately 400 police jurisdictions in the U.S. Approximately 60 areas (counties and major cities) that reflect the geography, roadway mileage, population, and traffic density of the U.S.

Key Variables


NameMethods of Assessment
Race/ethnicity of driverPolice Accident Report (PAR)
Age of drivers, other vehicle occupants, pedestrians, and/or cyclists involved in crashPAR

Physical Activity-Related

NameMethods of Assessment
Collisions with pedestrians/cyclists and type of non-motorists involvedPAR
Traffic control devices/signs in crash location (including those applicable to cyclists)PAR
Non-motorist action linked to crash (e.g., jaywalking, jogging, playing on roadway, walking against traffic)PAR
Non-motorist safety equipment used (especially by cyclists)PAR


NameMethods of Assessment
Involuntary falling asleepPolice Accident Report (PAR)
Social sleep environment: Sleep location (e.g., truck cab)Police Accident Report (PAR)


NameMethods of Assessment
Police jurisdiction for crash locationPAR
County and/or city of crash locationPAR

Data Access and Cost

Data Availability

Download data files or obtain data by contacting:

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
National Center for Statistics and Analysis
Data Reporting and Information Division
1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, DC 20590
(800) 934-8517 (TEL)
(202) 366-7078 (FAX)


Free of charge.

Special Note(s)

The most recent year for which data are available is not necessarily the most recent year this survey was conducted.


Geocode Variable(s)

Region, city, county, police jurisdiction, driver zip code

Existing Linkages

These National Automotive Sampling System (NASS) General Estimates System (GES) data on crashes have been linked with Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data on crash fatalities using month, day of week, hour/minute of crash, age, sex, seating position, Vehicle Identification Number (truncated), vehicle make/model, and driver ZIP code. Learn more

Special Note(s)

NASS GES and FARS data sets were standardized in 2009. Both systems come from Police Accident Reports (PAR) and have similar data elements based on Model Minimum Uniform Crash Criteria (MMUCC). A single coding manual for both systems was developed for the 2010 data collection. The final phase of standardization in 2011 resulted in one data entry system for both FARS and NASS GES. Learn more

Selected Publications



Several codebooks and documentation materials for NASS GES also are available.