NHTSA Offers $350M in Crash Data System Grants to States

Goal Is to Enable Full Transfers of State Crash Data to the Federal Agency
Traffic in California
Traffic on Interstate 80 in California. States have until May 1 to apply for a grant. (.David Paul Morris/Bloomberg News)

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States have until May 1 to apply for up to $350 million in grants from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to upgrade and standardize their crash data systems to enable full electronic information sharing with the federal agency.

“These grants will mean more state data coming to NHTSA faster, which means we can put this information to good use in pursuing our shared safety goal — saving lives,” said Sophie Shulman, NHTSA’s deputy administrator. “State data tells us what’s happening on our roads and allows us to develop effective and responsive strategies, countermeasures, research, rulemakings and consumer education campaigns.”

NHTSA uses crash data to identify crash trends and characteristics, potential causes and injury outcomes to develop countermeasures to prevent motor vehicle crashes and lessen associated injuries.

A Federal Register notice in mid-2022 revealed that only 19 states participated in electronic data-sharing with NHTSA, and the completeness of the information shared by different states varied.

Sophie Shulman


According to NHTSA, its State Electronic Data Collection program meets a mandate by the bipartisan infrastructure law to provide federal money for states to upgrade and standardize their crash data systems to allow full electronic data transfers to the agency.

Another key outcome of the grant program is to promote intrastate data-sharing and improve the accuracy, timeliness and accessibility of fatality information for roads, including pedestrians and cyclists.

The grants will result in NHTSA having more capacity to hold data to release into its Fatality Analysis Reporting System, Crash Reporting Sampling System and Crash Investigation Sampling System. Also, the federal agency will be able to help the public have greater access to state crash information.


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Through the grant program, the U.S. Department of Transportation “expects the expanded availability, timeliness and accessibility of reportable crash data will create a system that will more rapidly and comprehensively identify recent changes, expand the number of insights derived from the data and better enable analysis to inform policy and decision making,” according to a Jan. 31 NHTSA announcement about the funding opportunity.

Each state can submit only one application. If there are multiple entities within a state with shared responsibilities regarding a statewide crash data repository, then a state should coordinate to appoint one point of contact to submit its grant application.

Grants will be awarded to those states that detail their uniform modernization plans for their data collection systems. Winners will be announced by December; successful applicants will have five years to implement full electronic data transfers to NHTSA.

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