NHTSA is authorized by Congress (Volume 489, United States Code Chapter 301 Motor Vehicle Safety, Section 30166, 30168 and Volume 23 , Section 403) to collect information on motor vehicle crashes to aid in the development, implementation and evaluation of motor vehicle and highway safety countermeasures. The law requires the agency to protect the privacy of individuals involved in crashes investigated. Agency procedure for release, accuracy and security of research data collected under the crash data programs prohibit the dissemination of any information collected, assembled, derived or computed until all conditions of data gathering and reporting, case completeness, quality control and privacy have been completed. The cases available through the online web query system have met these conditions.


Cases within this viewer are based on a revised study model and data standard, which includes some expanded data elements and model improvements.

The Special Crash Investigation (SCI) cases are intended to be an anecdotal data set useful for examining special circumstances or outcomes in crashes from an engineering perspective. The benefit of the program is its ability to quickly locate and examine unique real-world crashes anywhere in the country and perform comprehensive clinical investigations. The data collected are used by the automotive safety community to improve the performance of many of its advanced safety systems and for the development of others.

* The viewer contains specific cases conducted prior to 2016 but not published officially prior to 2016.

The Crash Investigation Sampling System (CISS) has detailed data on a nationally representative sample of thousands of passenger vehicle crashes. Trained Crash Technicians collect information from crash sites, vehicles, victims, and medical records. CISS data is used by government, industry, academia, and other stakeholders to analyze crashes and injuries.

The Crashworthiness Data System (CDS) was the precursor to CISS.

The Crash Injury Research Engineering Network (CIREN) process combines prospective data collection with professional multidisciplinary analysis of medical and engineering evidence to determine injury causation in every crash investigation conducted.

The mission of the CIREN is to improve the prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of motor vehicle crash injuries to reduce deaths, disabilities, and human and economic costs.


Records-based Studies involves analysis of specific types of crashes across the country. Available data has been consolidated into a centralized database and made available online for query and / or summarization for ease of use.

The Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) is a nationwide census providing NHTSA, Congress and the American public annual data regarding fatal injuries occuring as a result of motor vehicle traffic crashes.

Other Links

Additional resources are available using the following links, which includes detailed study reports and research material. Click the links for more information: