907.6 Fatal Crash Reviews
To assist in the defense of potential lawsuits, district Traffic personnel are requested by the Chief Counsel's office to investigate and review each fatal crash on the state system (with a few exceptions, see below). Other crashes may also be reviewed at the discretion of the Chief Counsel or Regional Counsel. Reviews should document the conditions of the roadway where fatal crashes occur, identifying any deficiencies at that location and seeking to identify any trends that may develop statewide. As districts collect information on these crashes, they should identify systematic improvements that could be made to improve our roadways. These reviews are to be considered as part of the MoDOT investigation and the review will become part of the investigation file maintained by the Central Office Division of Risk and Benefits Management.
This engineering review is not meant to replace the District’s Risk and Benefits Management review, but be a more in-depth review of the crash specifics at the location and to look for trends and possible solutions to those trends. District Traffic personnel and Risk and Benefits Management Division should work together to ensure that they are not duplicating efforts.
|Directions for submitting the survey|
|Fatal Crash Review form|
|Form letter to submit information to Regional Counsel|
The review should include a review of the crash report and/or radio reports on the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) webpage, a site visit, a detailed review of the photos taken of the site and a summary of the findings.
Some of the reviews need to be a multi-disciplined review that includes other safety partners, such as the following groups:
- Local law enforcement
- City/county engineering
- Public officials
Many of the fatal crash reviews can be done by an individual, but at a minimum, the following types of fatal crashes would require the multi-disciplined review:
- High profile crashes (for example, a school bus crash; other to be determined by the district)
- Work Zone involved/related
In some instances, the original conditions of a fatal crash's location could be modified by the time a review is completed. For this reason, a fatal crash review is NOT required for the following, UNLESS a multi-disciplinary review is required:
- Fatal crash(es) involving/related to snow, ice or slush
- Fatal crash(es) involving a late death notification (any fatal crash that is reported to MoDOT more than 60 days after the crash)
A Fatal Crash Review form has been created and shall be used for each fatal crash on the state system. The questions on the form were developed to help in determining if trends are occurring statewide. The documented responses on the form shall be entered into a survey located on SharePoint (select the appropriate Fatal Crash Review according to the year the crash took place). The survey will show responses electronically and visually display any trends that may exist statewide. Directions for submitting the survey are available.
This review is considered a portion of the MoDOT investigation of the crash and the site specific responses shall be provided to Regional Counsel for review. All pictures that are gathered at the fatal crash site will also be included in the information provided to Regional Counsel. A form letter for this purpose is available. After review, the Regional Counsel will forward the information to the Central Office Division of Risk and Benefits Management to be included in the investigation file requested by the Chief Counsel. Because this information is being collected at the request of the Chief Counsel, all of the information gathered as part of this investigation is protected by the work produce doctrine and some of it is additionally protected by federal law.
At each Safety Quality Circle meeting, each district will give a report on any trends they have seen related to their fatal crashes. The Safety Quality Circle will discuss and determine if there are any statewide trends that are developing as well as possible solutions.
- Regional Blueprint Coalition involvement. Share the information and discuss at regional meetings.
- Continue providing weekly update of fatalities (summary information) to each district. That information should be shared with the Regional Coalition.
- Training – Accident reconstruction, Road Safety Audit (uses the same concept – multi-disciplined review), Documentation training for Maintenance, Traffic, and/or Risk Management personnel by ACTAR certified instructors.