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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

MCMIS Catalog: Crash File Documentation


The data displayed here is based off of a monthly snapshot and does not reflect real-time data. Therefore, this data information may differ from what is shown in other Agency connecting systems that are refreshed on a different schedule.



The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) responsible for monitoring and developing safety standards for commercial motor vehicles operating in interstate commerce. The FMCSA Crash File contains data from state police crash reports involving drivers and vehicles of motor carriers operating in the U.S. Each report contains about 80 data elements pertaining to the motor carrier, driver, vehicles, and circumstances of a crash.

Under the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP), a grant program administered by FMCSA in cooperation with the states, FMCSA has implemented a crash reporting system based on state police crash reports that are electronically transmitted from the states to the FMCSA. The latest phase of this implementation is based on uniform crash data elements developed through the National Governors Association (NGA). The data collected are entered into a microcomputer-based system called SAFETYNET that allows states to do analysis on all motor carriers in the state (interstate & intrastate) and to transmit these data to the FMCSA Headquarters Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) via telephone lines.

Due to sensitive and/or privacy restrictions, driver, hazardous materials and shipper data are not included in any crash files released to the public.

The Crash File may contain multiple records for a crash. Separate reports are entered for each commercial motor vehicle involved in a crash. These multiple reports can be distinguished by the Crash Report Number field.


This file contains the publicly available crash data used for the current month’s SMS calculations. The file contains a record for each commercial motor vehicle involved in a crash including the U.S. DOT#, Report Number, Crash Date, State, and Vehicle Information. It also includes information about the severity of the crash (tow-away, injury, fatal) and the associated severity and time weights used in the SMS. The zip file contains a ‘flat’ comma delimited data file and a ‘Readme’ file that describes the data file.



The information in the FMCSA Crash File represents data that are reported to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration through the requirements of state and federal programs. This file is dynamic and is constantly being updated to keep up with the changes in the motor carrier industry. Therefore, the information on a copy of this file is only valid as of the date the copy is generated. Also, any copy of this file will contain only those crashes where carriers with USDOT numbers are involved in a crash resulting in either a tow-away, injury, or fatality.  


Below is a sample of what a Tab Delimited file will look like.

87654321 AL MI123456789 20020416. . .

Between each data element is a Tab, a specific non-printable character that the user's database software can detect. The data elements can be of varying lengths up to the length specified in the Record Layout section of this documentation. In some cases data fields may be empty, which will be indicated by two Tabs with no data between them. Using the proper Record Layout for each table (in this example, the Crash Master Table), the fields can be read from left to right: Crash ID, Report State (AL for Alabama), Report Number, Report Date (April 16, 2002), etc.


The information contained in this Crash File represents data that has been reported to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration through the requirements of state and federal programs.

NOTICE: This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the Department of Transportation (DOT) in the interest of information exchange. The United States Government assumes no liability for its components or use thereof.

QUESTIONS: Crash data in the Crash File are sent to FMCSA by state and federal enforcement agencies. Only those enforcement agencies can resolve concerns about missing or inaccurate crash information. For the name of the proper contact person in each state or to resolve any other questions about the content of this file, please contact:

Call 1-800-832-5660 or contact us online if you have questions about the MCMIS Catalog, how to obtain a report or ask about a previous report request.


Fax: 606-330-3802
Federal Relay Service Number for TTY: 1-800-877-8339