Do all Crashes “Count”?

sigh. File this under seriously how often does this happen, and ‘are cars dangerous’?

A man steps out the front door of his local CVS and gets mowed down on the sidewalk. Dead. One of the news reports said police believe the un-named female driver mixed up the gas and brake pedals. oops.

69-year-old man hit, killed by car in Sun City CVS parking lot

by Jane Lednovich – Jun. 27, 2012 10:07 AM The Arizona Republic-12 News Breaking News Team

A 69-year-old man was pronounced dead after he was struck by a car Wednesday morning in Sun City, a Sheriff’s Office official said.
The four-door sedan was making a U-turn in the parking lot of a CVS pharmacy near 107th Avenue and Bell Road about 8 a.m., authorities said.
The car drove onto the curb in front of the store and ran over the man, pinning him under the front wheel of the car, Maricopa County Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Brandon Jones said.
The sedan hit a parked car after striking the man, Jones said. Firefighters used airbags to lift the sedan and get the man out, but paramedics were unable to revive him, Jones said.
Witnesses told authorities the man was unresponsive while he was trapped under the car. It is unclear how long he was trapped. The CVS store is closed while officials investigate the scene, Jones said. has a picture showing the silver car that struck the ped at rest on the sidewalk; along with a red car that was also struck.

SUN CITY, AZ (CBS5) – A man has been killed after he was hit by a car while walking out a CVS pharmacy in Sun City, according to authorities. Sgt. Brandon Jones with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said preliminary reports are that a woman driving a tan vehicle was heading eastbound in the parking lot Wednesday morning when she decided to make a U-Turn and accidentally hit the gas instead of the brakes, causing the car to accelerate. The vehicle ran over a 69-year-old man and hit a red car parked in the lot. Jones said officers found the man trapped under the tan vehicle about 20 feet from the front doors of the CVS. Once the man was pulled from under the vehicle, he was pronounced dead. The driver of the red car was not hurt. Jones said the driver of the tan vehicle has not been charged at this point. Investigators said they do not believe alcohol or drugs were a factor.

Reporting Motor Vehicle crashes

There are a bunch of rules about when traffic crashes must be reported. This bears on how collision and injuries get measured and reported for statistical purposes.

Arizona Statutes

There are statutes that spell out, at a minimum, what all law enforcement agencies in Arizona must report on, reports must be filed with “the Department” (i.e. ADOT). ADOT then collates and tablulates this data — see adot-traffic-collision-database. Somehow or other ADOT forwards this the feds for national statistical purposes, for example, in the case of fatalities see FARS.

ARS §28-667 Written accident report; definition says that any “law enforcement officer or public employee who, in the regular course of duty, investigates a motor vehicle accident resulting in bodily injury, death or damage to the property of any person in excess of one thousand dollars or the issuance of a citation shall complete a written report of the accident” (667A) and that the agency employing the officer  “Shall immediately forward a copy of the report to the department of transportation for its use” (667C5).

So the triggers are either: any bodily injury, regardless of damage, or damage above $1,000. Of note is that nowhere is the term “motor vehicle accident” defined.

According to ADOT (“the department”), all law enforcement agencies must report crashes to them on an Arizona Crash Report (ACR) form, with the option to transmit it electronically . I am not sure how, i mean with what authority, they say that; but it seems to be the case that for whatever reason, all the agencies do comply, possibly after a fashion. (see new-crash-forms-aliss-database for some background)

This info gets digested by ADOT and becomes, e.g. Crash Facts, and the Collision Database.

Other Rules

ADOT publishes the Arizona Crash Form Manual, Rev. 8/2010 which contains detailed instructions on how the ACR is supposed to be filled out. There are more details about Definition of a Traffic Crash (p.4), where in addition to the bodily injury or $1,000+ damage, they say that the incident must also have either occured on or originated from a “trafficway”, rule #7. The term trafficway is not further defined, a common definition is: “Any right-of-way open to the public as a matter of right or custom for moving persons or property from one place to another”.

It is also made explicit that there must be at least one motor vehicle in transport (i.e. not parked) involved, rule #5. Note that this rule is not explicit in 28-667. This means for example, that a bicyclist that crashes into a parked is not a motor vehicle traffic crash, per ADOT (nor is it reportable to FARS, see below).


FARS is the federal traffic crash fatality database. Not surprisingly, it echos the verbiage from the Arizona Crash Form Manual… “To be included in the file set, a crash had to involve a motor vehicle traveling on a traffic way customarily open to the public” — FARS Analytic Reference Guide. It also further states the death (since FARS only counts fatalities) must occur with 30 days of the incident. I can’t find the bit about how there must be at least one MV in transport in the FARS manual, but I’m pretty sure it’s in there somewhere. I haven’t looked into or looked up GES– i suspect the rules are the same as the ADOT Crash Manual. The GES is a federal statistical sampling of traffic collisions.

Here’s a handy definition from (Bureau of Tranportiation Statistics) — CRASH (Highway):An event that produces injury and/or property damage, involves a motor vehicle in transport, and occurs on a trafficway or while the vehicle is still in motion after running off the trafficway.

Private Property

It appears to me that a commercial parking lot is a trafficway, and that the incident above should be reported on an ACR to the department and that this statistic should be reflected in FARS.

The reason this whole topic came up was that Flagstaff police have been reporting at least some bicyclist sidewalk collisions on a propriety “Private Property Accident” form, and presumably not filing an ACR, and not forwarding the info to the department. The one we know about involved motorist exiting a commercial driveway and collided with a cyclist riding on the sidewalk. The theory from Flag PD is that since the driveway is private it doesn’t need to be on an ACR. I would disagree. The form itself is essentially a watered down ACR.

Another strange case which was excluded from ASDM (Adot’s database) is the bike-MV collision which resulted in the death of

One thought on “Do all Crashes “Count”?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *