Non-traffic traffic crashes


This is a placeholder for info for what I am referring to as a non-traffic  (you can click there to get a list of incidents like this) traffic crash. Which I define as some sort of traffic crash that doesn’t get reported in official traffic crash stats. The most common reason these incidents might fall into this category is they occur on private property, like a parking lot, or private streets, like cyclist Robert McCain who was killed in a collision on a private street, or inside a building driver-slams-into-day-spa-1-dead-4-go-hospital. Other reasons, especially for cyclists, is for crashes “count” they have to include at least on motor vehicle in transport; so e.g. a cyclist crashing into a parked vehicle is not counted; nor are cyclists who have “simple” falls, or bike-bike crash, even when resulting in death (for example in 2014 see Karl Gerschutz and Jim Walen fatalities, respectively). Likewise bike-bike, or bike-ped crashes are not reportable as traffic crashes.

It is not clear if law enforcement agencies report these to ADOT, and ADOT supresses them, or if the agency itself does not report them to ADOT. In any event these incidents don’t get “counted” in either the state’s or federal (e.g. in the case of fatality, FARS) body counts. For example we know for sure that when an 11 year old boy was killed by a hit and run driver in a Phoenix parking lot last year, Phoenix police filed and ACR but it is not reflected in ADOT’s database.

Is this right? I don’t mean morally, I mean is this correct? Does everybody (other states) uniformly do it this way? The most common victims are pedestrians — how much under-reporting is there, is it significant?

Another somewhat related topic is the motorized bicyclists are categorized as drivers (so person type is same as the driver of a motor vehicle), and vehicle type is listed as a moped. Details here and moto bicyclists that i know about are listed on each year’s grid below the official bicyclist list.

There is possibly some data integrity issues with what’s been reported in ASDM over the years, below is a query of  FirstHarmfulLocation = ‘OUTSIDE_RIGHT_OF_WAY_TRAFFICWAY’ which seems to have declined from several hundred a year in 2009-2011 and then drop to nearly zero.

I have referenced a couple of studies in the FARS article; “approximately 10-14 percent of bicycle-related fatalities do not involve a motor vehicle and/or do not occur on public roadways”.

Note that (my emphasis) … “To be included in FARS, a crash must involve a motor vehicle traveling on a trafficway customarily open to the public, and must result in the death of an occupant of a vehicle or a non-occupant within 30 days” (FARS Analytical reference manual). There is also a reference that I now can’t find that said that only crashes where the “unstablized situation” (sometimes: unstabilized event) began on trafficway. or something.

NHTSA’s Not-in-Traffic Surveillance (NiTS)

I just discovered… “The Not-in-Traffic Surveillance (NiTS) system is a virtual data collection system designed to provide counts and details regarding fatalities and injuries that occur in non-traffic crashes and in non-crash incidents…” it’s currently linked at nhtsa’s sdp page and the data is at At this time annual datasets for 2007-2015 (indicating they’ve ceased?); all unfortunately for me, only in SAS format. Updates from the SCI (Special Crash Investigation) unit continue as of early 2015. This all came about due to SAFETEA-LU and the Kids Transportation Safety Act of 2007 (K.T. Safety Act). Quickly glancing through the reports available, the only reference to cyclists is via nonoccupant so not clear how complete the surveillance is. And

According to there are 500 fatalities and 4,000 injuries per year in “store front” crashes — these victims are presumably mostly pedestrians. 500/year sounds high, that would be (mostly) on top of the ~ 5,000 ped deaths/yr in traffic as reported by FARS, but who knows? As mentioned above the federal survellance of this phenomena seems to have stopped.

And according to older drivers are over-represented in these crashes.

Adding this May 2022 incident to the store-front list. Tempe, AZ Beauty Supply store at Southern and Mill; “(3TV/CBS 5) — A driver in Tempe accidentally hit the gas instead of the brake, crashing into a beauty supply shop in Tempe on Thursday morning and it was all caught on camera. Police Detective Natalie Barela said the driver unintentionally left the car in drive. When they got back into the car, they hit the gas. Police confirmed Friday morning that the driver faces no criminal charges from the accident but was arrested on an unrelated warrant.”

here’s some email banter on the subject:

Mike said: To be included in the ADOT DB, the crash has to occur in/on a city, county, state, tribal trafficway. Private drives, parking lots, off-road, etc. are not included.

From: Ed Beighe []
Sent: Friday, July 11, 2014 3:41 PM
To: Justin Pryzby; Michael Sanders
Subject: Re: non ASDM fatalities

at the risk of belaboring — can you clarify why you said “City of Mesa would not be expected to file an ACR with ADOT”?
e.g. the case of the most recent parking lot fatality; last year’s trailer park bicyclist fatality.

From: Justin Pryzby <>
To: Michael Sanders <>
Cc: Ed Beighe <>

Sent: Wednesday, July 9, 2014 7:14 AM
Subject: Re: non ASDM fatalities

This is perhaps not surprising, but there are entries from many jurisdictions from “outside trafficway”. 72 jurisdictions so far across 5 years of data.

SELECT Name, count(1) FROM LOVNcic, (SELECT * FROM 2012_incident UNION SELECT * FROM 2013_incident UNION SELECT * FROM 2011_incident UNION SELECT * FROM 2010_incident UNION SELECT * FROM 2009_incident) x WHERE ID=OfficerNcic AND eFirstHarmfulLocation='OUTSIDE_RIGHT_OF_WAY_TRAFFICWAY' GROUP BY 1 ORDER BY 2 DESC;

| Name | count(1) |
| Phoenix | 236 |
| Dept. of Public Safety | 190 |
| Scottsdale | 88 |
| Glendale | 84 |
| Tempe | 75 |
| Mesa | 59 |
| Pima County S.O. | 35 |

Notably, only one entry from 2013, from someplace called clifton, So ADOT is probably filtering those out now (silently).

SELECT IncidentID, InjurySeverity, Name FROM LOVNcic, 2013_incident WHERE ID=OfficerNcic AND eFirstHarmfulLocation='OUTSIDE_RIGHT_OF_WAY_TRAFFICWAY;

| IncidentID | InjurySeverity | Name |
| 2756787 | 1 | Clifton |
1 row in set (0.36 sec)


On Tue, Jul 8, 2014 at 4:16 PM, Michael Sanders <> wrote:
Again, City of Mesa would not be expected to file an ACR with ADOT Traffic Records

From: Justin Pryzby []
Sent: Tuesday, July 08, 2014 1:11 PM
To: Ed Beighe
Cc: Michael Sanders
Subject: Re: non ASDM fatalities

I bet it’ll be present, since it was fatal. Also, I recall that the HR statute is inapplicable:

Hit and Run in Arizona
28-621. Applicability to vehicles on highways; exceptions
The provisions of this chapter and chapter 5 of this title relating to the operation of vehicles refer exclusively to the operation of vehicles on highways except:
1. If a different place is specifically provided by statute.
2. Article 4 of this chapter and section 28-693 apply on highways and elsewhere throughout this state.

28-661. Accidents involving death or physical injuries; failure to stop; classification; driver license revocation; restricted privilege to drive
A. The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of a person shall:
1. Immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close to the accident scene as possible but shall immediately return to the accident scene.

On Tue, Jul 8, 2014 at 2:35 PM, Ed Beighe <> wrote:
any “bets” on this one? i mean whether or not there would be an ACR filed? — the crash seems to have definitely occurred within a (private) parking lot.

3 year old killed in Mesa parking lot by hit-and-run driver | Arizona Bike Law

3 year old killed in Mesa parking lot by hit-and-run driver | Arizona Bike Law
[Updated 7/8: victim is 3 year old Jaqueline Monroe-Mendoza;
View on
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From: Justin Pryzby <>
To: Michael Sanders <>
Cc: Ed Beighe <>
Sent: Friday, June 27, 2014 9:27 AM
Subject: Re: non ASDM fatalities

Do you mean “ASDM could include” ? It *could* include anything, right? Just a question of policy and procedure. It *could* include a one-unit bicycle-only crash (it just tends not to). ADOT may do filtering or other manipulation, such as removing anything without at least one MV, or setting for all fatal bicycle crashes CollisionManner=OTHER. And a question of whether PDs “record” on ACR (as opposed to some custom “private property” or other so-called “non-state” crash form) and whether they “transmit” to ADOT is a question of procedure (deliberate or not).

Here’s a crash which serves to demonstrate some inconsistency and the poor quality of data coding/entry/manipulation:

SELECT * FROM 2009_incident WHERE TotalUnits=TotalNonMotorists

IncidentID: 2300355
Status: 210
OfficerNcic: 1400 (Yuma County S.O.)
FileNumber: 200926560
InvestigatedAtSceneFlag: 5

TotalUnits: 1
TotalMotorists: 0
TotalNonMotorists: 1
TotalFatalities: 1
TotalNonMotoristsFatalities: 3
InjurySeverity: 0
FatalAccidentFlag: 0
HazardousFlag: 1
eCollisionManner: HEAD_ON
eFirstHarmfulEvent: FIRE_EXPLOSION
eFirstHarmfulLocation: ON_ROADWAY
eNscReportable: BAD_VALUE_0
eTrafficWayType: BAD_VALUE_0

UnitTypeDesc: DRIVER
HitAndRunFlag: 1

ePersonType: DRIVER

Despite multiple requests to ADOT, I never figured out what the “status” field means; it’s not on the ACR, which means it’s something they created, generated, and maintain.
InvestigatedAtSceneFlag has value 8, which is garbage; it should probably be true that the “Flag” columns never have any value besides -1,0,1,255, but we see other creative values such as 2,8,5 (that seems to be better since 2009).
TotalNonMotorists evidently has the value that should be in TotalMotorists.
TotalFatalities is inconsistent with InjuryStatus=3.
TotalNonMotoristFatalities seems to be garbage, unless the data is complete trash, and omits records for three dead people.
InjurySeverity 0 is inconsistent with both TotalFatalities and InjuryStatus. InjurySeverity *should* be a generated column, something like MAX(SELECT InjurySeverity FROM Person where InjurySeverity!=255).
FataAccidentFlag is inconsistent with other data.
HitAndRunFlag is inconsistent between the Incident and Unit tables. The Incident value should probably indicate if ANY unit was HR, and the Unit flag should indicate *which* unit was HR, and incident value should probably be generated with a similar MAX query.
NscReportable has another creative (or undocumented) value, again fixed after 2009.


On Fri, Jun 27, 2014 at 10:52 AM, Michael Sanders <> wrote:
OK, so, yes, appears that ACR could include an off-road recreational motor vehicle and bicyclist if in “Street” or “highway” and reported to ADOT traffic records!


From: Justin Pryzby []
Sent: Thursday, June 26, 2014 6:58 AM
To: Michael Sanders
Cc: Ed Beighe
Subject: Re: non ASDM fatalities

In case it helps answer the question:

SELECT BodyStyleDesc, count(1) FROM 2013_unit WHERE BodyStyleDesc LIKE '%ALL_TERRAIN%' GROUP BY 1 ORDER BY 2;

| BodyStyleDesc | count(1) |
2 rows in set (0.09 sec)

On Wed, Jun 25, 2014 at 4:02 PM, Michael Sanders <> wrote:
Ed wondered: “hmmm. no reason to think an atv isn’t a MV, is there?”

“38. ‘Off-road recreational motor vehicle’ means a motor vehicle that is designed primarily for recreational nonhighway all-terrain travel and that is not operated on a public highway. Off-road recreational motor vehicle does not mean a motor vehicle used for construction, building trade, mining or agricultural purposes” (

I wonder if a report would be filed if crash involved an off-road recreational motor vehicle and bicyclist on a “Street” or “highway”?

From: Ed Beighe []
Sent: Tuesday, June 24, 2014 4:32 PM
To: Michael Sanders; Justin Pryzby
Subject: Re: non ASDM fatalities

i had tried to hash through those issues here:

Do all Crashes “Count”?

the first one certainly could be what i would call a clerical error of somehow losing the crash report on its way to adot. my guess still is that the police decided it didn’t occur on a “trafficway”; so no ACR was called for.

the second one, hmmm. no reason to think an atv isn’t a MV, is there? my hunch, again, is the not on a trafficway business.

From: Michael Sanders
To: ‘Ed Beighe’ ; Justin Pryzby <>
Sent: Monday, June 23, 2014 10:36 AM
Subject: RE: non ASDM fatalities

“Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted” ??

Or agency simply did not report it? (“POLICE ONLY—FORWARD COPY TO ADOT TRAFFIC RECORDS SECTION, 064R, 206 S. 17TH AVE., PHOENIX, ARIZONA 85007-3233”)

The second one because it did not involve “one or more motor vehicles”?

From: Ed Beighe []
Sent: Sunday, June 22, 2014 3:23 PM
To: Justin Pryzby; Michael Sanders
Subject: non ASDM fatalities

FYI more than anything:

These two were on my list and did not appear in ADOT records;
The first apparently was on a private street (somehow, it seems to me that should “count”).
the second one was an atv vs. bicycle and i presume was excluded because it was off-road

besides those two, i made a note of three more: 1 was a motorized bicyclist (there could be more motorized bicyclists, i don’t have any way to track them; they show up as bodytype of MOPED); plus two non-MV crashes, one a bike-bike paceline type crash, and another a solo bicyclist crashed descending mt lemmon.

2/26/2013 2330 Robert McCain
12/17/2013 1700 Frisco Davidson-Spurs Yankolovich 20/M
Phoenix / Maricopa near 56th St and Happy Valley Rd 47/M
this may have been off-road? and in fact did not appear in ADOT data so it won’t “count” towards traffic fatalities.

2 thoughts on “Non-traffic traffic crashes”

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