This project is a collaboration between Toyota's CSRC and The Children's Hospital Of Philadelphia

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of injuries and fatalities to children under 14, and national crash data databases such as the National Automotive Sampling System (NASS) either do not contain sufficient cases or enough detailed information on child occupants in order to support evidence that would strengthen research focused on better protections for children.

Collecting this critical data, such as the specific type and usage characteristics of the safety restraints could help researchers look for new ways to enhance the safety of child occupants in motor vehicles.


To address this need, Toyota’s CSRC and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) have partnered to continue a line of research directed towards defining how a National Child Occupant Special Study (NCOSS) database could be designed and implemented.

As part of a multi-year effort by CHOP to enhance data collection on child injuries, the CSRC and CHOP will examine how best to enhance the existing NASS crash database to include detailed information regarding child passengers and injuries they sustain in motor vehicle accidents.

The project will review the data currently collected within the NASS database, including an in-depth analysis of NASS-CDS cases with child occupants, to determine whether the existing information is adequate. In addition, based on previous research conducted by CHOP in partnership with a nationally known insurance agency, the study will evaluate methods associated with existing public health data collection systems, with a focus on learning how to contact parents or guardians in a manner that returns the most information. CHOP researchers will then adapt those successful methodologies for NCOSS in a small scale pilot test.

The results of this study will help identify the key methodologies features that lead to collection of the best breadth and depth of child specific crash injury data.


The Child Crash Injury Database project will take approximately 15 months to complete and will be conducted in three phases. Phase one, the review of other data collection systems, will take approximately 2 months to complete. Phase two, the small-scale pilot test, will continue for 12 months. Phase three, the assessment of current NASS data quality for the adequate representation of child occupants, will last for 11 months.