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Getting Started


PBCAT is an application for safety practitioners and researchers to enhance and supplement data that already exist in crash databases and other sources. The crash typing application is used to develop unique crash type and other variables, and does not analyze data or require the users to upload data. By answering questions in the tool, PBCAT users can create new, objective information that can be added to existing data to help characterize each crash.

How to use PBCAT

To crash type using the PBCAT tool, the user must have access to crash report forms or databases that include crash diagrams and narrative descriptions. Users answer a series of questions about crash events to develop the data on crash type and other important variables. The most important information users will need to extract and code are the following:

  • Type of Non-Motorist involved in the crash (e.g., cyclist, pedestrian, person using a conveyance device), referred to in the application as the Mode.
  • Whether the crash occurred on a Trafficway, or in a Non-trafficway area.
  • Crash Location Type (e.g., intersection, non-intersection, etc.).
  • Motorist Maneuver.
  • Non-Motorist Maneuver/Action.

The crash typing application uses the last two inputs to generate the Crash Type variables—both a Detailed type, and a Basic type (that combines some categories).

Users also have the option to code additional information such as the Facility Type the non-motorist was using at the time of, and prior to, the crash, and other actions and circumstances (including 44 potential Special Circumstances) associated with the crash. These questions are flagged as Optional, and a Skip button is provided. To maintain objective data, users should avoid guessing when there is insufficient information to choose an option, and instead select Unknown, or skip coding these variables.

Guidance for Using PBCAT 3

  1. Use modern, up-to-date internet browsers, such as Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge. Do not use Internet Explorer.
  2. Do not use internet browsers in incognito or private mode. Ensure that cookies are enabled.
  3. Do not clear the internet browser cache during coding sessions without submitting a "save and quit." The browser cache retains selections within the current session.
  4. Use the directional "back" button within the application to go back and change prior entries. Do not use the "back" button within the browser.
  5. Do not abandon a coding session without saving and quitting. The computer should not be allowed to enter sleep mode while in a session.

User selections within PBCAT are output in a delimited (.csv) file when the user quits a coding session. No coded data are uploaded to, or stored by the website, when using the PBCAT 3 application. Backup files are also generated automatically during coding. The Features page and the User Guide provide more information about the tool, descriptions of variables that result from using the tool, and data entry and management. First-time users are advised to consult the User Guide for more in depth information before beginning a crash typing session.


Begin Crash Typing