1. What is this Survey?
1. What is this Survey?
The Vehicle Inventory & Use Survey (VIUS) is a periodic survey of private and commercial trucks registered (or licensed) in the United States. It is a sample survey taken every 5 years as part of the Economic Census. It provides information about the physical and operational characteristics of the Nation's truck population. Survey results are is used to estimate future transportation growth and fuel demands, calculate highway use costs and fees, evaluate highway traveler safety risks, assess truck energy efficiency and environmental impacts, develop and evaluate market strategies, assess equipment uses and costs, and calculate product longevity.
2. What is the Economic Census?
The Economic Census collects and produces our Nation's most useful business statistics. It collects information about virtually every United States business and many business-related activities (such as truck characteristics and uses), summarizes it for each industry and geographic area, and publishes our most complete and accurate businesses statistics. The Census Bureau conducts the Economic Census every 5 years and economic censuses have been conducted since 1810.
3. Why is there a 2002 Survey?
By law (Title 13 of the United States Code, Chapters 1 and 5) the Census Bureau must take an Economic Census every 5 years and the VIUS is part of the census being taken for calendar year 2002. The 2002 VIUS will provide unique information that profiles growth and change in the U.S. truck population since 1997, and complements other available census statistics.
4. Is VIUS information really unique?
Yes. VIUS statistics are unique as the only source of complete statistics about the physical and operational characteristics for our Nation's truck population. While selected truck registration information is available in each state, these data typically do not include truck operational characteristics, do not include complete physical characteristics information, and are not readily available or comparable for all states.
5. Why did I get a form?
You received a 2002 VIUS form because we need information about your truck(s) to complete this survey. VIUS forms were mailed to owners of a sample of more than 135,000 trucks registered to in every state. Your truck(s) was(were) selected for the VIUS sample randomly, and to represent trucks registered to businesses and individuals in every industry. To ensure that VIUS statistics are accurate, it is important that you complete each VIUS form you received and return it to the Census Bureau.
6. Why did I get so many forms?
The 2002 VIUS is a sample survey selected from the entire truck population of the United States. If you own more than one truck, it is possible for you to receive more than one 2002 VIUS form. In fact, the likelihood of your receiving more than one survey form increases with the number of registered trucks you own.
7. How can I get another form?
If you have misplaced the VIUS you received from us, or if you otherwise need a VIUS form, please call our National Processing Center at 1-800-772-7851, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. eastern time.
8. Must I fill out the form?
Yes. Federal law (Title 13 of the United States Code, Chapter 7) requires that you complete the 2002 VIUS form(s) you received and return it (them) to the Census Bureau. Information about each registered truck receiving a survey form is critical for VIUS to continue to provide high quality and useful data on the use of the Nation's truck population. If any information item requested on the VIUS form is not available in your individual or business records, you may provide an estimate for it.
9. Will my report be kept confidential?
Yes. Federal law (Title 13 of the United States Code, Chapters 1 and 7) guarantees the confidentiality of information you report on the 2002 VIUS form. The Census Bureau is legally responsible to keep your information confidential. Your information can only be used for statistical purposes, anyone using it must pledge in writing to keep it strictly confidential, and anyone violating these restrictions is subject to criminal penalties. In addition, VIUS publications summarize information for many trucks and do not identify particular vehicles or their owners, your information is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, and any file copies you retain are immune from legal process.
10. How do I know your computers are secure?
Census Bureau computers that contain confidential information cannot be accessed by persons outside the Census Bureau, and cannot be accessed by persons inside the Census Bureau without clear need to know, individual identification, and current password. Our confidential information computer system is not accessible to persons outside the Census Bureau, or by commercial telephone line (that is, by direct dial-up). In addition, our confidential computer area is closed to all persons except those with special photo identification, and is only accessible to internal users with acceptable user identification and password.
11. Why is my form so long?
Your 2002 VIUS form requests only information items that are needed to produce useful statistics about the U.S. truck fleet and its use. In addition, it has been designed for easy use and use with many different kinds of vehicles. While the form may appear long overall, many questions include useful explanatory text, some provide checkboxes or other formats to ease individual responses, and some may be skipped if not applicable in individual circumstances.
12. What if I don't have the information?
If your 2002 VIUS form requests information that isn't available in your records, please provide your best estimate of it. The Census Bureau has found that estimates from truck owners are more accurate than averages or other estimates, and increase the reliability of reported statistics when combined with information from other similar vehicles. If you have any questions or want to obtain help in preparing an estimate, please contact us.
13. Can I file copies of the form?
No. Please complete and return the original copies of VIUS form(s) you received in the mail. We need your original copies to meet the operating requirements of our automated processing system. You can, of course, make and retain file copies of your VIUS report to us.
14. What if I need more time?
We need to receive your completed 2002 VIUS form by the due date printed on it, if at all possible. Your complete and timely response is needed for us to meet the growing demand for these widely-used periodic statistics. However, if circumstances prevent your response by the due date, please contact us, tell us when you can respond, and we will try to accommodate your request. To contact us, please call our National Processing Center at 1-800-772-7851, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. eastern time.
15. Where do I send my report?
Please send your completed 2002 VIUS form to the U.S. Census Bureau in the envelope provided in your VIUS mail package. Please remember to sign and date your completed form. Our mailing address is U.S. Census Bureau, 1201 East 10th Street, Jeffersonville, IN 47132-0001.
16. Can I file electronically?
No. You cannot return your completed 2002 VIUS form electronically. Time and resource limitations prevented us from making this option available for the 2002 survey. We are exploring the option of electronic reporting for use in future VIUS programs.
17. What if I need more help?
Please review the information included in your 2002 VIUS mail package, including information on your 2002 VIUS form and in other sections of this 2002 Business Help Site. If you have any questions that are not answered in the VIUS materials or elsewhere on this site, please call us at 1-800-772-7851, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. eastern time.
18. How are VIUS data published?
The VIUS statistics are published in electronic and hard copy formats, with separate results by geographic area. All files are released on the Internet as .pdf (portable document format) files at http://www.census.gov/econ/www/viusmain.html. The Geographic Area Series consists of 52 data releases-one for the United States, each state, and the District of Columbia. The United States release is available in hard copy. A microdata CD-ROM contains unaggregated records for individual trucks by state and software that supports user-customized tabulations. The microdata records are masked to avoid possible disclosure of individual vehicles or owners.
19. When will 2002 data be available?
Data from the 2002 VIUS will be released on a flow basis. Data for individual states will begin to be released around October 2003 and will continue through about June 2004. The United States summary should be available around July 2004. Finally, the microdata CD-ROM is expected to be released by Semtember 2004.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Last Revised: 04/24/2003
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