For five countries (Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands), information has been gathered about the available national accident databases. For 3 countries more than one database was found. For each database, information is provided about how data are collected and processed, the parties responsible for collection and maintenance of the data, and the availability of data to other parties.
Road accident statistics are used for evaluating the level of road safety at both national and international levels. Data is collected by the police. Statistics Finland receives from the police the data on road traffic accidents that are entered into the PATJA information system of police affairs. Statistics Finland is responsible for the maintenance and controls access to the database. The principal users of the statistics at the national level are Ministries as well as various central agencies and transport organisations. The main users at the local level are municipalities. Monthly statistics are available for public consultation in electronic form on the website of Liikenneturva (the Central Organization for Traffic Safety in Finland). The tables of annual publication are available in electronic file format. Data can also be acquired as files.
Finnish Road Administration
Road accident statistics are used for evaluating the level of road safety at both national and international levels. In addition data is used for road safety research, safety audition, black spot management and calculating accident risks. Data is collected by police. The Finnish Road Administration receives from the police the data on road traffic accidents that are entered into the PATJA information system of police affairs. Finnish Road Administration is responsible for the maintenance of database. The principal users of the statistics are researchers and traffic engineers in Finnish Road Administration’s central office as well in regional offices. Other users are Ministries as well as various central agencies and transport organisations. Two annual reports are published. In addition aggregated data is available as tables
VALT Database on fatal accidents
The objective is to produce information and safety suggestions to improve road safety through studying road and cross-country traffic accidents. In practice, files are collected in the field investigation and they are available to the traffic safety work as laid down in the data protection legislation. According to the Road Accident Investigation Act and its preamble, accident investigation serves to strengthen the information base made available for road safety work done in an effort to increase safety. The use of data obtained in road accident investigation is restricted for this purpose.
VALT Database accidents compensated by insurance
The file is built from accidents compensated under motor liability insurance. Insurers’ claims handlers record the data in the company’s database and also forward certain files to Finnish Insurance Data Ltd, who makes the database available to VALT. The database of insurance claims can be complemented in insurance companies to include data originating from police examination records or any other documents that may have been issued on the case.
National road accident data
Source data - i.e. police report - is collected in order to determine judicial responsibilities, rather than to clarify the events and circumstances that led to the accident. Data for the national road accident database is derived from the police reports. The national database produces general statistical information on road safety.
Data is primarily used by the ONISR, who publishes the official road safety statistics and other material based on this data. Other data users include different services of the Ministry of infrastructure, such as SETRA and CETE (Centre d’Etudes Techniques de l’Equipement).
Outside the Ministry, data is used by transport safety research oriented organisations like INRETS (the French National Institute for Transport and Safety Research), ASFA (The Federation of French Motorway and Toll Facility Companies), LAB (the Laboratory of Accidentology, Biomechanics and the Study of Human Behaviour) and CEESAR (European centre for safety studies and risk analysis).
Data is available to ONISR, SETRA, CETE, INRETS, ASFA, LAB and CEESAR The official road safety statistics and other aggregated material (knowledge i.e. analysis and synthesis) based on the data are published and also available at ONISR web site: Le site de la Sécurité Routière - L'observatoire national interministériel de sécurité routière.
STBA – Federal Statistical Office
In Germany, traffic accidents are documented by the police. Evidence is collected for the forensic experts as well as for federal statistics held by Statistisches Bundesamt (STBA). Federal statistics are established on traffic accidents on public roads. The recording criterion is at least one tow-away vehicle as a result of the accident.
General, aggregated data is available to the public and is published in annual reports by the STBA. Information can also be accessed via internet. In-depth, disaggregated data is available only to organisations that meet the strict requirements of the law on data protection. Additionally selected accident data is given to the international network of police reported accident data IRTAD.
Basic information on the STBA database can be found on the internet at Statistisches Bundesamt Deutschland.
In-depth information about the STBA database may be available by contacting the STBA itself.
Accident trends are presented annually, based on the official accident statistics of the STBA (Statistisches Bundesambt - Federal Statistical Office). These accident statistics use the data from the police accident reports. It should be noted that the information about how accidents occur, the cause of the accident, and the injury mechanisms is limited.
The goal of GIDAS (German In-depth Accident Study) is to provide in-depth accident and injury data of traffic accidents. This data is representative for the whole of Germany. On one hand, the data of the GIDAS database is used by the BASt (Federal Road Research Institute) to propose guidelines to the federal ministry of traffic. On the other hand, the data is used by the automotive industry for safety developments.
In 1973, the Bundesanstalt für Straßenwesen BASt (Federal Road Research Institute; Die BASt - Bundesanstalt für Strassenwesen) established an independent in-depth accident investigation team. This team, the Accident Research Unit (ARU), was located at the Medical University of Hannover (MUH).
This project developed into a long term on-scene accident research study. To collect representative data the study was based in the defined geographical area of the region of Hannover. The Hannover region represents the whole of Germany rather well if we consider the amount of roads and the percentage of urban and rural parts of the region. The area covers both the municipality of Hannover and the surrounding rural areas. There are approximately 1,2 million residents in this area and some 10% of the area (2289 km2) is urban.
In 1999, the accident research team from the BASt, together with the Automotive Industry Research Association (FAT), started a joint project called German In-Depth Accident Study (GIDAS). In this project the geographical area was extended and a second team was set up in the Dresden area at the technical university of Dresden TU-Dresden (TUD - Startseite - Aktuelles).
The GIDAS data is collected by the accident research units at the Medical University of Hannover (MUH) and at the Technical University of Dresden (TUD). The on-scene investigation is done by professional and semi-professional team members. The team consists of specially trained students, supported by professional accident investigators.
Disaggregated date is available to GIDAS members only.
More detailed information about the GIDAS database can be obtained from accident investigation units in Hannover and Dresden.
ISTAT – National road accident data
In Italy, the national road accident database is maintained by the National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT). The accident database contains information about all traffic accidents that occurred in Italy and caused injuries to persons.
The purpose is to inform citizens of all aspects related to road safety. For this reason ISTAT produces annually official statistics on road accidents.
Provisional data become definitive after 300 days from the start of data gathering. For instance, data of year 2005 will be available at the end of 2006. Data are available in aggregated form on the internet without any cost; raw data can only be requested by research institutes.
National road accident data
The data are collected to support policy making, road design strategies, black spot analysis, or other safety analysis.
The data are collected by the police for the whole of The Netherlands. 99% of all fatal accidents are registered, 60% of all hospitalised. Slight injuries are more under represented (estimate 20% available). For property damage only accidents an estimate of 5% is given.
Data can be purchased. But several research institutes also have the data available and can do queries to provide aggregated data (TNO, SWOV). Years of available data up to 2003. Data for 2004 and 2005 are expected to be available in June 2006.
Sports Utility Vehicle study
The data was collected to support research on SUV traffic accidents. The objectives were the investigations of the various scenarios and the study of injury patterns sustained by the passengers in the vehicle itself and the other vehicles involved.
The data was collected by the TNO institute and the Dutch Accident Investigation Police department of two regions around Delft: Haaglanden and Rotterdam-Rijnmond.
Only aggregated data is available. TNO can also provide aggregated data if requested. The report on the results from the SUV study is not publicly available but can be made available on request in special conditions. Only 30 accidents are available.
Accident Analysis Heavy Trucks TWO (AAHTWO)
The goals of the project were to explore the primary and secondary safety improvement possibilities of in-depth truck accident collection and to stimulate the international use and the harmonisation of an in-depth truck accident collection methodology.
The data was collected by the TNO institute and the Dutch Accident Investigation Police department of four regions covering the whole of the province of Zuid-Holland.
Only aggregated data is available. Results can be found in the Final Report published by TNO. Statistical analysis data is also available for research purposes. For this study, only 30 accidents were collected and 30 control group locations were investigated.