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STATS19 Road Accident dataset

 

Dataset summary

Full title of dataset: STATS19 Road Accident dataset.

Period covered: 1979 – present.

Frequency of release: Annual.

Geography: England, Wales and Scotland. 

Data updated: Annually in September of each year.

Format output: CSV, Excel.

Size: Approximately 200,000 records per year.

Data quality concerns: See specific section below.

Example variables: Accident type, vehicles, casualties.

Weighted or unweighted: Unweighted.

Access: Yes, see section below for more information.

Documentation: Available from the Department for Transport website here.

Contact Details: All enquiries regarding the STATS19 dataset should be directed to the Department for Transport by emailing them at roadacc.stats@dft.gsi.gov.uk or telephoning 020 7944 6595.


Overview

Road accidents on the public highway in Great Britain, reported to the police and which involve human injury or death, are recorded by police officers onto a STATS19 report form. The form collects a wide variety of information about the accident (such as time, date, location, road conditions) together with the vehicles and casualties involved and contributory factors to the accident (as interpreted by the police).  The form is completed at either the scene of the accident, or when the accident is reported to the police.

The Department for Transport has overall responsibility for the design and collection system of the STATS19 data.   The Standing Committee on Road Accident Statistics (SCRAS) is the body set up to oversee the STATS19 process for road accident data collection.

The STATS19 data is the only national source to provide detailed information on accident circumstances, vehicles involved and resulting casualties and is the most detailed and reliable single source on accidents that can be used for longitudinal research in Great Britain.  However, it should be borne in mind that is not a complete record of all injury accidents and resulting casualties, due to some accidents not being reported. 

The STATS19 data is available from the Department for Transport.  Non disclosive data is also deposited with the Economic and Social Data Service.  Further details on accessing the data are provided in the ‘Access’ section below.

Coverage

Geography
The STATS19 dataset covers England, Wales and Scotland. 

In Northern Ireland, the Police Service captures similar data onto a Collision Report Form (CRF).  The form captures data similar to the STATS19 form with some minor differences.  This dataset is known as the ‘Northern Ireland Police Recorded Injury Road Traffic Collision data’ and is also available from the Economic and Social Data Service.  

Time
The STATS19 data was first recorded in 1979.

Data updates
The STATS19 data is collected annually and made available by the Department for Transport in September of the following year.

Suitability

Examples of usage
Road accident statistics are collected from information about personal injury road accidents and their consequent casualties, to a common national standard. The aim of collecting and publishing national road accident statistics is to inform public debate and to provide the basis for determining and monitoring effective road safety policies to reduce the road accident casualty toll. They are an essential requirement for monitoring targeted reductions in road accident casualties. The credible monitoring of targeted reductions requires that data are reported consistently and accurately, and both national and local government, and local reporting police forces, work closely to achieve a common reporting standard.

The data are analysed nationally and forms the basis for annual statistics on road accidents and casualties which are published by the Department for Transport, and the Scottish and Welsh Governments. The results are used extensively for research work and for guidance in the improvement of road safety in relation to roads, road users, vehicles and traffic movement.

Local authorities also make extensive use of road accident data. Engineers use it extensively for establishing priority sites for remedial measures. Road safety officers also gain much of their evidence on which to base national and local educational programmes and training from the data which accrue from local road accident statistics.

The police, who collect these data, also use them as a guide to the operational tactical deployment of their patrols in order to fulfil one of their primary roles, the reduction of casualties.

The accumulated data, over long periods of time, is also used by a range of establishments for research into road safety measures.

STATS19 data was also used to help compile the Living Environment Deprivation Domain for the English Indices of Multiple Deprivation.  See here for more information.  

A list of research reports using STATS19 data is available from the ADLS Publication Hub here. The Department for Transport also produce quarterly aggregate statistics using the STATS19 data which is available from here.

Technical guidance
The ‘STATS 20’ document provides instructions to police officers to enable completion of the ‘STATS19 form. The ‘STATS21’ document (not generally available to the public) covers the validity checks, error procedures and submission of the STATS19 data.

Definitions of terms used in the STATS19 collection form are available to download from our Department for Transport PDF pack here.

Accidents involving non-motor vehicles such as pedal cycles and ridden horses on ‘public roads’ are also recorded, regardless of motor vehicle or pedestrian involvement.

Access

There are a variety of ways that the Department for Transport make the STATS19 data available.

1. DfT Website
The website holds data analyses and reports providing detailed statistics about the circumstances of personal injury road accidents, including the types of vehicles involved and the consequent casualties.

2. Data.gov.uk
STATS 19 data is available at an individual accident level from 2005 from data.gov.uk.  The data includes information such as the date, time and location of an accident, the type of vehicles involved and the number and type of consequential casualties.

3. Road accidents and safety statistics
The Department for Transport provides a set of statistics on road safety in the UK with the information drawn from the STATS19 system.  Areas covered include: circumstances about personal injury road accidents, vehicles involved, hospital admissions, death registrations, coroner’s reports, breath tests.

4. ESDS
The Department for Transport deposit the STATS19 road traffic accident data with the ESDS on an annual basis. Data is available from 1985 and is subject to licence under standard ESDS terms. 

The data includes information such as the date, time and location of an accident, the type of vehicles involved and the number and type of consequential casualties. 

Note:  The data available from these two sources do not contain data that might be disclosive, such as drivers and casualties postcodes, breath test information and contributory factors towards the accident.  Data from the two different sources cannot be linked together due to differences in the record identifier codes.

5. Disclosive individual records
For access to STATS19 data containing sensitive variables please email roadacc.stats@dft.gsi.gov.uk.   Your email will need to outline your research proposal and detail why access to the sensitive data is required.  Applications will be considered on an individual basis and if successful will be subject to stringent licencing conditions.

Note that STATS19 data between 1979 and 1984 is also held electronically by the Department for Transport but is not made publically available.  Enquiries regarding this data should be sent to roadacc.stats@dft.gsi.gov.uk.

Data quality

The police definition of serious injury covers casualties admitted to hospital, as well as those with specific types of injury (for example fractures or severe cuts). This means that in theory all patients in HES admitted following a road traffic accident should also appear as seriously injured casualties in the police data. However, in practice not all road casualties are reported to the police. In addition, there is evidence that in some cases casualties that meet the definition of a serious injury are only recorded by the police as having slight injuries.  However, comparisons with death registration statistics show that very few, if any road accident fatalities are not reported to the police.

Severity of injury is known to be prone to misclassification in STATS19 due to the difficulties of such assessment by non-experts at the scene of the accident.

Particular local circumstances (for example organisational changes, reviews of coding practice and local initiatives) may affect the data and trends over time, particularly at local level. Therefore, as with most data sources, users of STATS19 are advised to carefully explore relevant issues before drawing conclusions from the data.  The Department for Transport is happy to offer advice in this area.

Further information on this can be found in DfT’s Reported Road casualties Report here.

Considerations

Users of STATS19 data should be aware that, whilst comparisons with survey data suggest that the police data is sufficiently representative of casualties by road user type, levels of reporting to police may vary according to the accident circumstances. For example, it is known that few single vehicle pedal cycle accidents are included in STATS19.

The cause of reported road accidents is not collected on the STATS19 form. However information on factors which, in the opinion of the police officer who attended the scene of a reported road accident, may have contributed to the accident is collected but would only be available under special licence from the Department for Transport.

Police Forces will submit STATS19 forms upto six months after an accident.  Where serious accidents have occured, Police Forces will follow up with the hospital.  Shousl a fatality occur within 30 days of the accident, this wil be recorded on the form. 

Linkage

The Department for Transport has undertaken work to link data from STATS19 and HES at individual record level. This brings together the details of accident circumstances and vehicles involved contained in STATS19 with the information about injuries sustained found in HES, creating a rich source for research.  For further information on this topic, see here. 

Extracts from the linked data are now available for research purposes. If you are interested in accessing the data, please contact the DfT at roadacc.stats@dft.gsi.gov.uk

Research users / comments

Please contact us with any comments regarding this dataset.

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