SAFER conducts pre-study to develop a national in-depth database for traffic accidents
To accelerate the development of a safer transport system, researchers, authorities and vehicle manufacturers need access to detailed information on traffic accidents. The STRADA database and Fatal Accident databases, in Sweden today are good in many ways, but lack some important information about, for example, accidents involving seriously injured people. In addition, the information is difficult to compare with data from other countries' databases, which can make research and development work more difficult. Now, with the help of funding from Vinnova, SAFER's partners are starting a study to look at the possibilities of creating an improved in-depth database.
The development of new, more automated vehicles and a safer transport system require accurate access to information about injuries and fatalities in traffic to ensure that implemented measures provide a desired effect and to focus on the most effective actions to save life and reduce human suffering.
Sweden currently has two governmentally owned databases that collect accident data - STRADA (Swedish Traffic Accident Data Acquisition) and the Swedish Transport database for fatalities. STRADA is the national information system for road crashes and their injuries administered by the Swedish Transport Agency. STRADA contains information on accidents occurring on Swedish roads as reported by the police, and medical data on persons injured as reported by the hospitals. However, Sweden does not have a detailed database of in-depth study data on accidents that could be used to develop new vehicles and traffic safety solutions. The accidents with only injuries are simply not recorded in sufficient detail and structured for the information to be used in a simple and effective way for research.
Researchers need to know more about the accident
The project will investigate the possibilities and gaps in existing data. The results will be a proposal for a database and a pilot implementation with a small number of accidents that indicate the possibility as well as a description of the development that would be necessary for the collection of data on a larger scale in the future.
Project manager John-Fredrik Grönvall at SAFER tells more:
“Our goal is to create a Swedish in-depth study database for research and development and thus in the long term give researchers and SAFER partners access to information that is essential to develop a safe and efficient transport system for both goods and people”.
For an efficient development of future vehicles with more safety functions and an increasing number of sensor-based active systems, researchers need to understand more about the causes of accidents, and this places greater demands on the description of accident statistics. Accidents need not only be described at the moment of the collision, but you also need to know what preceded the accident.
International comparisons lead the research forward
Internationally, there are a number of databases based on in-depth studies of real accidents that can
used for research and development purposes, e.g. IGLAD, that consists of combined data from GIDAS in Germany, NASS-CDS and CISS in the US, RASSI in India, CIDAS in China and many more sources. Sweden is currently missing such a database, available for general research in the field of road safety.
John-Fredrik Grönvall says:
“Through this new project, Sweden will get a high-quality accident database of high quality that can be used to develop road safety in Sweden from an authority perspective as well as for the industry to be able to research and develop vehicles to help support the Swedish vision Zero”.
The database will also be designed to enable comparisons with Europe and global data sources by using the same data structures that are already in use internationally. In order to simplify the handling of highly sensitive data, all practical data processing will take place within the Swedish Transport Administration's system and premises within the framework of existing regulations.
Participating partners are all from SAFER; Autoliv, Chalmers University of Technology, Folksam, IF, Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Volvo Group, Volvo Cars, the Swedish Transport Administration and the Swedish Transport Agency. The project will be placed in SAFER's project portfolio for Safety performance evaluation. The project has just started and will be completed by the end of 2021.