2017 road safety casualty data delays
Due to the unavailability of complete 2017 data for London, the Department for Transport (DfT) is announcing a postponement to its Reported road casualties Great Britain, main results: 2017 publication, which had been scheduled for end June 2018. This publication traditionally gives the first release of final key casualty statistics for the previous calendar year.
Data for London is collected by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and validated by Transport for London (TfL). TfL and MPS data comprises more than 15% of Great Britain’s road casualty data. Without a complete set of Stats 19 records it is not possible for DfT to validate and produce a national data set.
The delay is due to data supply issues and DfT have met regularly with TfL and MPS in order to understand and resolve these issues. TfL and MPS are working together to expedite the delivery of 2017 data and to improve the timeliness for 2018 data.
The expectation is that the main results will now be published at end of September once the data for London has been supplied and fully validated.
As a consequence of the delay, the department will not be publishing quarterly figures in Reported road casualties in Great Britain, provisional estimates: January to March 2018, previously scheduled for August 2018. The next quarterly publication is expected in October, covering the period January to June 2018 (quarter 1 and 2).
Claims management companies may ‘cold call’ people saying that they have records that you were in an accident. They claim to have got your information from the national road accident database or a governmental body. This is not correct.
There is no national database of accidents with names, telephone numbers and addresses. Government departments do not hold any of this information and they would not supply it to anyone under any circumstances.
Most of the statistics are based on road accidents reported to the police (Stats19 system). These provide detailed statistics about the circumstances of personal injury road accidents, including the types of vehicles involved and the consequent casualties.
Other sources directly related to road safety are also used, including hospital admissions, death registrations, coroners’ reports, national travel survey, crime survey from England and Wales and statistics on breath tests and motoring offences from the Home Office and Ministry of Justice.
An index sheet of all road accidents and safety statistical tables is available.
The following road safety statistical releases are published during the year:
- Reported road casualties in Great Britain: main results (June) - first release of key statistics on casualties and accidents reported to police
- Reported road casualties in Great Britain: quarterly provisional estimates (August, November, February) - main quarterly statistics, no release for final quarter of the year as this is covered by the annual results
- Reported road casualties in Great Britain: annual reports (September) - detailed data and analyses of road casualties, with articles presenting further analysis on specific road safety topics. On rare occasions the figures that were first published in June may be revised at this point. This only happens when police forces identify significant changes after June.
- Reported road casualties in Great Britain: estimates for accidents involving illegal alcohol levels (August) - an annual statistical release providing provisional estimates on accidents involving drinking and driving in Great Britain
Other ad-hoc surveys or factsheets are also published from time to time.
Detailed guidance about Stats19 data and other road safety data is available.
Background information on road safety statistics
Statistics on road safety in Great Britain are mostly based on accidents reported to the police via the Stats19 system. This system allows police forces to report all personal-injury accidents to the department. It does not collect any information about damage-only accidents. Information on Stats19 can be found in the report form and the guidance document used by the police when completing the form.
Comparisons with death registration statistics show that very few, if any, road accident fatalities are not reported to the police. However, it has long been known that a considerable proportion of non-fatal casualties are not known to the police, as hospital, survey and compensation claims data all indicate a higher number of casualties than are reported.
The department produces an annual ‘best estimate’ of the total number of road casualties in Great Britain each year, including those not reported to police. This is derived primarily from National Travel Survey (NTS) data. The latest such estimates, along with a description of how the have been derived and their limitations, are set out in an annual article published in the ‘Reported road casualties Great Britain: annual report’.
The Stats19 data are therefore not a complete record of all injury accidents and this should be borne in mind when using and analysing the data. However, they remain the most detailed, complete and reliable single source of information on road casualties covering the whole of Great Britain, in particular for monitoring trends over time.
Some of the statistics published in the annual report are based on linking Stats19 data and hospital admissions data (HES).
Personal and sensitive information
The road accident data provided to the Department by the police do not include any names, addresses or telephone numbers.
It is not unusual for claims management companies to call member of the public claiming that they got their name and telephone number from the national road accident database or from a governmental agency. This is not correct, no government agency or department holds names or addresses of people who have been in road traffic accidents. Even if a body did hold this information, they would not release it as it is protected under the Data Protection Act.
If you have been contacted in such a way, it is most likely to be as a result of cold calling or random number dialling. If you are able to get a contact name and number for the company you can report them to the Claims Management Regulator.
However, the Stats19 data do include variables which we regard as sensitive. These include: drivers’ and casualties’ home postcodes, breath test results and contributory factors. These variables are all withheld from the public downloads of the raw data so they are not disclosed. The sensitive variables are only released in very limited circumstances
Researchers from recognised research institutes can apply for access to the sensitive variables. Any application needs to include a short description of the research proposal and how the sensitive variables will be used. Research work can carried out under an end-user licence which stipulates that researchers cannot release the raw data, attempt to match to other data to identify individuals, or disclose any information about individuals.
We supply the postcode information to NHS Digital. They use the information to match police-reported casualty data to hospital data (HES). We then receive anonymised clinical data back. NHS Digital do not provide any names, address or other identifiable data to the department and they destroy the data once the match has been completed. We only use the resulting matched dataset to produce aggregated statistics.
Historical archived reports
Most of the statistics published in this series are National Statistics. Road accident and safety statistics was assessed by the UK Statistics Authority and confirmed as National Statistics in July 2009 and again in 2013.
Pre-release access list
The post holders given access to these statistics up to 24 hours prior to release are available in the road accident and safety statistics pre-release access list.