Most of the statistics are based on 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, coroner’s 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.
Road safety statistics enquiries
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 in Great Britain: quarterly provisional estimates (August, November, February). Key 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
- 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. The notes and definitions for all road safety statistics can be found in the link below.
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 which can be found below.
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 Police accident data (STATS19) and Hospital Admissions data (HES). A report providing technical information about the methodology used for the linkage is available below.
Links to earlier data, reports and publications can be found in:
Accident-level data for reported road accidents since 2004 are available at data.gov.uk/dataset/road-accidents-safety-data
Ad-hoc survey results are available at the following link:
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.
Pre-release access list