CAPIC ANALYSIS: STATS19 COLLISION DATA

Countries Covered: Wales
Date: 2005

CAPIC has analyzed STATS19 data in Wales, which details the nature and location of the collision and a crude classification of injury severity.  The data are very useful for mapping the locations of collisions to plan road safety interventions.  These analysis were performed for years ranging from 1999 to 2004.

The police should be called to all road traffic collisions in which at least one person is injured. A form called STATS 19 is completed by the police, which detail the nature and location of the collision and a crude classification of injury severity. The data are supplied to local authorities for checking and a subset of the data sent to the Welsh Assembly Government and Department for Transport and appear in several publications. The data are very useful for mapping the locations of collisions to plan road safety interventions. However, the data are not entirely complete or accurate. Comparing hospital data with the STATS 19 data shows that more people injured in road traffic collisions attend hospital than are recorded by the police. The STATS 19 classification of injuries between killed, serious, and slight is also problematic. The statistics on killed are very accurate, but the division between serious and slight is problematic. The apparent seriousness of injuries changes over time and one cannot expect police officers to be confidently able to judge the large grey area between ‘serious’ and ‘slight’. There is evidence from studies that whilst the police both over-and underestimate serious injuries, underestimates form the larger group. As many official analyses use a combination of Killed and Serious Injuries (KSI), the fact that KSI is usually dominated by the number of serious injuries (usually by a factor of 10), changes in the interpretation of ‘serious’ between and within police forces over time can make it difficult to interpret such data.

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