Studies in Sweden have raised doubts as to the accuracy of road accident statistics in relation to serious and slight injuries. To explore the reliability of British statistics an analysis has been made of a sample of 1200 patients injured in road accidents and attending hospital. These same cases have been traced in the police records on which official statistics are based. All fatal cases were correctly notified but two types of discrepancy occurred among injuries. In a small number of cases re-classification of "serious" and "slight" seemed to be required. A more important discrepancy was that about one-sixth of serious injuries and one third of slight injuries known to the hospital did not appear in the police notifications. This is not surprising in view of the limited scope of compulsory notification. The police mostly know of accidents by the calling of an ambulance or as a result of allegations of traffic infringements. Thus many cases where an ambulance is not called or in which a driver only is injured and no other vehicle is involved, escape notification. Injuries to pedal cyclists are particularly poorly notified. Less than one quarter of those known to the hospital appeared in the official statistics. It is concluded that similar comparisons of hospital and police information should be made elsewhere to confirm whether this sample is representative of the national rate of notification. In the meantime it is suggested that figures for injuries to pedal cyclists and for slight injuries in general should be used with caution. /AUTHOR/

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  • Corporate Authors:

    Pergamon Press, Incorporated

    Maxwell House, Fairview Park
    Elmsford, NY  United States  10523
  • Authors:
    • Bull, J P
    • Roberts, B J
  • Publication Date: 1973-4

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00262119
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Safety Council Safety Research Info Serv
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-013 293
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 12 1974 12:00AM