THE USE OF THE FATAL ACCIDENT REPORTING SYSTEM (FARS) IN EVALUATING CHARACTERISTICS OF VIRGINIA TRAFFIC FATALITIES

Highway safety studies often involve a review of accident reports in order to determine those factors involved in traffic accidents. While this is a popular approach, it often entails problems resulting from incomplete information, contradictions in the available data, and difficulties in compiling information from various sources. For these reasons, the Fatal Accident Reporting System, a computerized data base, was chosen for use in evaluating the characteristics of Virginia traffic fatalities. In particular, the Fatal Accident Reporting System (FARS) was applied to investigate the reason for the increase in traffic fatalities in Virginia in 1977 and determining their characteristics. Using data from the FARS, fatal traffic accidents in Virginia during 1976 and 1977 were compared by examining demographic characteritics of the accidents such as day of week, type of road, kind of location, and the age and sex of the drivers involved. The data were examined according to three categories; (1) accident, (2) vehicle/driver, and (3) person. It was found, however, that for all levels of factors, some data were unusable because of problems in format, insufficient information, and apparent inconsistencies in coding. The system was not found to be easily accessible and was also comparativly expensive. For these reasons, it was concluded that use of the Fatal Accident Reporting System does not appear to be the best method of evaluating characteristics of Virginia traffic fatalities. /Author/

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Presented at the 22nd Annual Meeting, October 16-19, 1978.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Human Factors Society

    1134 Montana
    Santa Monica, CA  USA  90403
  • Authors:
    • Mitchell, D
    • Lynn, C
  • Publication Date: 1978-10

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00190120
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Safety Council Safety Research Info Serv
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Proceeding
  • Contract Numbers: DOT-HS-7-01724
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: May 26 1979 12:00AM