Implementing new road safety measures requires fundamental information about the problems that need to be solved. The two main sources of statistics and knowledge about road deaths in Sweden is in-depth studies and STRADA.
The Swedish Transport Administration's In-depth Studies of Fatal Accidents
The Swedish Transport Administration is conducting in-depth studies on all fatal accidents that occur on the roads. The knowledge from the in-depth studies is used as basic input for raising the level of road safety.
The work on in-depth studies of accidents started in 1997. In-depth studies offer an insight into why the accident was so serious that someone was killed. An important starting point for the in-depth studies is to map-out the series of events that resulted in the fatal injuries. How could the accident have been prevented?
The purpose of in-depth studies is to obtain as clear an understanding as possible of what happened before, during and after the accident occurred. All information is compiled and analysed by experts at Swedish Transport Administration, skilled in vehicle mechanics, road design, trafﬁc engineering and behavioural science. Investigators could also call on experts from the health services, police, emergency services and local authorities. The Swedish Transport Administration and other authorities and organisations use the knowledge from the studies for raising the level of road safety.
In-depth studies often lead to immediate changes to improve the road environment. Guard rails are erected near dangerous roadside areas. Forest areas are cleared on roads with poor visibility. Rocks and trees near roads are removed. Median guardrails are erected. Road signs that impair visibility are moved. Speed limits are reduced at junctions.
One important result of the in-depth studies has been the documentation of the effects of alcohol and drugs. Previously, there had only been suspicions that many drivers were under the inﬂuence of alcohol or drugs. The in-depth studies provided concrete evidence that about a quarter of drivers involved in accidents are under the inﬂuence of drugs or alcohol. This has led to an increase in efforts to stop drunk driving and to encourage the use of alcohol ignition interlocks. The in-depth studies have also increased awareness of the protection offered by seat belts and other safety equipment in vehicles.
Swedish Traffic Accident Data Acquisition (STRADA)
Since 2016, all emergency hospitals report data on persons who have sought care for an injury in a road traffic environment. STRADA is a national information system containing data on traffic accidents and injuries occurring in the Swedish road transport system. The information comes from the police and the medical care services.
With the help of web applications reports the following is reported:
- through the police all traffic accidents involving personal injury and this reporting has been nationwide in Strada since 2003.
- all Swedish emergency hospitals information on persons who have sought care for an injury in the road traffic environment and hospital reporting has been nationwide since 2016.
There is also a web application for retrieving reported data, Strada socket web. You can read how to access it here: STRADA (information in swedish only).
The Swedish Transport Agency is responsible for collecting and providing statistics on road traffic accidents with personal injury. The statistics are based on data reported by two sources, the police and emergency hospitals in Sweden. The information is stored in the Swedish Transport Agency's accident and injury database Strada.
The Swedish road safety work is based on the Zero Vision and stage goals on the way there. The current road transport target aims to:
- The number of fatalities must be halved between 2007 and 2020. This means a maximum of 220 fatalities in 2020. The target is measured by the police's reporting of fatalities as defined in the official statistics.
- The number of seriously injured road traffic should be reduced by one quarter. This means a maximum of 4 100 prognosticated serious injuries based on emergency hospitals' reporting.
Both sources complement each other and make it possible to follow up the stage goals at national and regional level. Part of the total number of people killed or injured in road traffic accidents in Sweden is reported from both sources and part from each source and some do not come to the police or emergency hospital's knowledge (dropout). Of the police reports, a subset of data constitutes official statistics.