In 1999, the Department commissioned phase 1 of the 'On The Spot' (OTS 1) accident research project to collect data on all types of road accidents. Accidents were investigated in-depth to study the influences on accident causation and injury mechanisms of human involvement, vehicle design and highway design. The project ran for 3 years and produced a database of 1500 cases collected in two geographical areas and covering all road users and injury severities. During these three years, the original methodology was perfected and the teams' expertise was developed. The work was funded jointly by DfT's Vehicle Standards and Engineering Division (VSE), Road Safety Division (RS) and the Highways Agency.
The objective of the study is to investigate accidents, to collect and correlate crash data to improve the understanding of the influences of human involvement, vehicle design and highway design on accident causation and injury mechanisms.
This is to be achieved by researchers attending the scene of a known statistical sample of accidents in a similar time frame to the emergency services. Some additional data is to be collected by later follow-up methods.
The objectives are to achieve:
- a greater understanding of injury mechanism to road accident victims and injury outcome;
- a greater understanding of the human contribution to accident causation and injury outcome;
- a greater understanding of the contribution of highway design to accident causation and injury outcome;
- support for legislation or other standards to reduce accidents and mitigate their effects through the provision of statistically valid data to focus future research on common injury and accident causation mechanisms;
- the provision of information or expert advice/experience to facilitate monitoring vehicle crash-worthiness, safety devices, highway design features, driver training and the condition of driver, vehicle and highway.
In addition to the above it shall provide access to a baseline sample of accidents allowing further specialised studies to be separately contracted to collect additional data for more specific purposes.