STATS19 is a code designating the protocol which outlines information to be collected whenever an injury crash is reported to the Police. This code is also frequently used to refer to Britain's official Road Accident Statistics, which are derived from Police STATS19 returns and compiled by the Department for Transport.
STATS19 information is of great value to road safety practitioners, but cannot be made public in its entirety for reasons of personal confidentiality. However, information derived from analysis of STATS19 data forms the basis for the annual publication of Road Casualties Great Britain, and is also a key component of the data analysis which lies behind MAST.
The information recorded about each crash under STATS19 contains three distinct elements:
- The attendant circumstances of the crash, which among other things covers
- A separate record for each vehicle involved in the crash, each of which includes
- A separate record for each casualty resulting from the crash, each of which includes
A crash is therefore represented by a single set of attendant circumstances and one or more sets of vehicle details, at least one of which must have at least one associated set of casualty details. It should be noted that not all vehicles are necessarily associated with a casualty, but every casualty must be associated with one particular involved vehicle.
Full details of how every aspect of a crash should be recorded in STATS19 are specified by STATS20.
STATS19 data must be collected for a crash only when all of the relevant conditions apply. In order to be recordable under STATS19, an incident must:
- occur on the public highway (including pavements, but excluding private roads, car parks, forecourts and similar areas)
- involve at least one vehicle (which may include non-motorised vehicles such as pedal cycles or ridden horses)
- result in an injury to at least one person (excluding death due to natural causes or confirmed suicide, injury due to unrelated illness, and injury to animals)
- be reported to the Police (either at the scene, or to a police station within 30 days)
It should be noted that these conditions are not identical to circumstances where drivers are required under the Road Traffic Act 1988 to report an accident to the Police. It is entirely possible for a crash to be legally reportable, but not recorded under STATS19: for example, if it resulted in damage to property and injury to farm animals but no injury to a person.
Conversely, it is also possible for a crash to be recordable under STATS19, even if it was reported to the Police voluntarily when there was no legal requirement to do so. For example, this could apply to a crash which involved pedal cycles but no motor vehicles; or a crash involving a single car if the only casualty was the car's owner and no property other than the car itself was damaged as a result.
STATS19 is subject to regular review, generally conducted once every five years. The most recent review changes were implemented in 1999 and again in 2005.
Among the most significant recent review changes were:
- Introduction of a revised set of contributory factors
- Changes to vehicle types, particularly for motorcycles