The STATS19 system used by all police forces in Great Britain to report road accidents applies a 30-day criterion for recording deaths, so the official statistics for road accidents include not only those who died during or immediately after an accident but also those who died up to a month later. The actual date of death is not included in the STATS19 form, so TRL has recently carried out research to identify the date for those who are known to have died as a result of the road accidents that occurred in 1997. This report presents various detailed analyses of the survival time that were calculated from the data. The survival time distributions are compared with the distributions found in an earlier investigation of the fatal accidents in this country in 1985, and with the distributions from several other countries. A common feature of these distributions is that over 80 per cent of fatalities die within 24 hours of the accident, and this percentage has tended to rise over the years. The reasons for the rise are examined - as far as the available data permit. (A)

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