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Definitions And Explanatory Notes

Definitions and Explanatory Notes

The following definitions and explanatory notes are provided to clarify some of the terms used in the text, tables and graphs in the reports.

Road Traffic Accident :
A road traffic accident is an accident, incident, event, collision or crash  between two or more vehicles, a vehicle and a train, a vehicle and a cyclist, a vehicle and a pedestrian, a vehicle and an animal, a vehicle and a fixed object, such as a bridge, building, tree, post, etc, or a single vehicle that overturned on or near a public road.  An accident is a single road traffic incident, regardless of the number of vehicles or persons involved.

Degrees of Accidents :
Road traffic accidents are classified in the following four categories in accordance with the severity thereof :

  • Fatal accident : an accident resulting in the in the death of  one or more persons. The persons killed may be drivers and passengers of vehicles, or cyclists and pedestrians. Such accidents can include serious and slight injuries.
  • Major accident : an accident in which one or more persons are seriously injured.
  • Minor accident : an accident in which one or more persons are slightly injured.

The above three categories are jointly referred to as casualty accidents.

  • Damage only accident : an accident in which no-one was killed or injured and resulted in damage to the vehicle or vehicles and/or other property only.

Degrees of Casualties :
 Casualties or injuries are classified in the following three categories in accordance with the severity thereof:

  • Fatality : person or persons killed during or immediately after an accident, or death within 6 days after an accident happened as a direct result of such accident.
  • Serious injury : person/s sustained injuries to such an extent that hospitalisation is required. Serious injuries include fractures, crushings, concussion, internal injuries, severe cuts and lacerations, severe shock, etc which require medical treatment, hospitalisation and/or confinement to bed.
  • Slight injury : person/s sustained minor cuts and bruises, sprains and light shock which may be treated at the scene of the accident or at home.

Rates and Trends :
Comparison of figures such as the number of accidents in one year with that of a following year does not provide a true reflection on increases or decreases, or whether one region or country has less accidents than another. The number of vehicles on the road, travel in terms of total distances covered, fuel sales or number of inhabitants are usually used as a reasonable basis to provide a more acceptable foundation for this purpose. Therefore, in order to “equalise” information for comparison purposes between different time periods, regions, provinces and countries, accident statistics and related information are usually expressed as “rates”, for example : the number of accidents per 10 000 registered vehicles, etc.  The following  rates are referred to in this report :

  • Casualty rates in terms of the degree of accidents :
    • Severity of Fatal Crashes or Fatality Rate : the mean number of persons killed per fatal accident. This rate refer to the severity of fatal accidents - the more persons killed per fatal accident the more severe the accident. More severe accidents are indicative of the higher impact of such accidents, possibly resulting from higher speeds, drivers and passengers not wearing seatbelts, more vehicles involved in single accidents, or more high occupancy vehicles, such as buses and minibuses involved in accidents.
    • Casualty rate : the mean number of casualties (deaths and serious and slight injuries)  per casualty accident.
  • Some other rates :
    • Fatality rate per human population : The fatality rate per 100 000 population is calculated by dividing the number of fatalities by the population, in hundred thousands, of the relevant region, province or country.
    • Casualty rate per human population : Similar to  the fatality rate, the casualty rate per 100 000 population is calculated by dividing the number of casualties by the population, in hundred thousands, of the relevant region, province or country.
    • Accident rate per vehicle population : The accident rate per 10 000 vehicle population is calculated by dividing the number of accidents by the vehicle population, in ten thousands, of the relevant region, province or country.
    • Accident rate per distance or kilometres travelled by vehicles: The accident rate per 100 million vehicle kilometres travelled is calculated by dividing the number of accidents by the combined distance travelled by all motorised vehicles, in hundred millions, within the relevant region, province or country. The distance travelled  is usually calculated in terms of the number of the different types of vehicles, mean fuel consumption per vehicle type and fuel sales.
  • Trends :
     Trends are used to indicate increases or decreases in the number of accidents, casualties and rates. Trends are usually expressed in terms of percentage (%) increase or decrease from the previous corresponding period to the current period under consideration, usually one year.

Registering Authority :
A registering authority is an agent that has been appointed by the Member of the Executive  Council (MEC) for Transport  of a Province to register and licence the vehicles of owners who reside in a defined area within the Province concerned. The MEC of a Province also has to define such areas within his/her Province.

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