Road Accident Data Collection Form Design Research Project

1 Introduction

STATS19 is a standard set of data that are collected by the police following personal injury accidents on the public road. The data are collated by local authorities, Transport Scotland and the Department for Transport and are used nationally to monitor trends, inform policy and to identify areas for action. There is no national data collection form; the protocol simply describes what data should be collected and how it should be submitted. In 2013 eight legacy police forces in Scotland merged and formed Police Scotland and therefore there are likely to be differences to the data collection across the force.

The aim of this project was to review the currently used versions of the STATS19 form across the different legacy Police forces in Scotland and produce a new form that incorporates recommendations for improvement. The form could potentially be rolled out nationally by Police Scotland to help improve the quality of the personal injury road accident data collection process in Scotland. The content of the STATS19 data is reviewed every five years as part of the quinquennial review across Great Britain, meaning that variables and the information collected could not be considered as part of this work. Therefore, this project was focussed on the design of the form and any changes that could be made to improve the completeness and accuracy of the data collected in Scotland.

In order to achieve this aim, a four-stage approach was used beginning with an evaluation of existing evidence relating to both general form design for non-specialists and the design and use of the STATS19 form as well as a consultation with stakeholders. The information gathered in these two stages, supplemented by an internal expert workshop informed the design of a revised STATS19 form. The final stage of the project was to test the form. This was achieved by developing a series of vignettes (fictional accident case studies) and approaching the Police

Officers from the consultation to complete them based on the revised form and the form that they currently use. This enabled us to review the impact the revised form had on accuracy and consistency of data input.

Following feedback on the revised form and the analysis of the data received relating to the vignettes, the output from this project is a tested, revised version of the STATS19 form designed (based on user feedback) to have an improved, more user-friendly layout that can help unify the data collection and recording process among Police Officers in Scotland hopefully leading to greater data quality.

In this report, we present results from all phases of the work. Section 2 presents the overall methodology for this research project. Section 3 provides the results for the literature review, Section 4 details results from the consultation with STATS19 users including issues known to Transport Scotland about the forms. Section 5 details of the methodology employed for the development of the revised form and the format of a series of vignettes to test the revised form. The results of this testing (both quantitative and qualitative) can be found in Section 6. Finally, conclusions and recommendations are discussed in Section 7.