Core data for road safety research

Within this (continuous) project, the SWOV activities consist of obtaining, improving and making available the basic data that is necessary for research and for identifying developments. Using the new developments in the field of Big Data, SWOV also examines the reliability of links between Big Data and  traditional road safety data. In addition SWOV investigates the possibilities for opening up new sources that also contain road safety data. Finally,  SWOV takes care of reliable storage of the road safety data to which it has access.

Research questions

  1. Which data sources are available and how reliable are they?
  2. What is the total number of serious road injuries in the Netherlands?
  3. To what extent can data driven linking methods lead to a better estimate of the number of serious road injuries?
  4. What is the quality of the linkage between traditional road safety sources and new sources?
  5. How useful are news sites as an additional source for crash data?


Reliable data are required for monitoring and analysis of road safety developments. The sources providing these data, however, are constantly on the move. New resources offer new opportunities to gain more insight in the development of road safety and the effectiveness of measures. However, the usefulness of these data depends on their availability and quality. Hence, knowledge about this subject is essential.  

The field of data does not only offer opportunities, there are also potential threats. Examples are the decreasing data quality and the availability of data in relation with to privacy legislation. Within this project we work together with other stakeholders so as to deal with the potential threats in the best possible manner and to minimize threats whenever possible.

The information from different data sources is made available to SWOV researchers as well as to other parties for the purpose of research and road safety policy. In addition SWOV also gives quality impulse to the data by enriching and checking the data.

For national policy SWOV makes as an estimate of the total number of serious traffic injuries in Netherlands in 2016 that is as accurate as possible. In addition, SWOV examines the possibility of making such estimates at a regional level by using smart links and the use of reliability intervals.

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Start date: 01 Jan 2017
End date: 31 Dec 2017