The history of Road Accident Investigation Teams in
Finland goes back to 1968, when the activity
was started, and since then the Teams have been studying
the causes behind most of the fatal motor
accidents. The case study method applied raised
criticism, and a systematic development was started
in 1978. This report summarises that work, which
comprises three phases.
Initially the existing activity and its importance were
analysed, and the need for development charted.
The work of the Teams has become a clearly-defined
element in traffic safety work. It forms a link
between the practical measures and research, between the
different levels of administration, and even
between the different subfields.
The second phase consisted of a systematic analysis of
the case-study methods, based on a review
available literature. The old Finnish mode of study was
then described accordingly and defined as an
extensively-developed application of causal chain
thinking. A more modern viewpoint was suggested,
along with improvements in objectivity.
On the basis of the above a new methodology was suggested
and finally tested in practice as the third
phase of the development work.
The new method is in two parts: reconstruction of the
accident and psychological analysis of information flow.
We are not interested in the causes of accidents as such,
but rather in the traffic as a system.
In the analysis based on the reconstruction we attempt to
exclude as many as possible of the seven
defined accident factors. This part of the investigation
is a purely logical conclusion based on objective on-site
In the psychological analysis of information flow we
define the information which would have been
necessary in order to avoid the accident, and the
information about the situation that the driver actually
received. From this we try to ascertain whether the lack
of information causing the accident was due to
a mechanical, perceptual, or cognitive filter.
The result of the investigation is a detailed description
of the accident and of the analyses carried out.
|Place of Publication||Espoo|
|Publisher||VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland|
|Number of pages||128|
|Publication status||Published - 1989|
|MoE publication type||D4 Published development or research report or study|
|Series||Valtion teknillinen tutkimuskeskus. Tutkimuksia - Research Reports|
- traffic accidents
- traffic safety
- accident investigations
- motor vehicle accidents