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India has the highest number of road traffic fatalities in the world, with at least 14 people dying on our roads every hour. This growing trend of serious road accidents has created an urgent need to understand the primary factors involved in these crashes and in the resulting severe injuries and fatalities. The most important part to solve this problem is to identify the problems in the first place. For this, it becomes necessary that we understand the accidents taking place in our country, which is explained only by real world accident data. In order to improve the safety of highways and automobiles for all road users, a consortium of safety researchers and vehicle manufacturers has come together to collect first-hand, detailed and consistent crash and injury data for traffic accidents on Indian roads. After 3 years of pilot studies, a database has been developed exclusively for recording data from real World accidents occuring on Indian roads, named Road Accident Sampling System India, RASSI. RASSI contains more than 450+ variables, including infrastructure, injury and accident reconstruction data collected by first-hand-on-site crash investigations and in-depth accident data collection for road accidents in India.

Birth of RASSI

Since 2008, a series of small sample studies have been conducted by trained researchers from JP Research India. The genesis of what would eventually become RASSI began with a passenger car crash analysis study undertaken with the support of insurance companies in Chennai. This led to short-term accident studies on National Highways in the districts of Kanchipuram and Coimbatore with the co-operation of the Tamil Nadu State police. These initial sample studies provided not only good accident data for analysis, but also encouraging experiences with police support in accident notification. Based on the experience from such sample studies, a robust methodology was developed to perform in-depth accident data collection and research on Indian roads. A relational database was also developed to record the scientific data recorded from each accident investigated by the researchers. Some OEMs came forward to support the continuation of this study on a yearly basis and so, in 2011, the in-depth data collection system was conducted for a one-year period in Coimbatore district. This system of in-depth data collection was named RASSI.

RASSI Database Management

The accidents are investigated by researchers trained by experienced international experts. The data so collected are coded in the RASSI database. This analytical database is a comprehensive database designed and developed for Indian conditions, and is based on our understanding of international databases such as the National Automotive Sampling System Crashworthiness Data System(NASS-CDS) of USA, German In-Depth Accident Study (GIDAS) of Germany and Co-Operative Crash Injury Study (CCIS) from UK.

To ensure correct coding and interpretation, a coding manual has also been developed so that researchers and other RASSI database users have a common understanding of the data coded. No personal or proprietary information is coded in RASSI, and the collected data are used for educational and research purposes only. Researchers anonymize the data and make it a point that no personal data involving any names, addresses of victims, vehicle numbers, etc. are collected in this database. Measures are taken to remove all details from the system that can lead back to the identification of an accident vehicle or a victim of an accident.

After the data is coded in the RASSI database, it undergoes a technical review by another researcher, following which a number of system validations are conducted to check the quality and reliability of data entry. Once the case is reviewed and validated, it is considered completed and signed off by the researcher in charge of the case as ready for delivery. The entire process involving crash investigation, accident reconstruction, injury coding and correlation, reviewing and quality control is completed within 70 days from the date of notification of the accident.



Study Locations and Sponsors

This study has been carried out in Coimbatore since 2011 and in Pune from 2012, collecting in-depth data for more than 300 accidents each year from two research locations. A new research location has been operational in Ahmedabad since Feb 2014, and is a next step in expanding this research throughout the country, with an ultimate goal of understanding road accidents on a national level. This study is sponsored by automotive giants Such as --–

Robert Bosch GmbH Nissan Motor Company Daimler AG Renault SAS Hyundai Motor Company
Honda Car India Autoliv, Inc. Maruti-Suzuki, Inc. JP Research, Inc.