Open Access Research article

Defining a common set of indicators to monitor road accidents in the European Union

Sara Farchi1, Nunzio Molino1*, Paolo Giorgi Rossi1, Piero Borgia1, Michael Krzyzanowski2, Dafina Dalbokova2, Rokho Kim2 and the European Road Accident Indicator Working Group

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Prevention, Agency for Public Health of the Lazio Region, Rome, Italy

2 WHO European Centre for Environment and Health, Bonn, Germany

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Public Health 2006, 6:183  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-6-183

Published: 11 July 2006



currently road accidents are mostly monitored through mortality and injury rates. This paper reports the methodology and the results of a project set forth by the European Union (EU) and coordinated by the WHO aimed at identifying and evaluating a core set of indicators to monitor the causal chain of road accident health effects. The project is part of the ECOEHIS (Development of Environment and Health Indicators for European Union Countries).


a group of experts (WG), identified 14 indicators after a review of the information collected at the EU level, each of them representing a specific aspect of the DPSEEA (Driving, Pressure, State, Exposure, Effect, Action) model applied and adapted to the road accidents.

Each indicator was scored according to a list of 16 criteria chosen by the WG. Those found to have a high score were analysed to determine if they were compatible with EU legislation and then tested in the feasibility study.


11 of the 14 indicators found to be relevant and compatible with the criteria of selection were proposed for the feasibility study. Mortality, injury, road accident rate, age of vehicle fleet, and distance travelled are the indicators recommended for immediate implementation.


after overcoming the limitations that emerged (absence of a common definition of death by road accident and injury severity, underestimation of injuries, differences in information quality) this core set of indicators will allow Member States to carry out effective internal/external comparisons over time.