Authentic accident scene

Welcome to the DaCoTA on-line manual for in-depth road accident investigators.

This aim of this website is to provide a location for the DaCoTA in-depth road accident investigation methodology, as developed by DaCoTA Work Package 2 partners. The aim is to indicate the scope, characteristics and practical requirements of the methodology. It also contains detailed information on all variables (or data fields) in the DaCoTA database. The on-line manual may be opened directly in your web browser.

Evolving Website
This website containing the DaCoTA in-depth road accident investigation methodology is structured similar to a wiki (compare Wikipedia). The website is hosted and edited by Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. The content is updated regularly so therefore, in reading this on-line manual, please note that the methodology, especially the definitions of individual database variables, may increase or change over time.

The DaCoTA project
The European Commission-funded DaCoTA project (Road safety Data Collection, Transfer and Analysis) is working to enhance data and road safety information held in the European Road Safety Observatory. The main areas of work include:

  • Developing the link between the evidence base and new road safety policies
  • Establishing a Pan-European Accident Investigation Network
  • Bringing a wide variety of data together for users to manipulate
  • Predicting accident trends, presenting data to policy-makers
  • Intelligent safety system evaluation
  • Naturalistic driving observations

Further information can be found at the Project Website

Work Package 2: The Pan-European In-depth Accident Investigation Network
A central aim of the EC-funded DaCoTA project is to identify and train crash investigation teams that will prepare for making in-depth road accident investigations across Europe. This is the work of DaCoTA Work Package 2 where the project partners are preparing harmonized, in-depth crash investigation methods and training materials. Investigating teams will train to be ready to work in a pilot study to test the Network and methods during April, May and June 2012.

Aims and Objectives for Road Safety
By increasing the number of teams across Europe that are providing accident data to a common database, DaCoTA aims to increase knowledge and understanding of European road accidents, and ultimately to improve road safety across Europe. DaCoTA supports the long term vision of an on-going, pan-European accident investigation activity providing comprehensive in-depth data that will be collated into a large-scale database.

The DaCoTA database
This on-line manual is intended to be used alongside the DaCoTA secure, on-line database system. Links are provided to the on-line manual from the database enabling investigators to see individual variable definitions when completing or browsing the database.

There are some 1500 available variables, but it should be noted that not all variables must be completed for every accident case. A subset of these variables will be presented as “core” variables that are mandatory to collect for all teams. Additional variables are completed depending on the accident scenario and individual team capabilities (during the pilot study when some teams are gaining skills and experince).

The pilot study and levels of experience
For the DaCoTA pilot study, investigating teams will start with different levels of experience and their ability to complete the methodology will therefore vary. Items of methodology are defined for four levels of team experience; new, developing, experienced retrospective and experienced on-scene teams. Team experience issues are explained further in the Methodology Outline. For any future, large scale study, the aim will be to see experienced teams to be working on-scene.


The DaCoTA Project would like to acknowledge the work and generosity of partners involved in the INTACT Project, as the DaCoTA Manual incorporates and builds on INTACT material and methodology. The INTACT Project was a three phrase pilot project, beginning in 2007, that aimed to develop a methodology for investigating traffic accidents with personal injury. The INTACT Project was completed in association with eight SAFER partners and financed by the Intelligent Vehicle Safety Systems (IVSS) research program. These partners are Volvo Cars, AB Volvo, Autoliv Development, Scania, Saab Automobile AB, Chalmers University of Technology, Sahlgrenska Academy (University of Gothenburg) and the Swedish Road Administration.

The DaCoTA project is co-financed by the European Commission Directorate General for Mobility and Transport The Pan-European In-Depth Accident Investigation Network and associated methodological developments are the responsibility of the project partners working together within DaCoTA Work Package 2. The Work Package is led by TSRC at Loughborough University with the Review and Synthesis of Existing Methodologies led by SAFER at Chalmers University. The following DaCoTA partners and contractors make up the Work Package 2 team:

CTLUniversity of Rome, Italy
Hellenic Institute of TransportGreece
Medical University of HanoverGermany
Universidad de NavarraSpain
SAFERChalmers University of Technology, Sweden
SWOVThe Netherlands
TSRCLoughborough University, UK

More information about the project and partner organisations can be found at

Contact Information

Julian HillHelen Fagerlind 
Leader of DaCoTA Work Package 2Leader of Methodology Development - Work Package 2 
Transport Safety Research CentreSAFER – Vehicle and Traffic Safety Centre 
Design School, Loughborough UniversityCHALMERS UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY 
Loughborough LE11 3TU UKP.O box 8077, 40278 Gothenburg 
Telephone: +44 (0)1509 226959Telephone: +46 (0)31 772 3613 

Recent Changes: