Students Staff

09 December 2011

UK Data Archive helps BBC to map deaths on our roads

An interactive map showing the details of every road death between 1999 and 2010 has been created by the BBC using data from the UK Data Archive, based at the University of Essex in Colchester.

Between 1999 and 2010, more than 36,000 people died in traffic incidents throughout Great Britain and the BBC’s new online map shows the exact location of each incident by using information held at the UK Data Archive and available to researchers via the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS).

Visitors to the BBC website now have an easy way of quickly finding out about the safety record of roads they use or are near where they live. By entering a postcode, website users can see details down to neighbourhood level, with icons indicating the locations where either a pedestrian, bicyclist, motorcyclist, passenger or driver have died, including details such as date, time, and age at death.

The data behind the map come largely from the Road Accident Data series, deposited each year by the Department for Transport and made available for research access through the ESDS. The data and accompanying documentation are available free to registered ESDS users; there is no cost to register.

ESDS Director Matthew Woollard said: "This is a fantastic example of the value of data sharing, where publicly funded information is reused to inform public debate and provide a basis for determining effective policies – in this case, to identify and monitor especially hazardous roads and to reduce deadly collisions."

View the interactive map on the BBC website.

Learn more about the Economic and Social Data Service at

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