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CARE: Community Road Accident Database

    In an area where road safety standards as well as rules and regulations vary widely, the European Union sees more than 40,000 fatalities and 1.7 million injuries from road accidents each year. The European Road Safety Programme is part of Europe‚Äôs answer to help to resolve this problem. The programme focuses on information, prevention and damage limitation. CARE helps further improve road safety through the provision of key information on European road accidents, allowing useful analyses to be made.

Last update: 03/2004

What is CARE?
How does it work?
Who benefits?
The role of IDA
Technical information


What is CARE?

CARE is the European centralised database on road accidents which result in death or injury across the EU. CARE provides Member States access to this central database which is hosted by the European Commission at the Luxembourg data centre. The CARE system is a powerful tool that makes it possible to identify and quantify road safety problems throughout Europe's roads. Users can evaluate the efficiency of road safety measures, determine the relevance of Community actions and as exchange studies.

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The key objectives of CARE are to enable:

  • Identification and quantification of road safety problems;
  • Evaluation of the efficiency of road safety measures;
  • Analyses to determine the relevance of Community actions and facilitate the exchange of experience in this field.

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How does it work?

To take a concrete scenario:
Each country produces its own road accident statistics. CARE pulls together non-confidential data from across the EU Member States into one central database. Each year, each country is responsible for producing road safety statistics, which it then submits in the form of a report to the European Commission. The reports exclude confidential information like the precise location of the accident and the brand of car.

Each participating Member State has its own standards to adhere to as well as statistical formats. In addition to the report mentioned above, each country sends to the European Commission the structure of the data and their own definitions.

CARE has developed a framework of transformation rules from an analysis of the original structure and definitions to ensure the compatibility of data variables and values. In order to harmonise statistics from across the EU Member States, CARE applies the necessary transformation rules to standardise the information. Harmonising the data contained inside the database allows international comparisons and exchange of experiences.

In addition, a CARE website has been created on Europa and some reports are available to the public. This site also includes a glossary of definitions concerning the categories of information required to build statistics on road traffic accidents. These include:

  • Person Class;
  • Gender;
  • Age group;
  • Vehicle group;
  • Area type;
  • Motorways;
  • Junctions;
  • Collision type;
  • Lighting conditions;
  • Weather conditions;
  • Day of the week.

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  • Comparing national data sets and definition rules, a set of 38 variables containing 488 common-definition values were identified.
  • The CARE website was made available on the Internet in July 2002. The information provided concerns data related to accidents that have occurred since 1991.
  • The number of statistics and graphs available is being gradually increased.

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Who benefits?

Public Administrations: Thanks to the participation of Member State Administrations, the European Commission can produce detailed multi-dimensional reports through a user-friendly web interface.

Citizens: Ultimately CARE allows decision-makers to produce better road safety policies aimed to reduce road accidents across Europe.

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The role of IDA

The IDA Programme has financed CARE over a number of years. The database was developed in line with the IDA Architecture Guidelines and uses TESTA as its backbone infrastructure.

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Technical information

Project start date


Project completion date


Project status


Responsible service

DG Energy and Transport

Project coordinator

Jean-Paul Repussard


Countries involved

All EU Member States

Public website

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