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Working procedure of AIB

​AIB performs thorough analyses of accidents within themes to gain a thorough knowledge and understanding of these types of accidents. The analysis methods are qualitative and focus on the interaction between road users,
roads/surroundings and the vehicles before, during and after the accident.

Figure: Working procedure 

Choice of accident themes

Data collection

Theme report 


Choice of accident themes 
When AIB chooses a new accident theme, a subject is prioritized which has, in many ways, been marked out a problem area. By choosing a theme, a starting point is taken from one or several of the following criteria:  

  • The development of the accident statistics requires closer unearthing
    and analysis
  • More knowledge is required within a particular area
  • Other research in progress needs further investigating
  • Particular types of accidents receive special awareness in the public arena
  • The Minister for Transport requests AIB to analyze a particular problem
Data collection
The collection of information on the particular accidents is performed in part in cooperation with the Police and partly as AIB’s own investigations.
When an accident occurs - material from the Police
In connection with starting a new theme, AIB enters an agreement with a range of police districts for help with the investigation. The agreement involves the Police informing AIB when an accident within the theme occurs.
The Police will also summon a car inspector to the accident location. The Police’s car inspector performs an ordinary investigation, equal to the investigation normally performed for fatal accidents and performs a car inspection which supplements AIB’s investigation. The Police also detain the implicated vehicles, until AIB’s car inspector has investigated it. AIB has access to the Police material.
AIB’s own investigations
As soon as possible after the accent, AIB’s psychologist will contact the people implicated and the witnesses to arrange interviews. In cases where the implicated cannot be interviewed (in the case of death or very serious injuries), the relatives are contacted instead. Participation in the study is voluntary. The interviews with the implicated are generally performed at their residence or in the hospital, while interviews with witnesses are done by phone.
Within a week of the accident, AIB will inspect the accident location and the implicated vehicles. The accident location is inspected by AIB’s inspection group (a road engineer, a policeman and a car inspector). The inspection consists of a detailed record of the road conditions, determination of the overview conditions, assessment of the traffic conditions etc. The party’s location before, during and after the collision is assessed, and the stretch of the road is driven as closely as possible to the party’s presumed course. This drive is video recorded. Often the inspection takes place so soon after the accident, that the marks from the accident can be recorded to supplement the Police's material.
The vehicles are inspected by a policeman and a car inspector. The inspection includes an investigation of the vehicle’s condition, a record of the damage (which is important for determining the speed and direction at the moment the collision occurs) and a comparison of the vehicles to document the actual collision. Based on the damage in the cabin the effect of the safety equipment and personal injuries are assessed.
The above mentioned is a description of the main points in a standard investigation. There are, in practice, always discrepancies. Sometimes it is not possible to perform all of the elements and sometimes there is a need for supplementary investigations. Sometimes supplementary investigations are made for all accidents within the same theme.
In addition to material from the Police’s and their own investigations, AIB gathers information from a range of authorities etc.: Information on the roads is obtained from the road authorities, e.g. maps, diagrams, traffic numbers etc. Information on the vehicles is obtained from the register of motor vehicles. Information on the implicated is obtained from the criminal register, driving license register etc. AIB’s doctor gathers further information on the injuries and their treatment from the hospitals.
Analysis and accident report
When the accident material has been collected, the course of the accident is analyzed. The first step is the preparation of a detailed report in which the circumstances of the accident are described and analyzed. The road inspector, psychologist, policeman and car inspector all contribute to the report. This is all written up, whereupon the Accident Investigation Board handle the report in two ways. This is repeated for all relevant accidents, so in the end there is one report for each accident. These accident reports are confidential and therefore only for internal use.


Theme report
When there is an accident report of each processed accident, an analysis is performed across the individual accident reports. Finally, based on this analysis, a concerted theme report is prepared, containing the following:


  • A review of the accident and injury factors and underlying factors
  • A description of the special issues concerning the accidents
  • AIB’s recommendations for initiatives to the prevention of this type of accident AIB’s general recommendations for accident prevention is based on an analysis of the measures which, according to the analysis, could have prevented or limited the individual accidents.

The theme report is AIB’s interpretation of the results within the specific theme. All data used in the theme report has been depersonalized.

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