The road traffic accidents are multi-factorial events in both their causes and outcomes. These require a systematic analysis to evolve possible solutions and their countermeasures to improve the safety of the accident locations. These countermeasures are also linked to actual delivery from a wide range of agencies and community organizations, all of whom are in need of reliable accident data.
The accident data collected from the accident sites, through the existing arrangements, are grossly inadequate due to the fact that those are collected only for FIR (First Information Report) as a crime record, and strictly meeting only the requirement of adjudication. Any scientific analysis for investigating the causes, linking them to the damage caused to property or injuries caused to occupants of the vehicle and other road users, is not possible using the present set of data. These data are generally made available by Police Department, for whom this is only a crime record. The safety issues related to the road, vehicle and road users, which actually lead to the road traffic accidents (i.e. road crashes) have not been possible to be tackled till now in India and most other developing countries, and even in some of the higher income countries, due to this single reason.
The reason that the accident data (crash data) is not collected fully from the accident site or scene, is the difficulty of the Police officer who collects the data from the site, to fill up a long and unhandy format which is supposed to contain all the required information of the crash. Further, there is no incentive or training or any convenient system given to the police personnel to do this task. A complete and systematic set of data from accident site/scene can address all the issues, identified in the Haddon matrix more than five decades ago, through countermeasures designed for pre-crash, during crash and post-crash safety concerns most logically.
There should be a unique and scientifically designed accident data recording system, which can be followed uniformly throughout the country, so as to collect and maintain the accident data hierarchically for convenient use for reporting at the police station, district, state/province and country level. It should require minimum effort in collection of the data and in transporting or transmitting it to the storage system.
The Road Accident Data Recorder (RADaR) is an innovative application developed for the purpose of accident data (crash data) recording, which is otherwise carried out manually by concerned police personnel as explained above. RADaR is a mobile application developed for Android Tablet, for paper-less accident data collection digitally, from the accident site/scene. Further, it is a device free delivery of the application to the customers. This means that the RADaR application shall be supplied in a pen drive and the customer can load the application in the tablet of his/her choice and the system will operate with a central web-based server for data storage. An Operating Manual describes the use of the RADaR application in the tablet, data transmission to server, accessing data hierarchically from Police Station, City Authority, District Authority, etc and use of the reporting tool. The system of RADaR application is shown in a pictorial representation of the hierarchical set up, as shown in Figure 1.
Working of RADaR Application
The RADaR application is loaded in any suitable tablet which has Android OS. Every Police Station in a State/Province/District/City/Municipality should have one or more tablets loaded with RADaR application for collection of scientific accident (crash) data with great ease. When there is an intimation to the Police station about a road accident (road crash), a trained Policeman will go to the location of accident/crash with the RADaR (a tablet loaded with RADaR application), and will be expected to collect all the necessary data related to the accident/crash using RADaR through a completely menu-driven touch screen arrangement of the tablet. RADaR is equipped with GSM network, GPS, digital still and video cameras and sound recording system. After the data is collected using menu-driven touch screen system of RADaR, it will be first saved in the memory of the tablet. About 5-10 accidents can be fully recorded before transmitting the data to the central server or data repository. Additional data can be added by editing the particular accident record at the hospital or any other location. If there are central databases of vehicle and driver licensing, RADaR application can draw the required information from those. After completing all the data fields of the records, the data from the tablet will be transmitted to a web-based central server. On successful transfer of data, the memory space in the tablet shall be emptied automatically for further use of the tablet for recording fresh accident data. As the tablet with RADaR application will be identified with Police Station, the users of the data stored in the central server will also be identified hierarchically, for the purpose of providing access, at the level of Police Station, District, State/Province or City/Municipality, and the country as a whole. Thus, each accident/crash recorded using RADaR application will have a unique reference code. The access rights of the users, for the data in the central server, will therefore, be provided through secured userID and password, hierarchically for their respective jurisdictions.
The data in the web-based server will be stored police stationwise, and will be used further by the supervisors at the Police Station for editing and updation, etc. Thus the database will be accessible to all those authorized persons, through internet network, and once the data is cleared or approved by the supervisor at the police station level, these data will be accessible to supervisors at next higher level of hierarchy for their viewing and use. The data cannot be edited at any other level except the supervisors at the police station. The Police Station also cannot edit it any further once it is cleared for viewing at other levels of hierarchy.
RADaR Reporting Tool
The data collected using RADaR application from the jurisdictions of various police stations will get accumulated in the central server, which can be accessed by supervisors at any level from the Police Station up to state/province or country. The road accident (crash) is important for many planning and management functions of the roads. Accordingly the RADaR reporting tool (i.e. RADMS) loaded in the central server provides the facility for analysis and generation of reports about the road accident situation in the jurisdiction of a police station up to a state/province or the country as a whole. The user is free to choose the period for which the data is to be analysed and reported. Thus RADaR reporting tool provides a comprehensive report by cross classifying the accident data for the user selected period (duration) and selected jurisdiction (area/network: district, city, province, etc) including causal analysis. The outputs or reports from reporting tool will be used by policy makers, politicians, lawyers, engineers, enforcement and education agencies, health professionals, researchers, insurance companies, vehicle manufacturers and community groups. These secured and scientific data on road accidents (road crashes), collected and managed with greater ease, are expected to revolutionize the road safety engineering across all boundaries
Product Details of Tablet
The application (RADaR) for accident data collection is developed for embedding into an electronic tablet, with the following features:
- Ability to use the menu driven application (i.e. RADaR) with touch screen facility
- GPS functionality for recording coordinates of the accident site automatically for exact position of the crash in the road network, or even within an intersection
- Data transfer capability with GSM connection for easy transporting of data remotely
- Digital camera/video interface and voice recording facility for capturing accident scene in 5 to 10 photographs and/or video
- Web-link interface for loading the RADaR application into the tablet
- A comprehensive data recording format (pre-designed and embedded in the application) appear on screen progressively, and it is filled by menu-driven (pull-down menu) touch screen facility or typing a few data (name etc) using soft key on the screen
- The location of the accident (either the road junction or straight/curved roadway stretch) and the collision diagrams (showing actual direction of movement of colliding vehicles and other road users at the time of accident) are available from built-in pictorial menu.
- GPS facility provides the Google map for locating the accident location in the road network. Also, the collision diagram can be located and oriented (at exact point of crash) for recording the actual spot and direction of movement of the vehicles at the time of accident.
- The application works on tablet by rechargeable Lithium ion battery or on-line power source.
- Sufficient memory of minimum 2 GB to capture complete data for 5 to 10 accidents including photographs before each transmission to central server.
Supply of RADaR Application
- The RADaR application shall be supplied through secured web-link for installation on tablet of customer’s choice.
- The RADaR application and reporting tool are now readily available in English, and also available in any other regional language of India as well as in international languages.
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