The National Fatality Database is a comprehensive, pan-Canadian, multi-decade set of core data for fatal motor vehicle crashes. The database was created by the TIRF in 1973 to capture data to better measure the magnitude and characteristics of, and changes in, alcohol-related motor vehicle fatalities on Canadian roads. Historically, the objective of the database has been to improve understanding about alcohol-related crashes and to inform the development of effective programs and policies to prevent and reduce these crashes. In order to study alcohol-related fatal crashes, data on all fatal crashes have been collected (e.g., to calculate the proportion of alcohol-related crashes relative to all crashes). As such, the National Fatality Database is the most comprehensive and complete source of information on fatal motor vehicle crashes in Canada, notably alcohol and drug-related crashes as well as many other road safety issues.
Notably, the National Fatality Database is used to create an annual publication, entitled the Alcohol and Drug Crash Problem in Canada. This annual report describes the magnitude and characteristics of the alcohol-crash and drug-crash problems in Canada as well as trends in these problems. Reports include data on the presence of alcohol in fatally injured drivers and pedestrians as well as data on drugs in fatally injured drivers derived from the Fatality Database. Each year, TIRF compiles information from coroner and medical examiners files regarding the results of toxicological tests for alcohol and drugs in the blood of fatally injured drivers and pedestrians. The reports briefly describe the sources of the data – the Fatality Database and Serious Injury Database – and the various indicators of the alcohol-crash problem and drug-crash problem used in this report. They also provide descriptive data on the incidence of alcohol involvement in fatal and serious injury crashes and drug involvement in fatal crashes in Canada for the most recent year as well as trends in the problem.
For many years, funding for the maintenance of the Fatality Database and the production of the Alcohol-Crash Report series was co-funded by Transport Canada and the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA). Presently, the data collection component of the Fatality Database is funded by Desjardins Insurance, and CCMTA continues to sponsor the Alcohol and Drug Crashes in Canada report series.