TIRF’s National Fatality Database was initially developed in the early 1970s to serve as a comprehensive source of objective data on alcohol use among persons fatally injured in motor vehicle crashes occurring both on and off public highways in Canada. It contains records of persons fatally injured in motor vehicle crashes for seven provinces (from 1973 to 2021) and all Canadian jurisdictions (from 1987 to 2021). It is the only road safety database in Canada that includes both: (1) police-reported data and (2) coroners’ and medical examiners’ reports. Collectively, this database contains complete data on victims, crashes, vehicles, and toxicology. Police-reported data include information on the victim (age and sex, position in the vehicle) and details of the crash (vehicle type, collision time and date). Toxicological data on alcohol and drug use among fatally injured victims are obtained from coroners’ and medical examiners’ data which are based on chemical tests of body fluid samples (typically blood).
Each year, TIRF uses the Database to examine various contemporary road safety issues and explore the magnitude and characteristics of drivers killed in road crashes and the role of different contributing factors. The Fatality Database has been used to examine fatality data on drivers of various ages (e.g., teens, adult and aging drivers), vulnerable road users (pedestrians, motorcyclists, and cyclists), distracted and fatigued drivers, and the use of safety equipment (e.g., seatbelts, helmets). It is also a reliable source of information on the magnitude of the alcohol and drug crash problem. Data on both magnitude and trends in road safety problems is examined.