At least 7,000 very seriously injured accident victims a year – targeted measures required

Accident researchers have been demanding for some time that statistics should be kept not just of fatalities but also of very seriously injured accident victims – and that these should be subjected to particular analysis. However, the official statistics only have categories for minor injuries and serious injuries. The latter category is of limited value because an injury is categorized as serious when the victim remains in hospital for 24 hours. The UDV (German Insurers Accident Research) has therefore come up with a definition based on the Injury Severity Score (ISS) and proposes that this should be used for the statistics in Germany.

In a 14-month study in one region in southern Germany, the UDV worked with police, fire services, rescue control centers and hospitals, recording all accident victims with "very serious injuries", based on the new definition, and analyzing both their injuries and the accident circumstances. After extrapolating the findings from this region to Germany as a whole, it is now possible to give a more reliable estimate of the number of people in the country who are suffering these very serious injuries: around 7,000. This is a significantly higher figure than the number of fatalities.