FIA introduces database to inform safety direction

The FIA will begin sourcing data and information from hundreds of racing accidents around the world, using the information gathered to guide the future of motor sport safety.

The FIA World Accident Database (WADB) will be used by the FIA and its National Sporting Authorities (ASNs) to log data from accidents; including vehicle and procedural information, as well as medical and other repercussions.

Jean Todt, President of the FIA, believes that the new process will help provide the best possible information for the engineering of safety solutions in motor sport.

“The database will be the next key step in the development of safety improvements,” said Mr Todt.

“A significant number of the major safety improvements made throughout motor sport have been predicated by fatal or serious accidents.

“It is difficult to talk about a particular occurrence or a change in safety procedures and technology from a hypothetical point of view.

“It is an easier task to develop procedures and technology based on actual data.

“Currently, we have accident data recorders in 25 championships around the world, which provide real car data – the introduction of the FIA World Accident Database will open up an opportunity for the world of motor sport to provide detailed information on any serious accidents that occur.

“This obviously creates greater opportunity for us to access data and use it to develop our safety regulations.”

The WADB will be populated by the the 139 ASNs around the world, all of which will have access to the web-based resource.

The ASNs will then add data from fatal and serious accidents that may occur during events across the various disciplines (including circuit racing, rallying, rallycross, off-road, and hill climb).

This data will include measurements such as acceleration and speed, descriptions of accidents, as well as the repercussions (especially medical).

The FIA, together with the FIA Institute, has conducted a pilot study into an accident database for two years with eight ASNs – and the feedback has been positive from those involved.

 “You cannot remove accidents from motor sport,” said Mr Todt.

“When you have multiple competitors on one circuit, drivers pushing the limit, as well as the mechanical side of the sport, accidents are unavoidable.

“The primary goal of the FIA is to minimise, as much as we possibly can, the harm that occurs as a result of accidents when they do happen.”

ASNs will be provided with the relevant information to access the World Accident Database in the coming days.