Back to FOT Glossary
The definition of a road-traffic fatality varies from country to country. In the United States, for example, the definition used in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) FARS run by the NHTSA is a person who dies within 30 days of a crash on a US public road involving a vehicle with an engine, the death being the result of the crash. In the U.S., therefore, if a driver has a non-fatal heart attack that leads to a road-traffic crash that causes death, that is a road-traffic fatality. However, if the heart attack causes death prior to the crash, then that is not a road-traffic fatality.
The definition of a road accident fatality can change with time in the same country. For example, fatality is defined in France as a person who dies in the 6 days (pre 2005) after the accident; in the 30 days (post 2005) after the accident. International Road Assistance Programme.