Fatalities in value chains—an attempt to classify road traffic crashes in accordance with the United Nations General Assembly resolution 74/299





fatal accident, fatal collision, fatal crash, safety footprint, value chain, work-related


Large corporations are today expected or obliged to report on accidental deaths and serious injuries to employed or contracted employed as a part of reporting on sustainability and workplace safety. Data about road crashes are part of such events and are therefore, but not separately, collected and presented. In Europe, 40% to 60% of all work-related accidents resulting in death has been reported to be road traffic accidents. In 2020, the Stockholm Declaration urged all corporations to report on their safety footprint including their entire value chain. The aims of the present study were to use a new definition of safety footprint and to quantify those killed as employed and at work, and those killed in a crash where the other part was at work, as so called third parties, to transports for duty with employed drivers. The Swedish Transport Administration (STA) in-depth database of fatal crashes was used, that covers all fatalities classified as road traffic related and consists of information from the police, medical journals, autopsy reports, accident analyses performed by STA, and witness statements. All fatalities excluding suicides or those caused by sickness occurring during year 2019 were investigated (n = 214). 11% (23/214) of the fatalities occurred when the killed person was at work and 16 while commuting. 37% of the fatal accidents occurred when the killed road user or the other part was at work. In total, almost half of the fatalities in the road transport system were related to work in some way when including both the fatally injured and their collision partners. A larger proportion of non-privately owned and procured vehicles was found for the vehicles of the collision partners compared to the vehicles of the fatally injured. In approximately one third of the fatal accidents a procurement of a transport service was involved. The Swedish Work Environment Authority (SWEA) identified 10 of the 23 fatalities at work investigated and none of these accidents was found to be investigated by the police as a crime related to the work environment. In conclusion, almost half of the fatalities in the road transport system in 2019 were related to work in some way, either the fatally injured or their collision partners were at work or while commuting. When including the third-party casualties, the problem becomes much bigger and more complex. In Sweden fatalities related to work are underreported, as the SWEA does not receive basic data. Efforts are needed to improve reporting of work-related road fatalities. It was found that the police did not investigate road traffic fatalities as death at workplace. It is crucial that the police start to follow the intention of regulations linked to workplace safety. If not, the possibility to collect relevant data for organizations to report on their safety footprint is limited. It is complicated to collect, classify and analyse value chain fatal crash information, mainly due to that the police do not investigate fatal road crashes as possibly work-related events. It is recommended that organizations manage their own data collection if they wish to report on their safety footprint data.


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Author Biographies

Anders Kullgren, Folksam Insurance Group, Sweden | Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden

Anders Kullgren has been working as a traffic safety researcher at Folksam since 1988 and since 1995 as head of the research department. Since 2011 he also has a position as an adjunct professor at Chalmers University of Technology. The research is primarily based on real-world crash data, including crashworthiness analyses of cars and effectiveness studies of various safety technologies.

CRediT contribution: Conceptualization, Methodology, Writing—original draft, Writing—review & editing.

Helena Stigson, Folksam Insurance Group, Sweden | Karolinska Institutet, Sweden

Helena Stigson is a researcher at Folksam Insurance Group and has a PhD at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. She is an associate professor at the vehicle safety division at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg. Her research area is mainly analysis of real-world crashes with a special focus on injury prevention for bicyclists and pedestrians.

CRediT contribution: Conceptualization, Methodology, Writing—original draft, Writing—review & editing.

Matteo Rizzi, Swedish Transport Administration, Sweden

Matteo Rizzi has long experience of working with traffic safety related research. He currently works as a road safety advisor at the Swedish Transport Administration dealing with analysis of real-world accidents, reconstructions of fatal cases and evaluation of safety countermeasures. Matteo Rizzi has a PhD from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, where his research focused on motorcycle safety.

CRediT contribution: Writing—review & editing.

Claes Tingvall, AFRY, Sweden | Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden


Claes Tingvall is retired from the Swedish Transport Administration where he was Director of Traffic Safety until 2015. Claes Tingvall has a PhD from Karolinska Institute in Sweden (DrMedSc) and a DSc h.c. from Emory University in Atlanta. He is an Adjunct Professor at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, as well as Monash University Accident Research Centre, Australia. Claes Tingvall was instrumental in developing Vision Zero from the very beginning. He has published in injury epidemiology, safety rating and safety management.

CRediT contribution: Conceptualization, Methodology, Writing—original draft, Writing—review & editing.


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How to Cite

Kullgren, A., Stigson, H., Rizzi, M., & Tingvall, C. (2023). Fatalities in value chains—an attempt to classify road traffic crashes in accordance with the United Nations General Assembly resolution 74/299. Traffic Safety Research, 5, 000027. https://doi.org/10.55329/mcmr2018