The main idea behind the self-reporting of accidents is to ask people about their traffic accidents and gain knowledge on these accidents as a supplement to the official records kept by police and/or hospitals. The ways of getting information from people can vary; people may be asked to fill out written questionnaires (either online or paper-based), interviews may be performed (either face-to-face or via telephone) and people may be asked to report their accident via an app on their mobile device. The method for gaining self-reported information thus varies greatly – and so does the information that people are asked to give. In most studies, only the number of accidents in which the respondent was involved is relevant for the researcher. In other studies, respondents are asked about possible accident causation factors, and some studies deal with respondents’ recall of the accident details. In other words, self-reporting can have many different aims depending on the research question that is being investigated.
- Self-reported accidents