Working to improve traffic safety since 1929

The number of road accidents in Finland has decreased, but traffic still continues to pose a serious threat to the health and property of citizens. Every year, more than 100,000 accidents are reported to insurance companies. Thousands of people die or sustain injuries in traffic every year.

The Finnish Crash Data Institute (OTI) is an independent unit within the Finnish Motor Insurers' Centre that gathers and analyses available information on road accidents for the purpose of promoting traffic safety. The name OTI was adopted in 2016, but safety work was already being carried out for a long time before that.

Insurance companies have been involved in traffic safety work since 1929, when the Traffic Culture Committee was established. This was followed by the Traffic Safety Section of the Accident Prevention Association (Talja), and later by the Central Organisation for Traffic Safety in Finland.

The Traffic Safety Committee of Insurance Companies (VALT), on the other hand, was established on 1967, and continued to operate under this name up until 2016. For the insurance sector, OTI presently offers a channel to engage in cooperation in Finnish and international traffic safety work.

A unique system by international standards

The systematic gathering of road accident data in Finland began by means of the insurance companies' shared claims report. This was followed by setting up impartial investigation teams in collaboration with the authorities.

The teams currently investigate hundreds of accidents every year. OTI coordinates the work of road accident investigation teams, but does not intervene in the independent working of the teams. Detailed information about the drivers, vehicles, roads and circumstances is collected about the accidents, and the impact of these factors on the occurrence of the accident is analysed.

OTI's information service is unique by international standards. In addition to the accident data received from the road accident investigation teams, OTI also receives very comprehensive road accident statistics from insurance companies. Statistics of equal scope are not available abroad.

The work of Finnish accident investigation teams is highly esteemed abroad, and OTI engages in close collaboration with accident investigators from neighbouring countries in particular.

Reliable information to improve traffic safety

The accident data is utilised to improve traffic safety in a very concrete manner. OTI provides data for scientific and statistical research both in Finland and abroad.

OTI's impartial research data keeps the authorit­ies that are responsible for traffic safety up to date with current developments, intensifies cooperation and lends support to decision-making.

OTI supports modern, knowledge-based management with state-of-the-art methods and operating practices. In its work, OTI constantly utilises a number of data sources in addition to its own statistics and assesses the accident risk factors in a multifaceted and impartial manner. OTI carries out important work that benefits society as a whole.