DOT Fatality Analysis Reporting System – Simplified


Source U.S. Department of Transportation
File Size National file: ~90 MB (409K records)
Dates Covered 2003 – 2014
Cost Snapshot

  • Nonmembers $150
  • Members $50
Categories: ,


The Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) database contains data on accidents on public U.S. roads that resulted in the death of one or more people within 30 days of the accident. The full version of this data (available here: has 19 tables and almost 800 columns of detailed information on the nature of the accident, the current conditions, and the vehicles and people involved.The Simplified dataset is a single-table database that provides information for each crash in the full data, including the date and time of the accident, location (county, city, latitude and longitude), and number of deaths broken down into several categories: motorcycles, pedestrians, etc. This dataset is ideal for quick reference and quick-turn stories. You still have access to information on every crash recorded from the full data, but you can get the essential information without having to wade through relational tables and endless coded columns.

If you purchase the data you can download the national file in Excel or CSV format. We’d be happy to provide a state slice (at no additional cost) in either format; email us at or call (573) 884-7711.

Record layouts and samples of this database

Record layout (xlsx) (Layout.xlsx) 10.3 KB
Main README file (Readme_FARS_simple_2.txt) 2.8 KB
Full DOT FARS user guide (USERGUIDE-2014.pdf) 5.1 MB

Related Tipsheets

  • Sources for Covering Auto Accidents
    McGinty gives information on how to use the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatal Accident Reporting System, or FARS. He covers why it exists, how comprehensive and accurate the data is, and how it is tructured.
  • Traffic Fatalities
    This tipsheet is a basic overview of what resources to use when reporting on traffic fatalities. McGinty offers some background on FARS, paper documents and driving records, and then explains how all three can all be helpful when reporting on the topic.
  • Strong Coffee: Using Databases to Investigate Drunken Driving
    Branan explores the value of pursuing a story on drunk driving, including what databases are helpful in such an investigation, and how to verify and analyze the information.