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Use NICAR'S fatal accident data on deadline

We've updated our simple, one-table database on fatal accidents in the US; the data now has information on every reported accident from 2003 through 2014.

We created the data from the full DOT Fatality Analysis Reporting System database (FARS), which has 19 tables and almost 800 columns of detailed information about fatal car accidents. The simplified version will save you time and give you the essential information you need to report on trends in your state, county or city. Use it to quickly report stories or add depth to deadline reporting.

You can purchase the data and view the documentation here. You can download the data as a .CSV or Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. If you'd like a state slice, just contact us and we'd be happy to provide one.

Please read the documentation before using the data: it contains important information about how to analyze and cite the data accurately.

FARS records only include fatal accidents. If you want to broaden your story to include minor crashes, you can request records from your local police department. In some states, crash records are available on a highway patrol’s website. For example, the Missouri State Highway Patrol website generates downloadable records on Excel spreadsheets based on your selection of date, time, crash severity, crash type, county and city.

If you have questions about the FARS database, please contact NICAR Data Library Director Liz Lucas at

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