The when, where, why of road accidents

Jan 14, 2009
The when, where, why of road accidents

(PhysOrg.com) -- Who knows what 'aetiology' means? It's a branch of science dedicated to finding the causes of something. European researchers have been busy updating the aetiology of road accidents and studying which technologies can make our roads safer for everyone.

“When, where, how, why and to whom do road accidents and injuries occur?” These are the sorts of things researchers in the European TRACE project have been asking in their 30-month study of traffic accident causation in Europe.

To get a full aetiological picture of road accidents in Europe, TRACE had to draw on vast data from across Europe and the resourcefulness of its 22 partners in nine countries, including major carmakers like Renault and PSA, industry specialists and research centres.

According to the project, the idea was to learn as much as possible about the nature of risk factors, groups at risk, and specific “conflict driving and accident situations,” and to estimate the safety benefits of a selection of technology-based safety solutions. The various final results of the research should soon be finalised and published, but ICT Results is privy to some highlights.

Small input, big output

Even the smallest improvement of an active or passive safety feature results in better safety, according to the TRACE team who has evaluated safety packages in today’s vehicles - five-star Euro NCAP features, Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), or combinations.

“In general, the safety gains are even higher for higher injury severity levels,” says Yves Page who was TRACE’s coordinator while working at the Laboratory of Accidentology, Biomechanics and Studies of Human Behaviour at PSA Peugeot Citroën Renault.

The difference between a five-star rated car fitted with EBA and ESC and a four-star rated one without these features is striking, he suggests. So-called “injury accidents” would be reduced by 47%, he says, while severe to fatal accidents would be cut by as much as 70%.

Full and future picture

TRACE also scanned the future-scape and evaluated the expected benefits of a number of promising safety and embedded systems, such as tyre pressure monitoring, lane keeping support, cornering brake control, traffic sign recognition, intelligent speed adaptation, rear-light brake force display, ‘alcolock’ key, drowsy driver detection, blind-spot detection, and more.

The greatest additional benefits - a 6-10% improvement in terms of injuries - are expected from speed adaptation systems and systems related to collision/crash warnings and prevention, reports TRACE. The drowsy driver and alcohol detection lockout features were appreciable in their benefit, while systems like tyre deflation monitoring and advanced rear- and front-light solutions were less prominent.

TRACE was funded by the ICT strand of the EU’s Sixth Framework Programme for research.

TRACE project: www.trace-project.org/

Provided by ICT Results

Explore further: Privacy groups take 2nd hit on license plate data

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Research project on accident-avoiding vehicle concluded

Sep 12, 2014

PRORETA 3 is completed after three and a half years of research work: The comprehensive driver assistance and automated maneuver concept supports the driver in keeping the vehicle in a safe driving corridor- ...

Michigan team finds security flaws in traffic lights

Aug 21, 2014

What if attackers could manipulate traffic lights so that accidents would happen with mayhem as the result? That is a question many would rather put off for another day but authorities feeling responsible ...

Adverts on the road could be a distraction for drivers

Sep 03, 2014

People have to take in a lot of information when driving, including the locations of other road users, lane markings, signals, speed limits, directions and the dashboard display. It only takes a second to ...

Recommended for you

Privacy groups take 2nd hit on license plate data

Sep 19, 2014

A California judge's ruling against a tech entrepreneur seeking access to records kept secret in government databases detailing the comings and goings of millions of cars in the San Diego area via license plate scans was ...

Scots' inventions are fuel for independence debate

Sep 17, 2014

What has Scotland ever done for us? Plenty, it turns out. The land that gave the world haggis and tartan has produced so much more, from golf and television to Dolly the Sheep and "Grand Theft Auto."

White House backs use of body cameras by police

Sep 16, 2014

Requiring police officers to wear body cameras is one potential solution for bridging deep mistrust between law enforcement and the public, the White House said, weighing in on a national debate sparked by the shooting of ...

Chinese city creates cellphone sidewalk lane

Sep 15, 2014

Taking a cue from an American TV program, the Chinese city of Chongqing has created a smartphone sidewalk lane, offering a path for those too engrossed in messaging and tweeting to watch where they're going.

Coroner: Bitcoin exchange CEO committed suicide

Sep 15, 2014

A Singapore Coroner's Court has found that the American CEO of a virtual currency exchange committed suicide earlier this year in Singapore because of work and personal issues.

User comments : 0