Can close to zero road deaths be realised by 2050?
In our recent article, we reported on the study released by the European Transport Safety Committee, which contained some troubling statistics about the number of road deaths and serious injuries in the United Kingdom.
However, there may be some good news round the corner in the form of a 5.8m Euro project funded by the European Community’s Horizon Programme. Part of this programme will be lead in the Midlands by researchers at Loughborough University through a project called “SafetyCube”
As mentioned in our previous article, Europe has set a target of halving road deaths between 2010 and 2020, and in fact has set the ambitious target of having close to zero casualties by 2050. Anyone reading newspapers, watching TV or accessing news online, even in the last few days, can’t have failed to notice many serious road traffic accidents all over the United Kingdom, causing tragic deaths or life changing injuries. Hopefully the Loughborough University project will play a part in making these headlines a thing of the past.
The project itself will be evidence based, and is thought to be amongst the first to take a Europe wide view in looking at the causes of accidents. Data will be analysed to assess what works and what does not when it comes to safety on roads in Europe and the UK. Data will be collected on existing technologies and systems designed to improve road safety, but perhaps the most exciting element is that the system will model predictive estimates of new technologies. In other words, any new technology can be assessed in a controlled way to consider how likely it is to be an effective tool in reducing serious injuries and deaths on the road.
The plan will then be that SafetyCube can then be used by policy makers and those developing new safety technologies and systems, and hopefully delivering real changes to road safety.
Philip Edwards, a partner specialising in Serious Injury Claims in our Birmingham office said:-
“For those of us who represent the families of those who have died on our roads, or who have sustained life changing injuries themselves, the real cost in terms of the emotional, physical and psychological consequences cannot be underestimated nor ignored. The European target of halving road deaths by 2020, and even looking at getting to close to zero casualties by 2050 is something I know each and every one of my clients would welcome, and the fact that a UK University will be taking the lead in making these objectives become reality is something the UK should rightly be proud of”