Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Specific challenge: Despite the improvement in road safety in recent years, road accidents and their consequences remain a serious social problem – on average 75 people lose their lives every day on European roads and 750 are seriously injured. Pedestrians, cyclists, motorbike and moped riders represent a particularly serious safety concern, since they account for a disproportionately high percentage of the total number of road fatalities and serious injuries. At the same time, measures aimed at improving safety often imply significant economic cost, and tend to become more incremental over time. The challenge is therefore to assess the societal benefits of such measures, to improve the safety of Vulnerable Road Users (riders of Powered Two Wheelers, cyclists, pedestrians, children, the elderly and Persons with Reduced Mobility and their vehicles) and to update existing knowledge of accident causation in Europe for all road users.

Scope: Proposals should address one or both of the following:

·      Advanced safety measures involving vehicles, infrastructure and its environment, protective systems, training and development of behavioural knowledge to reduce the number and severity of accidents involving Vulnerable Road Users. All proposals should include assessment of the effectiveness, and demonstration of relevant technologies, in real-life conditions.

·      Developing an in-depth understanding of road accident causation for all road users, covering all aspects of road safety (vehicle, driver and infrastructure) together with appropriate actions for their prevention and mitigation. This shall include methods for conducting a comprehensive assessment of socio-economic costs related to road accidents, taking into consideration secondary costs related to congestion, material damage, vehicle uptime etc. as a basis for robust cost-benefit analysis of safety countermeasures at a transport system level.

Research will fill knowledge gaps at both European and national levels, and take into account regional differences. International cooperation is strongly encouraged. In line with the Union's strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation[1] international cooperation is encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 5 to 7 million each would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact: Research in this area will contribute to delivering essential knowledge for the design and implementation of an efficient strategy to make European road users (particularly Vulnerable Road Users), vehicles and infrastructure safer, and so promote the development of the European Road Safety Observatory. Overall, research will contribute to the achievement of the European policy objective of halving road deaths by 2020, and, in the longer term, to the Transport White Paper's "Vision Zero" objective.

Type of action: Research and Innovation Actions

[1]     COM(2012)497

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