Last update: 08 October 2010
The road user safety research programme together with the statistical analysis of the database of injury accidents reported to the police provides evidence to underpin road safety policy and practice. The research programme is delivered has following main objectives: · To explore the scale and nature of road crashes through analyses of casualty and crash statistics, in depth investigations of collisions and other key sources; · To identify high risks groups, places, and behaviours and develop an understanding of the factors which contribute to the causes of crashes; · To develop a better understanding of behaviour including non-compliant behaviour and how to influence safer behaviours; · To assess the potential impact of wider changes in population characteristics, travel behaviour, social policies and practices on road safety outcomes; · To identify, develop, and evaluate counter-measures to reduce the incidence and severity of crashes; · To support the development, implementation and evaluation of safety policies and practices; · To effectively disseminate research findings and synthesise evidence. The publications arising from research projects are available at: http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roadsafety/research/researchreports The programme covers a number of key themes: Vulnerable Road Users Driver & Rider Bahaviour Impairment Road Engineering & Speed Management Statistical Analysis, Accident Causation & Policy Monitoring Medical Aspects of Fitness to Drive Cross-cutting Research Research Support and Dissemination
(A) Vulnerable Road Users [Theme 1]
This theme covers research on pedestrians, cyclists and children. Whilst the overall GB road safety record is the best in the EU, performance on pedestrian safety is only average, and accident rates for child pedestrians are higher than in most other EU countries.
(B) Driver and Rider Behaviour [Theme 2]
Projects in this theme cover driver and rider behaviour, training and testing. The main objectives are to explore factors related to higher accident risk among drivers and riders, including level of experience and illegal behaviours, and evaluate measures that may mitigate the risk, such as education, training, testing. It should be noted that research commissioned by the Driving Standards Agency also covers these issues. DSA research is not currently covered by the RMD.
(C) Impairment [Theme 3]
This theme is primarily concerned with drivers who are impaired due to alcohol, drugs (illicit or medicinal) or fatigue, and ways of reducing the problems through enforcement and publicity. Attention is also being given to the influence of alcohol on pedestrian accidents, and to the problems of older road users.
These projects address the contribution of speed to accident risk and the ways in which the enforcement of speed limits and road safety engineering measures can reduce casualties most effectively.
Projects in this theme include statistical surveys and analysis of existing data; in-depth investigation of road traffic accidents; research into the factors which contribute to accidents and development of countermeasures to reduce casualties. They also include research into the effectiveness of policy measures
(F) Medical Aspects of Fitness to Drive [Theme 6]
Pre-existing ill health makes only a relatively small contribution to road accidents. However declaration or assessment of medical fitness is part of the licensing process and advice from clinicians informs drivers on whether they can safely drive. This programme aims to improve the quality of evidence underlying both licensing decisions and medical advice to ensure that risks to road safety are minimised while drivers are not unnecessarily restricted.
(G) Cross-cutting Research [Theme 7]
This theme covers cross-cutting research including disadvantage and local delivery.
(H) Research Support and Dissemination [Theme 8]
This theme covers projects which provide the statistical and analytic underpinning of other research and policy needs, or provide input to other areas of research, and research dissemination. Projects include maintenance of statistical databases, ad hoc analysis, hospital studies, new technology, ad hoc advice from TRL, the contribution of the Police Liaison Officer.