Latest news from Loughborough University

2 Jun 2015

Loughborough spearheads €5.8m project to help halve European road deaths

Road safety experts at Loughborough University are leading a €5.8m European project designed to help halve road deaths in Europe by 2020.

25,900 fatalities occurred on Europe’s roads in 2012. More than half of these fatalities (55%) were vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, children, the elderly and disabled. The European Commission (EC) has set ambitious targets to halve this figure by 2020, and reach close to zero fatalities by 2050.

Funded by the EC’s Horizon 2020 Programme, SafetyCube will develop an evidence-based road safety decision support system (DSS) to enable policy-makers and stakeholders to identify the most cost-effective measures to address the most pressing road safety problems.

The project brings together 18 partners from 15 European countries and spans all elements of road safety from infrastructures and speed limits, to vehicles, road users, and driver behaviour. The team of transdisciplinary experts will bring in-depth road traffic accident data resources together with detailed injury databases, trauma registers, insurance data and information on road user behaviour.

Project lead Professor Pete Thomas, of the Safe and Smart Mobility Research Cluster in the Loughborough Design School, said:

“Road safety records for countries in the European Union vary considerably. If all member states had the road safety levels of the best performing countries it is estimated deaths would have been reduced by over 10,000 in 2012.

“SafetyCube is the first support system of its kind, and will help road safety policy-makers and industry stakeholders adopt the evidence-based policies of the most successful countries, as well as helping them identify the most cost-effective measuresmost suitable for their own country.

“Countries that perform best in road safety are those which uniformly have a strong evidence base and a systematic approach to policy making that starts by identifying causes and key risk factors. This has not been adopted by most EU Member States with the consequence that road safety policies may be erratic and not results-focussed. 

“But even the best performing countries do not have available an evidence-base of the breadth and depth to which SafetyCube will work, so all can expect to have opportunities to further reduce casualties on the basis of the SafetyCube Decision Support System.”

SafetyCube is the first systematic pan-European in-depth study of accident causation. As well as providing data on existing technologies, it will also enable predictive estimates to be made of the effectiveness of new technologies which may only be on the road in small numbers or not yet in use.

Notes for editors

Article reference number: PR 15/105

Participating organisations:
Safe and Smart Mobility Research Cluster, Loughborough University (UK), National Technical University of Athens (Greece), Belgian Road Safety Institute, SWOV Institute for Road Safety Research (Netherlands), Austrian Road Safety Board, French Institute of Science and Technology for Transport, Development and Networks, SAFER Vehicle and Traffic Safety Centre (CHALMERS) (Sweden), Institute of Transport Economics (TØI) (Norway), European Road Federation (Belgium), Centre for Transport and Logistics at the University of Rome "La Sapienza" (Italy), Agency for Public Health, Barcelona (ASPB) (Spain), Medical University of Hannover (Germany), Slovenian Traffic Safety Agency (AVP), Laboratory of Accidentology, Biomechanics and Human Behaviour (LAB) (France), Centre Européen d’Etudes de Sécurité et d’Analyse des Risques (CEESAR) (France), Foundation for Transport and Energy Research and Development (CIDAUT) (Spain), DEKRA Automobil GmbH (Germany).

Horizon 2020
is the biggest ever EU Research and Innovation programme with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020). It is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness.

is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent 
QS Stars university rating scheme, putting it among the best universities in the world, and was named University of the Year in the What Uni Student Choice Awards 2015.Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. It was 2nd in the 2015 THE Student Experience Survey and was named Sports University of the Year 2013-14 by The Times and Sunday Times. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

In 2015 the University will open an additional academic campus in London’s new innovation quarter. 
Loughborough University London, based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, will offer postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities.

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Amanda Overend
PR Manager
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228697