General Safety Regulation: accident analysis assesses effectiveness of proposed safety measures

In order to identify appropriate future vehicle safety systems, in-depth accident research needs to be conducted to enable informed decision making.

This is also the case for the revision of the EU’s General Safety Regulation (GSR), which is under discussion by the European Parliament and the Council right now. To that end, a detailed analysis of road accident statistics was carried out by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) and Centre Européen d’Etudes de Sécurité et d’Analyse des Risques (CEESAR).

This accident analysis provides clear guidance on the strengths, weaknesses and effectiveness of the safety measures proposed as part of the GSR revision in terms of how much they can further improve road safety. Some of the analysis’s key findings include:

  • ‘Direct vision’ low-entry cabs for trucks: systems to detect vulnerable road users (such as pedestrians and cyclists) are some 50% more effective in reducing fatalities and injuries than extensively re-designing trucks to create low-entry 'direct vision' cabs (page 73).
  • Front- and side-crash measures for SUVs and vans: these big and heavy vehicles already have a high level of occupant protection. As the study shows, the added value of additional passive safety measures is thus limited (page 95 and page 114).
  • Reversing detection for trucks: the benefits of this safety measure would be very limited. The target population is already low, covering only 0.10% of all road user fatalities according to the accident analysis (page 129).

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