SWOV Road Safety Outlook 2020: extra measures required to achieve targets
According to the Road Safety Strategic Plan 2008-2020 that was sent to Dutch Parliament by the Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment, the number of road fatalities in the Netherlands must have gone down to a maximum of 500 in 2020. In the same year, the number of serious road injuries must not be higher than 10.600. The Minister has announced that extra measures are necessary to reach these targets. These extra measures have been published in a road safety policy document called Beleidsimpuls from the Minister to Parliament.
In its Road Safety Outlook 2020, SWOV has calculated which casualty reductions could be achieved with the intended efforts that are described in the Beleidsimpuls and with other supplementary measures. The calculations indicate that especially for achieving the target for serious road injuries supplementary measures are required.
According to SWOV, extra measures that can reduce the number of casualties can be taken in addition to those suggested in Beleidsimpuls. SWOV has made estimates of the casualty reduction for the four extra measures in the table below:
Possible supplementary action/measure
Indication possible reduction in 2020
Serious road injuries
Entirely sustainably safe bicycle infrastructure
100 – 130
3.500 – 4.100
All cyclists wear a helmet
10 – 20
1.200 – 1.400
Nobody drives under the influence of alcohol
100 – 120
1.400 – 1.700
No speeding offences
150 – 190
2.100 – 2.500
Other extra measures that could be taken are concerned with motorized two-wheelers and freight and delivery traffic. Furthermore, measures that are aimed at the prevention of fatalities among children and in 30 km/h zones are also expected to be successful.
Introduction not easy
Realization of the extra measures on top of Beleidsimpuls will not be easy, SWOV concludes in its Road Safety Outlook. For a number of these measures public support in society is crucial, especially because these measures reduce individual freedom of the road user. SWOV recommends initiating public discussion on these issues.
SWOV advises to investigate whether the extra casualty reductions can be achieved in order to reach the targets that have been set. In the first place (supplementary) financing should be obtained to construct an entirely sustainably safe bicycle infrastructure. Its realization can coincide with planned maintenance of the infrastructure and can make use of policy intended to stimulate bicycle use. The remaining propositions may be called far reaching. SWOV recommends creating sufficient public support for their realization.
Download the Road Safety Outlook 2020 which has an English summary.
Demerit points system: temporary and limited road safety improvement in the Netherlands
In the Netherlands, the introduction of a demerit points system (DPS) for all driving licence holders is expected to result in temporary and limited road safety improvement. International research has shown that during the period following the introduction of the DPS drivers committed fewer offences because they were afraid of receiving a demerit point. The effect gradually declining may be explained by the road user becoming aware of the fact that the risk of being apprehended is limited, which causes the fear to get points to fade away.
New Fact sheet:
Adolescents in traffic: a closer look at risky behaviour
Compared with other age groups, young adolescents aged 10-17, relatively often die of unnatural causes. Boys are involved much more frequently than girls, and the cause of death is often a traffic crash. What are the reasons that young adolescents in particular are killed in traffic?
This question is answered in SWOV Fact sheet Risky traffic behaviour among young adolescents.
SWOV and Malaysia sign Memorandum of Understanding
SWOV and the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) have decided on intensive cooperation. The cooperation was formalized by MIROS’ Director General prof. Dr. Wong Shaw Voon and SWOV’s managing director prof.ir. Fred Wegman when they signed a Memorandum of Understanding which will be effective as of 1 August 2012.
The cooperation will in the first place manifest itself in the area of Naturalistic Driving research and the evaluation of projects concerning traffic education and speed enforcement with cameras. "This collaboration will bring mutual benefits by harnessing both SWOV's and MIROS' research expertise with different road safety environment and condition in Netherlands and Malaysia." said Professor Wong.
SWOV strives to be a network organization. This is reflected in SWOV’s cooperation with other Dutch and international organizations and its efforts to strengthen one another whenever possible.
As a leading expert in the field of road safety, sustainably safe road traffic in particular, Fred Wegman was asked to think along about road safety innovation in South Australia in the Thinker in Residence programme. The final report titled Driving down the road toll by building a safe system has now been published.
The Thinker in Residence programme brings an international expert on a specific subject to South Australia to come to an innovative approach together with the community. The Premier of South Australia invited SWOV Director Fred Wegman to become the Adelaide Thinker in Residence 2011-2012.
50 years SWOV: all publications from 1962 available online
On 12 July 2012, it was exactly 50 years from the date on which SWOV was founded. To celebrate the event, all SWOV-publications from 1962 until the present day have been made available online. These are not only the SWOV reports, which usually have an English summary, but also all issues of Research Activities that appeared from March 1994 until December 2011.
"We are not the kind of organization that chooses to have a spectacular celebration, but we do indeed consider it a memorable occasion", says SWOV’s managing director Fred Wegman. "Over the years, we have gathered an incredible amount of road safety knowledge on the basis of scientific research. SWOV will continue its efforts to ensure that this knowledge is put to good use with fewer road casualties as a result."
SWOV Newsletter May-June 2012
To the Newsletter...
More accurate registration required to achieve fewer road traffic injuries
The road crash registration needs considerable improvement to accomplish a decline of the number of serious road injuries. Knowledge about road crashes with serious road injuries is essential for being able to take the correct measures. SWOV report Why do the development of the number of serious road injuries and the development of the number of road fatalities differ? indicates that in 2009 and 2010 there was a standstill in the decline of the number of serious road injuries. The standstill mainly concerned:
The SWOV report gives a number of possible explanations, among which:
Road safety policy of recent years succeeded in achieving a downward trend for the number of road traffic casualties. Unfortunately this was not the case for serious road injuries. SWOV therefore concludes that a decline in injuries apparently requires different policy. The crash registration needs to be in order to establish which measures are needed.
Related to this topic and also recently published: Serious road injuries in the years 2009 and 2010. Both reports are in Dutch and have an English summary.
Enforcement of traffic behaviour remains of undiminished importance
Speed, alcohol and red light running are three important priorities for traffic enforcement by the police. Together with seatbelt and helmet use they form the five priorities of traffic enforcement. The Bureau for Traffic Enforcement of the Public Prosecution Service in the Netherlands asked SWOV to investigate to what extent these priorities are still of current interest and whether new or different priorities should be formulated.
In its report Reassessment of priorities for the regional traffic enforcement teams SWOV (R-2011-21) concludes that the priorities speed, alcohol and red light running are still of current interest and should therefore be maintained. Research has shown that these behaviours increase the risk of a traffic crash and that enforcement can influence these behaviours. The percentages for seatbelt use and helmet wearing are already high, and it remains to be seen whether additional enforcement will further increase the use. This could, however be the case for helmet use by moped riders.
It would be positive if the use of handheld as well as of handsfree mobile phone were to diminish, as the risks of both are very high. Increased enforcement of handheld phone use will, however, lead to a shift towards handsfree phone use which is equally hazardous. Driving under the influence of drugs has a substantially increased risk, and enforcement of drugs use could therefore be made a new priority. However, this may not be at the expense of the capacity for other behaviours like the enforcement of alcohol-related driving offences. Without a doubt, cycling in the dark on a bicycle without lights has an increased risk of crash involvement, therefore: switch on those lights! Unfortunately, however, too little is yet known about, among other things, the exact extent of the risk increase and the conditions under which crashes occur to provide a scientific basis for intensified enforcement. SWOV will carry out a study into this issue which will be carried out as part of the Dutch National Bicycle Safety Research Agenda.
SWOV annual report 2011 available
The SWOV annual report for 2011 is now available digitally on this website (pdf).
30 to 65 road traffic fatalities per year related to the use of medicines that affect driving ability
Each year, 30 to 65 road traffic fatalities in the Netherlands may be related to the use of medicines that affect driving ability. This is shown by a recent estimate made by experts from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands Forensic Institute and the Institute for Road Safety Research SWOV. These experts were involved in the European DRUID¹ research project, to which 39 institutes from 17 European countries contributed. The estimate was made based on the results of this project.
Fred Wegman: target of 0 road fatalities for specific areas
Zero road fatalities in the Netherlands may not be very realistic, but it should be the target for specific, separate areas. Road safety policy should, for example, set the targets ‘zero road fatalities among children under the age of 16’ and ‘zero fatalities in zones 30’. This was said by SWOV managing director Fred Wegman in his speech at the Dutch National Road Safety Congres 2012 which was held on 19 April.
Newsletter March-April 2012: distraction in traffic
Studies into the prevention of distraction in traffic indicate that a large proportion of road users is occupied with activities which can distract them. SWOV carried out a literature study into what is already known about distraction in traffic. The newsletter of March-April contains an article about this study. Furthermore, the newsletter provides more information concerning the report Effects of a robust road network on bicycle traffic, SWOV in the Dutch media, new data in COgnis Powerplay and the latest aquisitions of the SWOV library.
Newsletter February 2012
The SWOV newsletter of February presents, among others, the article Who is behind the wheel when young passengers die in a car crash?. Furthermore, it provides more information concerning the reports about motorcycle conspicuity and removable bridges, updated fact sheets, appearences of SWOV in the media and the latest aquisitions of the SWOV library.
New fact sheet: Young drivers and their young passengers
More than one-third of all fatalities among car passengers occurs in the 10-24-year age group. The majority of these young passengers die in a car driven by an 18 to 24-year old. These young drivers are known to run higher risks due to their mental immaturity and lack of experience. Inevitably, their passengers are exposed to this same high risk. Moreover, there may even be an additional risk when youths drive in a car together: the influence of 'peer pressure' and 'distraction' on the young driver by the passengers. This has been studied in the new SWOV fact sheet Young drivers and their young passengers.
SWOVNewsletter January 2012
The SWOV Newsletter of January 2012 is available online. The newsletter does not only present an article about the SWOV in-depth research into run-off-road crashes, it also discusses the attention SWOV received in the media and presents the latest acquisitions of the SWOV library.
To the newsletter
Research Activities 47: safer cycling
The final edition of Research Activities, about road safety for cyclists, is now available online. This edition will be the last issue of Research Activities. The articles you were accustomed to find in Research Activities are now added to the SWOV Newsletter, to disseminate information even faster.
SWOV has investigated if and how road safety profits from Sustainable Mobility measures and what extra road safety benefits may be achieved. You can read more about this research in an article in the SWOV Newsletter of December. Furthermore, the newsletter contains an article about the hazard perception of young novice drivers, updated fact sheets, media appearences of SWOV, the latest library acquisitions, updated data tables and the final issue of Research Activities.
SWOV Newsletter November: the relation between traffic offences and crashes
There is a relation between the number of traffic offences that is committed in the Netherlands and the crash involvement. This is one of the findings in a SWOV study into the relation between traffic offences and crashes that has recently been completed. The SWOV Newsletter of November provides more information about this study. Furthermore, the newsletter contains more information on policy instruments for managing EU road safety targets, SWOV appearences in the Dutch media, the latest acquisitions of the SWOV library and the new SWOV Twitteraccount.
Short course enables novice drivers to anticipate traffic hazards
A short training course in a traffic simulator lasting approximately an hour enhances the way that young drivers recognize and respond to hazardous traffic situations. This is the main finding from research conducted by Willem Vlakveld of SWOV Institute for Road Safety Research. He will be awarded a PhD on 30 November by the University Medical Center Groningen. The research shows that young novice drivers do not perform well in hazard anticipation: they do not recognize hazards, do not see the risks and accept too many risks. Much of this poor hazard anticipation can be put down to a lack of driving experience, which according to Vlakveld can be rectified with a simple training course. He is therefore arguing a case for hazard anticipation to be added to the standard course of driving lessons.
To the press release (from the University Medical Center Groningen)
SWOV Newsletter October 2011
The October issue of the SWOV Newsletter is now available online.
Road safety outlook 2020
SWOV has investigated whether the targets for 2020 in the Strategic Plan for Road Safety are still feasible. All the reports are in Dutch and have an English summary.
R-2011-12 Road Safety Outlook 2020 (main report)
R-2011-16 Reference prognosis for the Road Safety Outlook 2020
R-2011-17 Road safety effects in 2020 of new measures in relation with behavioural influence
R-2011-18 Road safety effects in 2020 of measures in relation with the safety of passenger cars
Press release: Dutch driver drink-and-drives less than the average EU driver
The number of Dutch drivers who drive under the influence of alcohol is lower than the European average. Driving after having taken medication also shows a lower average in the Netherlands than in the other EU countries. Driving after the use of cannabis and amphetamines, however, is higher in the Netherlands than the EU average. These are findings of the European study called DRUID, which the Institute for Road Safety Research SWOV participated in and which publishes its results today. The research indicates that driving under the influence of alcohol is still a much larger problem than driving under the influence of drugs.
SWOV newsletter September: parliamentary majority against cuts on subsidies for SWOV
During the General Consultation on Road Safety on 8 September a parliamentary majority appeared to oppose he cuts that the Ministry of Infrasture and the Environment intends to make on the subsidies for SWOV. The SWOV newsletter
of September provides more information about this subject.
Furthermore, the newsletter contains more information on the registration of Dutch road fatalities, the use of road safety knowledge in policy making by municipalities and the GHB usage of severely injured car drivers.
Press release: road safety tastes defeat in municipal policy
Municipalities often give priority to other interests like journey time, public support and landscape instead of to road safety. Not only do municipalities find other interests more important, they often lack the knowledge about how to include road safety in their considerations. These are findings from the PhD research that was carried out by SWOV researcher Charlotte Bax. She defended her thesis on 14 September 2011 at Radboud University Nijmegen. Bax investigated the utilisation of scientific knowledge in Dutch road safety policy.
To the PhD thesis
New estimation method throws more light on road traffic casualties in relation with alcohol
A new estimation method will provide more reliable information about the annual number of road fatalities in relation with alcohol in traffic. The casualties can be among drivers as well as among other road users. Until now, two different estimates were made, each based on different data sources. SWOV has now developed an estimation method that replaces both earlier estimates.
The new method indicates that over the past 10 years the estimated number of alcohol-related road fatalities has declined from 30% to about 20% of the total number of road fatalities. An estimated 17% of the 20% is related to the use of just alcohol, and 3% is related to a combination of alcohol and drugs.
SWOV report R-2011-13 Estimation of the share of road fatalities due to driving under the influence of alcoholdescribes how the new estimation method was developed.
To the report (in Dutch, with English summary)
Press release: national registration of road fatalities in the Netherlands can and must be improved
The national registration rate of road fatalities should be increased from the present 84% to 100%.
The national registration is carried out in BRON (Register of Road Crashes in the Netherlands): the data file which contains the characteristics of road crashes and casualties as supplied by the police. This data is used as the basis for road safety policy in the Netherlands. However, there are road fatalities that are not registered as such and about which no information can therefore be found in BRON. The registration rate gradually declined in recent years, but in 2010 it showed a sudden fall from 90% to 84%. For seriously injured road casualties, the situation is even worse. The worsening of the registration undermines the basis for road safety policy and research.
The present registration of serious road crashes is below standard and must and can be improved.
This is one of the recommendations made in the SWOV report entitled The registration of road fatalities in the Netherlands (R-2011-10).
SWOV newsletter July-August: the road safety effects of electric vehicles
The number of electric vehicles in the Netherlands is growing. That is good news for the environment, but what does this mean for road safety? The SWOV newsletter of July-August tries to answer this question.
Furthermore, the newsletter contains more information on the new fact sheet Public lighting and on the updated Cognos tables with registered numbers, registration levels and causes of death.
New fact sheet: Public lighting
This fact sheet addresses public lighting of roads and streets, intersections and crossings using lampposts. The necessity of and reasons for public lighting are discussed, and the effects of an increase or a decrease of the luminance on the crash rate and on human traffic behaviour are looked at. The effect of lampposts as collision objects and the effect of public lighting on social safety are also gone into.
SWOV newsletter June 2011
The SWOV newsletter of June is available online. This newsletter contains, among others, more information about the evaluation of traffic education programmes, fatigued driving and the safety gains of an integral approach for urban distribution.
SWOV Annual Report 2010
The foreword and director's report of the SWOV Annual Report 2010 are now available in English on the SWOV website.
Research Activities 46
The new edition of Research Activities, of Spring 2011, is now available online.
SWOV Fact sheet: Bicycle facilities on distributor roads
The SWOV Fact sheet on bicycle facilities on distributor roads has been revised completely and is now available in a new English translation.
SWOV newsletter May 2011
The SWOV newsletter of May is available online. This newsletter contains, among others, more information about the EuroRAP RPS method as a safety instrument and the effect on road safety of a higher age for compulsory medical testing to establish fitness to drive.
SWOV press release: fastest routes must be safest routes
In existing road networks the safest route is not always the fastes route. Drivers, however, usually choose the fastest route. The fastes routes should therefore be adapted to also become the safest routes. This option could then be built into the software for navigation systems.
This is one of the recommendations in SWOV researcher Atze Dijkstra's PhD thesis En route to safer roads. Dijkstra obtained his PhD on12 May at the University of Twente.
SWOV Newsletter April 2011
The SWOV newsletter of April 2011 is available online. This newsletter contains more information about, among others, the integral approach of road safety issues, and the possibilities of a quality assurance system.
SWOV Newsletter March 2011
The monthly SWOV newsletter has been restyled. The first new issue, of March 2011, is now available online.
Parents believe they have an important role in teaching their children safe traffic behaviour. Most parents are convinced that they are in an excellent position to familiarize their children with traffic. This is a conclusion in the report The role of parents in informal traffic education, published by the Institute for Road Safety Research SWOV.
SWOV Newsletter February 2011
The February issue of the SWOV Newsletter is now available online.
New SWOV fact sheet: Functionality and homogeneity
Functionality and homogeneity are two of the five Sustainable Safety principles. The functionality principle aims for roads to have but one exclusive function and distinguishes between traffic function (flow) and access function (residence). The homogeneity principle aims at differences in mass, speed and direction of vehicles using the same traffic space being as small as possible. This fact sheet discusses the concepts functionality and homogeneity and how they came into being. The fact sheet also looks at how these principles are put into practice, discusses some of the problems, and presents a possible solution.
SWOV Newsletter January 2011
The January issue of the SWOV Newsletter is now available online.
Research Activities 45
The new edition of Research Activities is now available and contains articles about, among other things, the following subjects:
- Informal education: parents as teachers
- The possibilites of Naturalistic Driving
- Safer interactions by enhancing social forgivingness
- Roundabouts in the Netherlands
- Preventive alcolocks for professional drivers
- From car to bicycle: road safety effects
SWOV Newsletter December 2010
The December issue of the SWOV Newsletter is now available online.
New SWOV report: Effects of roundabouts on road casualties in the Netherlands
This study evaluates the effects on road crash casualties and takes into consideration all crashes on all known roundabouts built in the Netherlands during the period of 1999 to 2005, not just a sample. Before and after crash and roundabout information is used and specific attention is paid to fatalities and (police reported) serious road injuries. The report also contains a cross-section comparison of road junctions and roundabouts.
SWOV Newsletter November 2010
The November issue of the SWOV Newsletter is now available online.
SWOV Newsletter October 2010
The October issue of the SWOV Newsletter is now available online.
Safety Science about road safety management
SWOV's managing director prof. Fred Wegman and senior researcher Marjan Hagenzieker are the editors of the November issue of the scientific magazine Safety Science, which is entirely about traffic safety. Most articles in this special issue are based on the international workshop Scientific Research on Road Safety Management, organized by SWOV on 16 and 17 November 2009. About fifty experts from all over the world attended this workshop.
Safety Science is accessible for subscribers only, but the presentations of the workshop can be found on the SWOV website.
To the presentations
SWOV Newsletter September 2010
The September issue of the SWOV Newsletter is now available online.
The August 2010 issue of Research Activities is now available and contains articles about, among other things, intelligent vehicle systems and subjective safety.
ITE Transportation Safety Award for Fred Wegman
On 10 August 2010, SWOV's Managing Director Professor Fred Wegman received the ITE 2010 Edmund R. Ricker Transportation Safety Award in Vancouver, Canada.
Each year, the Institute of Transportation Engineers ITE hands out the award in two categories: individuals and organizations. The individual award is given to a person who is recognized as a leader in the field of traffic safety through his/her safety activities in professional organizations, in the community, or in the performance of traffic engineering.
SWOV Newsletter June 2010
The June issue of the SWOV Newsletter is now available online.
New SWOV report: The relationship between road safety and congestion on motorways
A literature review of potential effects. R-2010-12
Mobility has been increasing significantly in the last few decades and will continue to increase. On road stretches which have insufficient capacity, traffic becomes congested. This literature review investigates the relationship between congestion and safety at road sections of the main road network (mainly motorways) and specifically looks at unstable and congested traffic conditions.
SWOV Newsletter May
The May issue of the SWOV Newsletter is now available online.
SWOV Newsletter April
The April issue of the SWOV Newsletter is now available on the website.
New in the SWOV dissertation series: The X-factor
Young, inexperienced drivers have a higher crash rate than drivers in all other age groups. Two factors are involved in this high crash rate: their young age and their lack of driving experience. In her PhD research, Saskia de Craen investigated how the development of driving skills contributes to the decrease of the crash rate and which relevant processes play a role. On March 16, she successfully defended her thesis The X-factor; A longitudinal study of calibration in young novice drivers at Delft University of Technology.
New fact sheets
Three new fact sheets are now available in English :
The first newsletter of PROLOGUE has been published. This project examines the feasibility of and the conditions for a large scale European Naturalistic Driving study. The newsletter provides more information about the project and about an international workshop that will be held on the 18th of February in Brussels.
SWOV Newsletter January
The January issue of the SWOV Newsletter is now available on the website.
Research Activities 42, the December issue, has been published.
Press release: New method gives more accurate figures on seriously injured casualties
A new method which was developed by SWOV makes it possible to determine the annual number of seriously injured road crash casualties more accurately than had been possible until now. This is one of the conclusions in the SWOV study Seriously injured road crash casualties in the Netherlands in the period 1993-2008. The method makes use of the international standard MAIS to determine the injury severity of casualties.
The introduction of Different Payment for Mobility will have a positive effect on Dutch road safety. Depending on the variant that is chosen, the saving could annually amount to 20 to 40 road deaths. The introduction of the rush hour rate will have a limited effect on road safety. Data from the coastal Randstad region show that an area tax in the vicinity of the major cities could result in an extra annual saving of 5 road deaths.
Ten years after the Covenant Start-up Programme Sustainable Safety was signed, SWOV has assessed the results. Analysis of the development of the fatality rate and the number of traffic fatalities indicate that the measures that were implemented in the period 1998-2007 and that fit within the Sustainable Safety vision have in all probability been successful.
The October issue of the SWOV Newsletter is now available on the website.
Start meeting PROLOGUE
The European project PROLOGUE has officially started on 7 and 8 September, with a meeting in the Netherlands. The project examines the feasibility of and the conditions for a large scale European Naturalistic Driving study. All nine project partners were represented with at least two people.
SWOV workshop: research into road safety policy
On 16 and 17 November 2009, SWOV organizes the international workshop Scientific Research on Road Safety Management. This workshop focuses on the methodological aspects of ex-post and ex-ante assessments of road safety policy. Approximately 50 experts from all over the world will participate in this workshop. On the basis of nine oral presentations they will discuss questions like
In the course of 2010 a Special Issue of the scientific journal Safety Science will be published. This issue will be edited by SWOV Managing Director Fred Wegman and will contain the papers of the nine presentations and some extra contributions.
Research Activities 41, the August issue, has been published.
European research project PROLOGUE has started
SWOV is the leader of the new European research project PROLOGUE (PROmoting real Life Observations for Gaining Understanding of road user behaviour in Europe) which has started in August. PROLOGUE will investigate the use and feasibility of a large-scale European Naturalistic Driving study. In Naturalistic Driving studies traffic situations and drivers are studied in a discreet manner by making use of small cameras and sensors in their own vehicles (sometimes alongside the road), during normal journeys and without a test supervisor. This gives a reliable picture of the drivers' natural behaviour and enables analysis of the interaction between road user, vehicle, road, and other road users under normal conditions, in conflict situations, and in crashes. This gives us a better insight in the factors that influence road safety and in the possible ways to make the traffic system inherently safe using, for example, in-vehicle technology, 'self-explaining' roads, driver training, etc.
SWOV coordinates the research. The other partners are CERTH-HIT from Greece, KfV from Austria, Loughborough University from the UK, Or Yarok from Israel, the Dutch TNO, the Norwegian TØI, the Austrian TTI and the Universitat de València from Spain.
PROLOGUE will continue until Augustus 2011.
New SWOV report: The influence of weather conditions on road safety
F. Bijleveld & T. Churchill. R-2009-9.
The annual number of road crash casualties fluctuates due to chance, mobility changes, changes in road safety measures, and other influencing factors, such as weather conditions. In order to better understand these fluctuations in road crash casualties, it is necessary to know how every factor relates to the changes in the number of crashes and casualties. This report focuses on an analysis of the effect of weather conditions (precipitation and temperature) on the number of road crashes and injuries in the Netherlands.
For a more general overview of this subject, see the recently updated SWOV fact sheet: The influence of weather on road safety.
SWOV Annual Report 2008
The SWOV Annual Report 2008 is is now available on the SWOV website.
Press Release: 30 km/h roads much safer than 50 km/h roads
30 km/h roads are considerably safer than 50 km/h roads. It is, however, possible to reduce the number of serious casualties still further. This is the research conclusion in the report Pedestrian and cyclist road safety on 30 km/h access roads published by SWOV Institute for Road Safety Research. The report only investigates crashes involving pedestrians and cyclists on 30 km/h roads.
New SWOV report: The influence of vehicle mass on the injury rate in collisions between two passenger cars; A quantitative analysis. E.M. Berends. R-2009-5.
In the last decades, the dispersion of vehicle mass has been increasing, as has the average vehicle mass. This has consequences for road safety. Differences between vehicle masses have a negative effect on the injury and fatality rate of individual drivers of light vehicles, but also on the actual road safety. This report attempts to give a quantitative assessment of the influence of vehicle mass on the injury and fatality rate. Only collisions between two passenger cars have been analyzed.
SWOV comment on the 2008 road safety data
In 2008, there were 750 road deaths in the Netherlands, 41 (5%) fewer than in 2007. This is a positive development. The number of road deaths is exactly the Dutch target for 2010: a maximum of 750 road deaths in the year 2010.
In the report 'Road safety in 2007: is a standstill a step backwards?' SWOV found last year that certain human traffic behaviours that are relevant for road safety did not continue to improve in 2007. This can possibly partly be attributed to stagnation in the increase or a decrease of the efforts of regional traffic enforcement teams. SWOV made the observation that there seems to be a standstill, and that in this particular case that could result in a step backwards. In 2008 the number of road deaths shows a further decrease. This decrease, however, coincides with a decrease of mobility. SWOV estimates that the number of road kilometres travelled decreased by some 4%. In 2008, the death rate (number of road deaths per billion kilometres travelled) is approximately equal to the death rate in 2007, while in previous years the death rate has been decreasing almost every year. Exceptionally, the death rate did not decrease in 2008.
Professor Fred Wegman: making the new generation enthusiastic about road safety
Fred Wegman, Director of SWOV Institute for Roads Safety, has been Professor of Road Safety at Delft University of Technology since March 1. In Research Activities, the SWOV publication in the English language, he talks about his expectations and his core issues. He would like to inspire a new generation about road safety.
Read the interview in Research Activities.
Research Activities 40 has been published.
Symposium on effective road safety campaigns
Prompted by the findings of the European research project CAST (Campaigns and Awareness-raising Strategies in Traffic safety) a symposium will be held: How to achieve effective campaigning?; Answers for road safety practice. The Flemish-Dutch Symposium is organized by SWOV, the Knowledge Platform for Traffic and Transport (KpVV), the Dutch Ministry of Transport, and the Belgian Road Safety Institute (BIVV).
The symposium is intended for road safety and communication professionals. New views about influencing behaviour will be translated into an inspiring and practical application for the development and assessment of road safety campaigns.
The symposium will be held on 4 June 2009 in the World Trade Centre in Rotterdam (http://www.wtcrotterdam.nl). More information about the symposium's programme will soon be made available on this website.
More information about the CAST project can be found on http://www.cast-eu.org/
Press Release: Fred Wegman professor of Road Safety at Delft University of Technology
Fred Wegman, Managing Director of the Institute of Road Safety Research SWOV has been appointed as part-time professor of Road Safety at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). From 1 March he will begin work at the Department of Transport and Planning of the Faculty of Civil Engineering for one day per week. Fred Wegman will continue his work as managing director at SWOV.
SWOV begins pilot in-depth study of road traffic crashes
On 1 November 2008, SWOV began a three-year pilot in-depth study of road traffic crashes. Several in-depth studies are used to investigate the added value of this type of research for acquiring more road safety knowledge and for road safety policy. The Ministry of Transport has given SWOV an extra subsidy to carry out this pilot study.
Road safety of children in the Netherlands
In comparison with other countries, relatively few children in the age group 0‑14 die in traffic crashes in the Netherlands. Moreover, the number of casualties has decreased considerably over the past twenty years, more than it has for other age groups. This is partly due to a combination of measures with respect to infrastructure, vehicles, safety devices and education. In absolute numbers, children in the age group 10-14 years old in the category cyclists are the largest safety problem. The main reason is that at this age they take part in traffic as independent road users more frequently. More measures are required to further reduce the number of child traffic fatalities. Examples are measures concerning vehicle speed, the separation of fast and slow traffic, public information, and vehicle safety.
A new SWOV fact sheet about the road safety of children in the Netherlands will be published shortly. The Dutch fact sheet regarding this subject can be viewed here.
The recently published study SUNflowerNext draws the framework for a composite road safety index to compare the road safety performance and progress in different countries. Aim of a composite road safety performance index is to come to a better understanding of the road safety developments so far and to identify the possibilities to speed up further progress. The main results of the study will be presented to the European Commission on the 8th of January 2009.
Research Activities 39 is now available.
Press release: Time series analysis in road safety research
On 4 november 2008, SWOV researcher Frits Bijleveld successfully defended his thesis Time series analysis in road safety research using State Space Methods. The thesis takes the statistical approach to road safety issues as a starting point, for example: to what extent do specific developments or measures contribute to the decrease in the number of traffic casualties and what does that tell us for the future?
Press release: Traffic much safer for children younger than fourteen
The number of road crash casualties among children younger than fourteen has decreased considerably during the last decades. In 2005, 30 children in this age group were killed in traffic. In the late 1980s the annual number of fatalies was approximately 120. The decrease for this age group is larger than for other age groups. Their increased safety cannot be attributed to the fact that children had a lower traffic participation.
New fact sheet Advanced Cruise Control(ACC)
SWOV has published a new fact sheet which discusses the possibilities and use of Advanced Cruise Control (ACC) and looks at the new developments.
SWOV Institute for Road Safety Research commenced a study into the question of how the annual number of road deaths can be reduced to fewer than 500 in 2020. This is sharper than the original target of 580 fatalities.
Press release: Fewer cyclists injured in crashes with motor vehicles; at the same time more cyclists injured as a result of single vehicle crashes
The number of cyclists that was admitted to hospital as a result of a crash involving a motor vehicle decreased in the period 1984-2005. However, the number of cyclists admitted to hospital as a result of a single vehicle crash increased. These are the cyclists who collided with another cyclist, a pedestrian, or who fell off their bikes. This is reported in the SWOV publication Cyclist hospital admissions; An analysis of crashes and injuries
To the press release
During each car journey you are likely to encounter risky situations, but they generally end well. This has little to do with miracles, but everything with the expectations (motorized) road users have about each other in traffic situations. SWOV's Maura Houtenbos discusses this issue in her PhD thesis entitled Expecting the unexpected which she will defend on January 8th 2008 at Delft University of Technology.
Specific in-car electronic assistance and adjustments to intersection design are good for the road safety of drivers aged 75 and above. These measures can keep them mobile longer, which in turn improves the quality of their social lives. This is what Ragnhild Davidse of SWOV Institute for Road Safety Research writes in her PhD thesis which she will defend on the 13th of December at Groningen University.
Setting the stage for the European Road Safety Observatory
On 1 June 2007, the SafetyNet – SUNflower workshop took place at Schiphol Amsterdam International Airport, organized by SWOV. The workshop addressed the connection between policy questions, knowledge and data. The starting point was the integration of the two projects, exploiting the main outcomes of SUNflower(+6) to enhance the structure of the European Road Safety Observatory.
Research programme 2003-2006 completed
SWOV's 45th anniversary coincided with the end of the four year programme 2003-2006. To celebrate this occasion SWOV organized a congress on April 26 2007 in the New Church in The Hague. A special publication was made to present the research results of this period.
European study of drugs and medicines in traffic begun
SWOV, together with the police, has started a large scale European study into the use of alcohol, drugs, and medicines in traffic: the DRUID project. Motorists who are breathalyzed at a regular alcohol check, are tested on the use of drugs or medicines on a voluntary basis.
Influence of emotions in traffic seriously underestimated
On November 30th Jolieke Mesken will obtain a PhD at the University of Groningen on her research of the effects of emotions on driving skills. The thesis is entitled Determinants and consequences of drivers' emotions. SWOV stimulates its researchers to obtain a PhD and offers its employees the possibility to carry out their PhD research within a SWOV project.
To the thesis
Dutch vision of successful road safety policy, Sustainable Safety, now internationally available
Sustainable Safety, the vision that has been an important basis for the successful Dutch road safety policy since 1992, has been updated and published under the title Advancing Sustainable Safety. This update is now integrally available in an English edition. On 3rd November the Dutch Minister of Transport Karla Peijs presented the first copies to her European colleagues at the EU Road Safety Conference in Verona, Italy. With this publication, SWOV wants to inspire the international road safety professionals with examples of how they too can improve road safety in their countries.
SWOV: Keep minimum age for riding a motorcycle at 18
SWOV thinks it is unwise to permit 16 year olds to ride a light motorcycle (up to 125cc). A motorcycle has a much higher death rate than, for example, a car. Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable in traffic. On the one hand, this has to do with the vehicle itself and, one the other hand, it is due to the age-related unsafe behaviour together with lack of knowledge and experience.
Research Activities 32 - August 2006 - has been published. It contains articles about the SUNflower+6 project, about the Sustainable Safety principle of 'predictability, about measures to solve blind spot problems, and about many other topics.
Targets for road deaths 2010 and 2020 can be lowered
Fewer mopedists, less speeding and alcohol offences, and increased seatbelt use resulted in fewer road deaths in 2004 and 2005
The strong decrease in road deaths during the last two years was not coincidental. Part of the decrease was because mopeds were ridden less, there were less speeding offences, there was less drink-driving, and the seatbelt was worn more often. This is what SWOV Institute for Road Safety Research concludes in its recent report entitled: The essence of the decrease in the number of road deaths; Recent developments and new prognoses for 2010 and 2020.
In 2004 the number of road deaths decreased by 19% compared with 2003, to 881. In 2005 the number decreased further, by 7%, to 817.
To the report [in Dutch, but with an English summary]
Comparative study of the development of road safety in nine European countries now available
Understanding the past in order to learn lessons for the future is the essence of the SUNflower methodology designed to compare the development of road safety in different European countries.
The number of road deaths continues to decrease
Karla Peijs, Dutch Minister of Transport, today made known the road crash figures for 2005.
To the Ministery of Transport's press release
Comparative European study:
Positive judgement about road safety in the Netherlands
The number of road traffic casualties has been decreasing during the last decades in many European countries, including the Netherlands. However, the speed at which the numbers are decreasing is probably insufficient to achieve the European Commission's target of 50% less road deaths in 2010 than in 2000. If the impressive decrease in the Netherlands since 2000 continues to 2010, this country with be an exception.
Read the press release
Pieter Jan Biesheuvel new Chairman of SWOV's Board of Governors
On 17th May 2006, Pieter Jan Biesheuvel was appointed as the new Chairman of SWOV's Board of Governors. He succeeds Frits Castricum, who was chairman for more than 10 years, and has resigned for health reasons.
SafetyNet conference, 10-11 May 2006, Prague
SafetyNet is a large European traffic safety research project which aims to optimalize data gathering and data availability in Europe. This is an important issue because the information can be of valuable support for the decision making of policy makers. SWOV makes a considerable contribution to the project. 21 partners from 17 countries work together in this project.
At the 1st SafetyNet international conference high-level speakers will present different aspects of road policy. Data gathering and application is the key topic of the conference.
The SafetyNet-conferentie is particularly interesting and useful for those whose work involves road and vehicle safety, like policy makers, politicians, and NGOs.
For more information follow the link
Combined use of alcohol and drugs or several drugs leads to a
greater chance of severe injury in a road crash
A greatly increased chance of severe injury in a road crash occurs after the combined use of several drugs, but especially after the combined use of alcohol and drugs. Users of multiple drugs have a 25 times greater injury chance than sober drivers. This chance is 35 times greater for users of drugs in combination with alcohol. This was the result of a large scale Institute for Road Safety Research SWOV study in the Tilburg police district.
Read the press release
Read the IMMORTAL report R-2005-9
Daytime running lights save 45 road
deaths a year
Each year, 45 road deaths and 600 injured can be saved in the Netherlands if cars keep their lights on during daylight hours, thus making them more visible. This is the result of SWOV estimates based on research carried out in a number of EU countries for the European Commission. The Institute for Road Safety Research SWOV and the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research TNO represented the Netherlands.
Read the press release and the fact sheet
SWOV-reaction to accident figures 2004:
Fewer road deaths; but there are still enough possibilities for even more improvements
On 27th April, Minister of Transport Peijs announced the road deaths for 2004. Compared with 2003, there was a striking and welcome decrease of 19%; from 1088 to 881. What was even more remarkable was the fact that, during the last few years, no notable measures had been taken that could explain such a decrease. SWOV expects that the number of deaths will decrease even more if some of the measures are taken for which it is very reasonable to assume that they will have a positive effect on road safety.
Read the entire reaction
Preliminary Data on Road Safety in Europe in 2003
Preliminary official data available from ECMT member countries reveal considerable divergence in the evolution in road safety in European countries in 2003. While road safety continues to improve seriously in Western European countries and seems to be moving towards a real progress of fatalities in Central and Eastern Europe, in CIS countries, however, road safety indicators continue to deteriorate significantly.
Read the ECMT-press release
EU-project SafetyNet launched
In June, the EU-project SafetyNet had its official kickoff. The project aims to collect data on crashes and casualties in all 25 member states of the EU. The data will be made available through the Internet, allowing comparison on an international level.
SWOV is an active participant in the SafetyNet project, leading two work packages while also contributing to three other work packages.
Over the next 18 months it is aimed to lay down the framework, to collect and organize the data.
More detailed information is available on the special website safetynet.swov.nl
The successful SUNflower study will be continued under the name SUNflower+6.
SWOV, together with road safety research institutes in the United Kingdom and Sweden, has compared these three countries with each other. So the name was born: SUN is an acronym for Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. The goal of the study was to discover what had made the three countries' road safety policy so successful. The results can be found in the detailed research report .
The EU Commission found the results sufficient reason to agree to a continuation study. The method and results of the first study will be used to analyse the road safety problems in a number of other countries. The goal is to determine the most effective measures. In the meantime, the continuation study has started under the name of SUNflower+6. SWOV is the coordinator. In addition to the original three SUNflower countries (Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands), six South- and South East European countries will take part in this study. They are: the Czech Republic, Catalonia (Spain), Greece, Hungary, Portugal and Slovenia.
More information can be found on the special website: sunflower.swov.nl.
Road Safety is No Accident
7th April 2004 has been declared by the United Nations to be Road Safety Day, with the slogan "Road Safety is No Accident". Each year, worldwide, 1.2 million people are killed in traffic and 50 million are injured. It is for the first time that the consequences of road crashes have been brought to everybody's attention, worldwide.
Read the entire article
Demerit points: a very slight road safety effect
The introduction of a demerit points system in the Netherlands is expected to have very little road safety effect. International studies show this. In spite of this, the demerit points system has been introduced in many countries. Its popularity is very probably due to public opinion considering it fair to punish recidivists harsher.
If such a system was introduced in the Netherlands for serious offences only, which is, preferable to all offences seeing the limitations of the so-called Mulder Law, this would only save a few deaths per year at the most, given the current chance of being caught.
The Driving Licence Revolution: positive road safety effect
It is to be expected that the so-called driving Licence Revolution will have a positive road safety effect. SWOV agrees with the general line of proposals and is pleased that its research and advice have led to this result.
SWOV had proposed earlier to raise the minimum moped age to 18 years. As is mentioned in the letter to Parliament, estimates point to 18 being the age limit which saves the highest number of lives (more than 45 a year).
However, whether 17 or 18 years is chosen, it is a revolutionary plan that proposes a fundamentally new approach to the driving course and the preparation for the driving licence. It is expected to result in considerably fewer road crash casualties.
SWOV at Intertraffic
From 30th March to 2nd April the Intertraffic Trade Fair will take place In the RAI Congress Centre in Amsterdam. This year, as always, SWOV will have a stand there. The SWOV stand will be thé information point for the latest state of affairs in road safety research. You can go there for research literature, for questions about our Library Service and other SWOV services, and for our interactive Knowledge Base. You will also be able to test your driving style and try the Sustainably-Safe meter. You will find the SWOV stand in the "Europahal", stand number 01.131.
On 21st April, the National Road Safety Congress (NVVC) will take place,
with the theme "Working for a Maximum Effect". The congress
will deal with the possibilities of, even with less money, achieving that
which is desirable: i.e. considerably fewer road deaths and injured. The
main theme of the congress is to achieve the maximum effect with limited
resources by means of creativity, efficiency, effectiveness, sobriety,
and innovation.Visit the NVVC-website
for more information.
It is also possible to register via our website.
Dutch drivers want more road safety measures
A majority of the Dutch drivers supports the present traffic measures or believes extra measures must be taken in order to improve road safety. This is one of the results of a large-scale EU study called SARTRE, about which SWOV published a report on 10th December. Measures that find a lot of support are: more police surveillance, lower alcohol limits for new drivers, introduction of a black box in the car, improvement of driving education, road improvements, and more information.
SWOV carried out this study as part of the EU study among motorists, in which their opinion about road safety was asked.
Read the press release...
Information about safe use of Advanced Cruise
Control in the car is necessary
Motorists need to be informed about the safe use of Advanced Cruise Control (ACC). Research of the Institute for Road Safety Research SWOV has shown this is necessary. If used incorrectly ACC can result in more crashes, even though it increases driving comfort ánd can contribute to safety.
Read the press release...