Editorial Road Safety Report 2017

Best Practice for Fewer Road Casualties Worldwide

Editorial Road Safety Report 2017

Jun 2017

The figures for Germany sound encouraging: Following an increase in the number of traffic fatalities in 2014 and 2015 compared with previous years, 2016 once again saw a decrease in the number of people killed on our roads. According to the Federal Statistical Office, the figure of around 3,200 fatalities represents a decline of 7.3% compared with 2015 and is also the lowest this figure has been for more than 60 years. Given that the total number of accidents recorded by the police has risen by more than 3% to 2.6 million and that the total mileage covered by motor vehicles has once again increased, these figures are certainly heartening.

But there are some less pleasing developments, too. In France, for example, the number of traffic fatalities in 2016 has, according to the Observatoire national interministériel de la sécurité routière (ONISR), risen for the third year in succession – even if by only 0.2% from 3,461 to 3,469. And in the USA, to give another example, the National Safety Council estimated a rise in the number of traffic fatalities in 2016 to more than 40,000. Back in 2015, the USA saw a 7.5% increase.

Given that every traffic fatality is one too many, improving road safety remains one of the greatest challenges our society faces – and this applies all the more when you look at the scale of the problem not on a country-by-country basis, but globally. After all, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 1.25 million people are killed in road traffic accidents every year, all over the world, and this figure has for many years stagnated at this high level.

It is more important than ever that we look at ways of countering these trends efficiently and over the long term in order to finally bring about a significant improvement in the situation. The current DEKRA Road Safety Report aims to make its own contribution here, too. Unlike previous reports, this report does not focus on a specific mode of transport or road user group. Instead, we are focusing on “best practices” – an approach that has been applied in the study of road safety for many years now.

We examine three key areas – humans, infrastructure and vehicle technology – to highlight measures that have proven successful in certain regions of the world and could potentially be applied in other regions, too – provided that the right conditions are in place and the cost-benefit ratio is justifiable. Wherever possible, we back up our “best practice” examples with meaningful figures demonstrating that the measures described really have resulted in fewer accidents, fatalities and injuries. Furthermore, we have once again managed to obtain contributions from renowned national and international experts in which they discuss, among other things, road safety measures, experiences and initiatives in their own countries or in a specific region of the world.