The fact is that with the latest technological possibilities and mobility options, as well as the changing social conditions, the requirements and expectations of modern forms and concepts of mobility are also changing. It is also expected that, along with the described changes in mobility behavior, there will be a concomitant significant change in accident statistics. It is estimated that the biggest changes will apply to older people (the age group addressed in the 2021 Road Safety Report) and younger people – the latter because they are very open to the changes happening in the mobility sector and are willing to try out new things. Thereby, there is an increasing focus on unprotected forms of road use which, for example, do not have a surrounding crumple zone like cars do. For this reason, it is expected that there will be a general increase in casualties in the pedestrians and cyclists segments as well as among micromobility users. There are plans to respond to these changes through making modifications to the legal framework and infrastructure. Over the last years, numerous countries, especially in Europe, have changed their national road traffic acts and implemented measures to make all road users equal.
With the overarching goals of Vision Zero, (road traffic without fatalities or serious injuries), ecological, sustainable, and affordable mobility for all, and the creation of a pleasant living environment instead of traffic environment, countries are following the approach of providing the highest level of protection to road users who would be most at risk in a collision. The fact that this important course of action has received little enthusiasm specifically among car drivers can be seen wherever corresponding measures are taken. For example, the revised UK Highway Code introduced in January 2022 resulted in controversial discussions in politics and society.
In Germany too, the changes to the German Road Traffic Act introduced in 2020 to make cyclists equal with pedestrians was met with much opposition. In particular the corresponding changes to the catalog of fines received such heavy criticism, including from lobby associations, that major sections were substantially moderated or even reversed. As such, the expected positive impact on accident statistics has been minimal to non-existent. It is precisely the interplay of different influencing factors that will account for improvements in road safety in general, and road safety for specific road user groups in particular.