Accidents happen for a variety of reasons and many of the obvious problems have been researched and solutions implemented. Projects examining police reports on fatal accidents have contributed to achieving previous road safety targets over the last twenty years. However, these previous studies have been limited because data was not recorded at the accident scene. For example, designers of the next generation of smart seatbelts need accurate data on injuries for different seat positions, but with post recovery inspections of vehicles there are risks that the seat may have been adjusted prior to this inspection. These risks are avoided with an 'on-the-spot' approach.
This project is jointly funded by the Vehicle Standards and Engineering Division, Road Safety Division and the Highways Agency.
The project has delivered a database that can be analysed to produce reports on injuries and accident causes.
The contractors reviewed cases using panels of experts to draw conclusions as to why each accident happened and how it might have been prevented. The contractors produced annual summaries of the accident investigations including cause and injury mechanisms, highlighting any potential areas for further research, analysis or legislation.