Current and future trends in VRU accidents in Europe - why we need ITS solutions

Vulnerable Road Users (VRUs) is a collective term used to describe cyclists, motorcyclists, moped riders and pedestrians. This paper describes work undertaken within the EC’s VRUITS project which focuses on reducing VRU accidents through the use of ITS solutions. The paper determines the current accident numbers within Europe for VRUs between the years 2002 and 2012 using the CARE database. Accident forecasting is then applied to predict future accident numbers if current trends continue and no successful countermeasures including ITS solutions are introduced into the Road Transport System. This shows the number of VRU fatalities in 2030 to be almost comparable to those of car accidents since car fatality rates are reducing at a far increased proportion compared to VRUs. The results of the study emphasise why the introduction of effective ITS solutions are necessary to improve the overall safety of VRUs.