Single vehicle collisions in Europe: analysis using real world and crash test data

A large proportion of European road casualties result when a vehicle leaves the main carriageway, often impacting roadside obstacles. As part of the EC-funded project, RISER (Roadside Infrastructure for Safer European Roads), a number of activities were undertaken to collate the type of data which is needed to understand the frequency and severity of real world crash situations and relate this to crash test data mandated in the EU. Accident data was collected and used to create a statistical database and a detailed database exclusively for single vehicle 'run-off the road' collisions on major rural (not urban) roads, simulation software was used to further understand impacts with roadside structures and an inventory of crash test data was collected for impacts with objects such as poles and safety barriersa . The combination of real world accident data, simulations and crash test data has provided a unique insight into the characteristics of single vehicle collisions, helping us to understand them better and make recommendations for consideration when drafting design guidelines. This information is crucial for those involved in the design and evaluation of the roadside environment.