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Serious road traffic injuries in Europe, lessons from the EU Research Project SafetyCube

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journal contribution
posted on 19.04.2018, 14:03 by Wendy Weijermars, Niels Bos, Annelies Schoeters, Jean-Christophe Meunier, Nina Nuyttens, Emmanuelle Dupont, Klaus Machata, Robert Bauer, Katherine Perez, Jean-Louis Martin, Heiko Johansson, Ashleigh FiltnessAshleigh Filtness, Laurie BrownLaurie Brown, Pete ThomasPete Thomas
The EU research project SafetyCube pays specific attention to serious road injuries, defined as non-fatal road traffic casualties with an injury severity level of MAIS3+. By means of surveys, information was collected on current practices concerning the estimation of the number of MAIS3+ casualties and on costs related to serious road injuries in different European countries. Moreover, the effect of differences in practices on the estimated number of MAIS3+ casualties was investigated by applying different methods to the same data. Finally, by means of a literature review, analysis of additional case studies and burden of injury calculations, health impacts of serious road injuries were investigated. This paper presents six main lessons learnt from these activities. Practices concerning the estimation of the number of MAIS3+ casualties differ between countries; some countries apply correction factors to police data, other countries use hospital data and a third group of countries uses linked police and hospital data. Practices also differ concerning the selection of MAIS3+ road traffic injuries within hospital data. Differences in methodology appear to affect the MAIS3+ estimate. Therefore, one should be careful when comparing figures from different countries. The SafetyCube guidelines can support further harmonization. It is important to reduce the number of serious road injuries because injuries can have major impacts on a casualty’s life and pose a burden to society. About 75% of the MAIS3+ road traffic casualties indicate not to be fully recovered three years post-crash. Moreover, serious road injuries cost countries up to 2.7% of their GDP.


This paper is based on work carried out within the SafetyCube research project of the H2020 programme of the European Commission (Grant number 633485).



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Transportation Research Record


WEIJERMARS, W. al., 2018. Serious road traffic injuries in Europe, lessons from the EU Research Project SafetyCube. Transportation Research Record, 2672 (32), pp.1-9.


National Academy of Sciences


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Transportation Research Record and the definitive published version is available at





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