Browse Publications Technical Papers 2010-36-0034
2010-10-06

Innovative Concepts for Smart Road Restraint Systems to Provide Greater Safety for Vulnerable Users - Smart RRS 2010-36-0034

Worldwide, 1.2 million people die in road crashes yearly; 43,000 just in Europe. This implies a cost to the European society of approximately 160 billion euro, making use of 10% of all health care resources. Sharp objects like crash barriers may lead vulnerable road users into serious injuries. Different road restraint system designs have been developed in recent years to improve vulnerable road users' safety.
SMART RRS is an FP7 SST 2007 RTD1 European collaborative project funded by the EC with the participation of 10 institutions from 5 countries. The project aims to develop a new smart road restraint system that will reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused in road traffic accidents by integrating primary and tertiary sensor systems in it, providing greater protection to all road users, warning motorists and emergency services of danger for prevention purposes and alerting emergency teams of accidents as they happen to minimize response time to the exact location of the incident. This new smart restraint system will: - Reduce the number of accidents through better information on the actual state of the road and traffic flow (climatic conditions, traffic flow, obstructions, hazards, accidents). - Eliminate dangerous profiles from road restraint systems (crash barriers) that currently endanger vulnerable road users. - Optimize road safety by providing exact information of where and when accidents happen in real time.
The project obtained interesting results from an in-depth review of motorcycle accidents, showing that the most aggressive elements for riders are protection systems installed on roadsides (continuous, punctual, rigid, wire rope). Also the accidents involving roadside protective systems include high speeds and the rider commonly impacts the barrier in an upward position, with severe outcome. Some of the most important injuries received by riders are blunt impacts to the head, member amputation and severe thoracic intrusion.

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