A New Method to Evaluate Future Impact of Vehicle Safety Technology in Sweden 2012-22-0015
In the design of a safe road transport system there is a need to better understand the safety challenges lying ahead. One way of doing that is to evaluate safety technology with retrospective analysis of crashes. However, by using retrospective data there is the risk of adapting safety innovations to scenarios irrelevant in the future. Also, challenges arise as safety interventions do not act alone but are rather interacting components in a complex road transport system. The objective of this study was therefore to facilitate the prioritizing of road safety measures by developing and applying a new method to consider possible impact of future vehicle safety technology. The key point was to project the chain of events leading to a crash today into the crashes for a given time in the future. Assumptions on implementation on safety technologies were made and these assumptions were applied on the crashes of today. It was estimated which crashes would be prevented and the residual was analyzed to identify the characteristics of future crashes. The Swedish Transport Administration's in-depth studies of fatal crashes from 2010 involving car passengers (n=156) were used. This study estimated that the number of killed car occupant would be reduced with 53 percent from the year 2010 to 2020. Through this new method, valuable information regarding the characteristic of the future crashes was found. The results of this study showed that it was possible to evaluate future impact of vehicle safety technology if detailed and representative crash data is available.