Road accidents will accelerate, unless someone applies the brakes

SAFER is a research centre that includes participants from academia, industry and society working together for a common goal: eliminating injury and death on the roads of the world. And the challenge is staggering.

Around 1.3 million people around the world are killed in road traffic accidents every year. Death caused by road accidents is the only item on the WHO’s list of the ten primary causes of death worldwide that is not classed as a disease. Since the number of cars is expected to increase threefold in the coming decades, this figure – all things equal – will rise to 3.9 million by around 2030.

Injuries are estimated to be between 20 and 50 million a year. A threefold increase in vehicles – without radical improvements in traffic safety – means that 60 to 150 million people will get injured every year.

In order to meet this challenge, SAFER has created five research portfolios: Systems for accident prevention, Road user behaviour, Human body protection, Care & Rescue and Performance evaluation.

Our work method is based on borderless research and passion. Borderless research simply means that people from different competence areas work on the same project. By passion, we mean a strong dedication to the overall goal of all SAFER activities: saving lives.

All of our work is based on organisations with a stake in the issue of traffic safety letting their employees dedicate some of their time to our common activities and projects. In return, the organisations get access to cutting-edge research and input from skilled people outside their own organisations.

In one aspect we are fairly unique: we do actually meet and work together in real life. SAFER is not a “platform” that exists solely in the virtual realm. We have an office and a functioning work environment (more than one great idea has been conceived over coffee).

The knowledge and ideas thus generated can then be used within the context of the participating organisation’s own work with safety-related issues.

For an extensive presentation of SAFER, please visit www.chalmers.se/safer