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Vehicle Safety Measures Can Reduce Casualty Numbers

The European Parliament has given its backing to a resolution stating that all new cars sold in Europe should be fitted as standard with a range of life-saving technologies including automated emergency braking, intelligent speed assistance and seatbelt reminders in all seats.

The resolution had already been approved by the Parliament’s Transport Committee but now has the backing of the full Parliament. It will now be up to the European Commission to publish its final legal proposals for revised vehicle safety standards, which are expected by March next year.  Those plans would then need to be approved by EU member states and the Parliament.
 
In addition to new safety requirements for cars and vans, the European Parliament’s report also includes new requirements for lorries, such as direct vision requirements to improve visibility of pedestrians and cyclists, particularly in urban areas.
 

Restarting Progress on Road Safety

“These new vehicle safety measures are the EU’s best hope for restarting progress on road safety in Europe,” commented Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of the European Transport Safety Council. “But they will take several years to take effect and even longer before the majority of cars on our roads all have these features. After several years of foot dragging, it is now absolutely critical that the European Commission publishes its proposals without any further delay.”
 
Figures show that around 26,000 people died on EU roads last year, which clearly shows why improved safety features are so badly needed. Despite rapid advances in technology, mandatory safety standards for new cars sold on the European market have not been updated since 2009.
 

Trauma Centre Admissions

In the UK alone, 20% of patients admitted to trauma centres were involved in road crashes in 2016. According to the new analysis by road safety charity Brake, road collisions were apparently the second largest cause of trauma admissions, after falls from less than two metres.
 
Last year, 11,486 road users – the equivalent of 31 a day – were admitted to trauma centres in England and Wales with life-threatening injuries.
 
The regions with the highest proportion of road collision trauma patients were the Thames Valley (25%), North West London (23%), the West Midlands (23%), the East Midlands (22%) and East England (22%).
 
The analysis, which was published to mark the start of Road Safety Week, also shows that motorcyclists comprise the largest proportion of admissions (25%), followed by drivers (23%), pedestrians (21%), cyclists (16%) and vehicle passengers (12%).
 
"Speeding is a factor in many deadly crashes and remains a major problem,” explained Jason Wakeford, director of campaigns for Brake. “Driving is unpredictable and if something unexpected happens on the road ahead, such as a child stepping out from between parked cars, it's a driver’s speed that determines whether they can stop in time and, if they can’t, how hard they will hit. That's why we're encouraging everyone to 'Speed Down Save Lives' for Road Safety Week this year.”
 
"Brake is also calling for a default 20mph limit in all built-up areas, increased enforcement and 'Intelligent Speed Adaptation', which helps drivers stay within the limit, to be fitted as standard to new vehicles," he added.
 

Contact Us

If you have been injured as a result of a road traffic accident, then contact our specialist personal injury lawyers today to find out more about claiming compensation.

 

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