The Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) is to lead phase two of the DfT’s flagship programme for in-depth collision research in the UK.
The ‘Road Accident In Depth Studies programme’ (RAIDS) was first launched in 2012 and is one of only two projects operating on its scale across Europe.
Phase two will run for three years until March 2019 and will see a specialist team attend the scene of road collisions minutes after they have occurred and gather real world evidence on causes and consequences.
The data will be used to inform transport policy across the globe, and to help in the development of safer vehicles and infrastructure.
During phase one, more than 1,255 road collisions were investigated.
Andrew Jones, roads minister, said: “We are pleased to continue our work with TRL on the next phase of the RAIDS programme to use and evaluate crash data.
“This information has already helped road and vehicle designers to create safer roads and cars.”
RAIDS differs from investigations carried out by the police because it sets out to understand how people are injured rather than determine responsibility for the collision.
Detailed information is collected about the crash site, including highway features and environmental factors. Vehicle damage is matched to the injuries received, in order to understand how vehicle design can be improved.
Richard Cuerden, TRL’s chief scientist, engineering and technology, said: “The evidence and insight gained from RAIDS is used to inform effective interventions, strategies and policies to mitigate risk and improve road user safety.
“This is especially relevant today given the unprecedented change in vehicle technologies we are experiencing.
“As our vehicles become more technologically advanced, it’s likely that the type of collisions we see will change, so there is an urgent need to ensure all interventions are future proofed and cost effective.
“RAIDS continues to evaluate the performance of new vehicle and infrastructure measures and seeks to identify how, where necessary, these can be improved to maximise safety for all road users.”