Road and rail transport safety research attends to businesses, decision makers, road and rail maintainers and travellers. The goal is to produce high-quality research results for strategic policy decisions. The research areas of traffic safety include safety strategies, safety management, and safety and impact evaluations. At VTT, our know-how is concentrated on the transport system and the relations of its components, especially in the following areas: the road environment, speed, traffic control, vulnerable road users, driver behaviour, rail traffic and strategies and management.
The public health and socio-economic losses resulting from inadequate traffic safety in the whole world are enormous: there are more than a million fatalities and 20 - 50 million injured annually. In the EU there are more than 40 000 fatalities annually, and the socio-economic losses amount to about 2% of regional output. Finnish traffic safety has not developed favourably during recent years and Finland is no longer among the best countries. Rail traffic safety research supports the goal of maintaining the safety level of no fatalities or severely environmentally damaging accidents.
The major portion of the losses caused by traffic accidents could be avoided through various means. Currently there are even more cost-effective means available than before (e.g. increased passive safety of vehicles, electronic stability control, automatic speed control and intelligent speed adaptation).
The centre of our activities is in Finland, but we take active part in European safety research and capitalise upon our broad international expert network.
Fewer traffic accidents and less severe consequences
Increased cost-effectiveness of transport system
Increased human well-being
Increased freight transport safety
References and merits
Impact evaluations for national traffic safety plans, road maintenance measure
safety impact evaluations (e.g. TARVA), method development for speed control
Traffic Safety 2025 research programme (http://www.vtt.fi/proj/tl2025)
Long-term co-operation with European universities and research organisations
and worldwide e.g. University of Michigan, Middle East Technical University,
Memberships in international organisations (e.g. FERSI, ECTRI) and national
expert bodies (e.g. the Traffic Safety Committee of Insurance Companies, the
Consultative Committee on Road Safety, the Nordic Road Association)
1 research professor, 1 part-time university professorship, 1 docentship