Road Safety Market Research
Road safety refers to measures and products that help prevent road accidents that cause deaths and injuries. Road safety is an issue for pedestrians, cyclists and users of vehicles, including motorbikes, automobiles, trucks, buses and coaches. Road traffic injuries claim more than a million lives each year globally. Road accidents are the leading cause of death among youths aged between 15 and 29 years.
The developing countries especially have poor road safety measures and contribute about 90% to the global road traffic deaths total. Unless more effective safety measures are implemented, road accidents are expected to become the 7th leading cause of death and traffic deaths are expected to rise to 2 million by 2030, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The road safety industry supplies the following forms of protection and prevention of accidents:
Safety additions: Vehicle safety add-ons include seat belts, child safety seats and airbags. Wearing a seat-belt increases the rate of survival by more than 40% among drivers and front-seat passengers and prevents injuries by almost 45%. Of the 161 countries that have national laws supporting seat belt use, more than 100 cover rear-seat occupants as well as front-seat occupants under this law.
Wearables: Safety equipment and apparel includes helmets, child reins and high visibility vests. Wearing a motorcycle helmet can reduce the risk of death by 40% and injury by approximately 70%. About 170 countries globally have a national law for compulsory helmet wearing among motorcyclists to promote road safety.
Infrastructure: Road safety infrastructure includes speed bumps, pedestrian crossings, cycle tracks, footpaths and traffic lights. In Denmark the introduction of cycle tracks reduced cyclist casualties by 35% according to a recent survey.
Regional Market Shares
In the advanced economies road safety is prioritized, road laws are enforced and cars are safer with many having crumple zones, airbags, anti-locking brakes and adaptive cruise control. Annual checks on brakes and steering are compulsory and so is vehicle insurance.
Europe: Many countries in Europe have good road safety records. There were about 5,700 fewer deaths in the European Union in a recent year as compared to 2010, with 25,000 road fatalities reported in total. Countries like the UK, Sweden and the Netherlands have a low death rate with less than 30 per million population. The UK in particular has low road fatalities of about 1800 annually due to strong laws on seat-belt use, speed control enforcement and regular inspections of existing road infrastructure.
Australia also ranks high in road safety with as low as five road deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. New South Wales (NSW), one of the heavy traffic states in Australia has significantly improved road safety with around 350 deaths on roads annually. To further enhance safety in this state in an attempt to achieve zero casualties. the government has initiated the NSW Road Safety Strategy aimed at reducing fatalities to approximately four per 100,000 people by 2016.
The USA also has effective road safety measures with about 10 road fatalities per 100,000 people. Better seatbelt and airbag technologies, improved driver behavior on the highways, and more safely designed cars have all contributed to safer travel on US roads.