After 10 years of support for research in the field of road safety and in accordance with its statutes, the Road Safety Foundation was dissolved. The French Institute of Transport Science and Technology, Network Development (Ifsttar) coordinates a major 4-year research project on "Safety of autonomous vehicles occupants and other road users in the context of the arrival of the autonomous vehicle". This project, carried out with a partnership between public and private research laboratories (Cerema, Ceesar, Ifsttar, LAB, Vedecom), is funded by FSR and DSR.
A partnership between public and private bodies to encourage research
Any research able to improve road user safety was prioritised when it provided new and feasible opportunities. These achievements were expected to have practical benefits, improve knowledge about accidents and reduce the number of road deaths, injuries and more particularly serious injuries. The incentive was also intended to renew the generation of researchers and to bring out other research entities from the scientific and technological network. The calls for projects showed the positioning and weight of Ifsttar in the field of road safety (17 projects carried out). INSERM (3 projects) and some universities (Caen, Bordeaux, Paris 8) also carried out projects. Many young researchers were involved (PhD students, post doctoral students), some of them foreigners through research exchanges.
New or improved analysis tools
Significant progress was made in the field of pedestrian and powered two-wheelers simulators (SEVAP, ACT, SANTAFE, ALCOLAC, PROFILE, SEPIA, SENSORIMOTO), some in 3D. A smartphone serving as event data recorder (EDR) for 2 and 4 wheels vehicles was developed. A dynamic platform of a motorcycle simulator was even patented. Improvements were made in the analysis of the impact of infrastructure on the behaviour of PTW. Mapping as an analysis tool was developed (DRMSpatial, PAAM) in the same way as visual salience analysis systems (VIPPER) evaluating driver information capture. Impact speed tests were also conducted in laboratory.
New types of impact tests and behavioural analyses
New types of pedestrian impact tests combined with new analytical methods led to a better understanding and interpretation of pedestrian trauma (ASP). The exploration of cervical trauma revealed adverse sequelae of "whiplash" in relation to pain-related stress (WHIPLASH). Psychometric and neuropsychological tests (PIAAC) were conducted on injured patients recruited from emergency units. Criteria on the nature and severity of injuries were crossed for the triage of injured persons (QUO VADIS). The physiological effects of alertness, tension and mental load were also analysed (ALCoLAC, ACT).
Prevention and evaluation are at the heart of this research
The evaluation of the actual benefit of using alcohol interlock devices among repeat offenders showed the limitations of the system. The study on the evaluation and quantification of the effectiveness of on-board collision warning and lane departure systems clearly demonstrated their value, while characterising some efficiency shortcomings. The practices of external evaluation and self-evaluation of alcohol use in a process of change are the subject of a French-Quebec comparison.
The victim at the crossroads of all topics
This theme is cross-cutting and covers both vulnerable road users (SECU2RM) and motorists in order to establish injury tables. The referencing of pedestrian traumas (ASP) is completed by a follow-up of traumatized cranial victims. CACIAUP sets up a follow-up of accident victims until the after-effects are consolidated. The establishment of a road accident orientation aid or "triage" takes into account the characteristics of the accident (QUO VADIS) and cross-references observed accidentological criteria and observed clinical lesion assessments. The procedure for PTW is followed by neurological and/or biomechanical risks at 6 months.
Sharing results and communication
Many meetings and conferences were organized both in France and abroad. Symposia as well as publications in the best national and international journals made it possible to bring to light the progress made in the field of road safety, particularly in terms of understanding accident mechanisms.