Traffic safety and economic fluctuation: long-term and short-term analyses and a literature survey

Mats Wiklund
Lennart Simonsson

In studies of traffic safety is it important to have good knowledge of both internal and external factors. Examples of the former are driver behaviour and the roads’ safety standard, while examples of the latter are the demographic structure and the economic situation. This report includes a survey of methods used by previous researchers comprising which variables they used as indicators of the state of the market. It was concluded that unemployment was the most common economic variable, where an increase in unemployment indicates a decrease in the number of killed road users. The same result was found when a time series analysis was performed on Swedish data. It was also shown that part of the reduction in the number of fatalities in Sweden during a recession was explained by young drivers’ reducing their car use. There is, however, still a remaining effect of unemployment that cannot be explained by young drivers car use. One theory is that the state of the market affects the road users´ travel patterns. Data collected from fatal accident reports during the recession in December 2008-March 2009, were compared to the same period in 2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 during which period the economy was stronger. The only significant difference was that the number of fatalities and number of fatal accidents were higher during periods of economic growth. No significant difference was found with respect to, among others, accident type, time of day, age or gender distribution.



Millions for research into maritime transport and the environment

Maritime transport is a major source of emissions of harmful air pollutants and carbon dioxide. In a new project, a research team from the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI) and the University of Gothenburg has received SEK 6.4...


New research programme for more efficient travel

The Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI) is playing an important role in a major new research programme to find radical solutions leading to fewer trips and more efficient travel, along with tools to enable better use of roads and...


Simulator used to practice emergency responses safely

Emergency responses of the police, ambulance, and rescue services are associated with a high risk of accidents, but practicing them in real traffic is neither safe nor permissible. A simulator-based method developed by the Swedish National Road and Transport...


Simulation of cut-in by manually driven vehicles in platooning scenarios

A study in a VTI-driving simulator has showed that a platoon will be able to handle a cut in from a manually driven car. The results of this study have recently been presented at two conferences in Japan.



The five-year anniversary of European Road Profile Users' Group (ERPUG) Forum will take place at Ramboll head quarter, Copenhagen, Denmark October 19-20, 2017.


Self-driving buses in Sweden next year?

A self-driving, fossil-free bus. This idea might become reality through a forthcoming collaborative project involving the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI), Linköping University and several other participants. The project group aim...