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.



Shipping and the environment – research meets reality

Centre for Transport Studies (CTS) in co-operation with Ports of Stockholm invite you to the seminar Shipping and the environment – research meets reality.




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...


New climate-proof solutions for hard surfaces in cities

High-density road infrastructure that emphasise maximum durability and minimum maintenance create inflexible systems, which put increased stress on urban trees and lead to increased risk for flooding. Over the past five years, the ‘Climate-proof solutions for...


VTI is preparing for automated vehicles

Automation of traffic systems will lead to major changes. The European Union’s (EU) CoEXist research project began in June 2017 with the aim of preparing cities and road operators for the introduction of self-driving vehicles. The Swedish National Road and...


Vehicle Driver Monitoring: sleepiness and cognitive load

To prevent road crashes it is important to understand driver related contributing factors, which have been suggested to be the critical reason in 94 per cent of crashes. The overall aim of the project Vehicle Driver Monitoring has been to advance the...


Tomas Svensson new director-general

Tomas Svensson was today appointed Director-General of VTI. Tomas has been acting Director-General since January 2017.