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How VSRC Makes Motoring Safer

By: Kevin Watson MSc - Updated: 29 Apr 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Road Safety Vsrc Accidents Motoring

Based at Loughborough University, the Vehicle Safety Research Centre (VSRC) is a group of specialist researchers. Their brief is to investigate every aspect of vehicle and road safety.

Clients

For almost 30 years, VSRC has provided such research for the UK Government. Private companies have also asked the team to make enquiries into a wide range of vehicle and road safety issues.

Skills

The VSRC team brings a variety of skills to its tasks. These skills relate to the areas that make motoring safer.

To help this process, VSRC has access to engineers who specialise in the motor industry. It also uses facilities for crash tests, driving simulation, road and vehicle safety experiments, and modelling.

Accident Investigation

One of VSRC’s main areas of interest is accident investigation. The initial purpose of such work is to establish the cause of a motoring crash. This relates to what VSRC calls “primary safety”.

The other purpose is to examine the way a road vehicle can help prevent injuries. VSRC considers, for example, how the design of a car can reduce the risk of disablement and death in a given accident situation. The team refers to this as “passive safety”.

The VSRC investigation team therefore looks at certain accidents for specific purposes. It then gives feedback that can lead to improvements in vehicle engineering.

Examples

Car and lorry makers, and the firms that produce vehicle components, use VSRC research to test new ideas. They also employ VSRC advice and data to support and evolve their strategies for motoring safety.

This type of data promotes a culture of safety among vehicle makers and legislators. Private companies and governments use VSRC data to create effective safety policies.

These policies appear in national and EU regulations and guidance. And just as importantly, the policies promote a more safety-conscious attitude among motorists.

Databases

One of the ways VSRC makes its road safety information available is through its UK and worldwide databases.

The databases hold detailed information drawn from real life traffic accidents. The value of the databases is largely thanks to the efforts of the police, coroners, vehicle recovery operators and A & E hospitals in supplying the facts and figures.

Active Safety

VSRC improves the data still further by studying active safety. The scientific field of active safety is relatively new. VSRC champions and leads work in this field by analysing accidents, and examining the affect humans have on the causes and outcomes of vehicle collisions.

VSRC then uses the data as part of its investigations into innovative active safety solutions. The aim is to reduce motoring accidents, injuries and casualties.

The VSRC team also looks at active safety and its relevance to road users with varying needs. Among these users are elderly drivers and the disabled.

Summary

VSRC therefore covers some vital topics: accident data; active safety; passive safety; general road safety; and vulnerable road users.

As a result, the team plays a vital role in UK and international safety measures. These help to protect motorists and pedestrians, and thereby reduce injuries and preserve life.

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