Vehicles are designed and regulated to minimise the occurrence and consequences of collisions to road users. This applies not only to vehicle occupants, but also to pedestrians, cyclists, horse-riders and motorcyclists. Making vehicles safer involves both ‘active’ safety measures, such as autonomous emergency braking, which can prevent collisions occurring in the first place, and ‘passive’ safety measures, such as seatbelts and airbags, which protect occupants (and other road users) if a collision does occur. It is also vital to ensure vehicle roadworthiness is regulated to the highest standards. Technology within vehicles, such as feedback from the speedometer and seatbelt reminders can also educate road users about safe road use.
Increasingly, roads and vehicles will be managed within an intelligent transport system, relying on ever-more autonomous vehicles and smart infrastructure. As safety becomes hardwired into vehicle technology and road design, there is potential to further reduce road casualties and deaths through this route.