Road users include both drivers as well as pedestrians and cyclists (the so-called ‘vulnerable road users’). Their behaviour is the area with by far the biggest potential for improving road safety. Indeed, 90% of all road accidents today are linked to human error.
In 30% of fatal accidents speeding is the main factor, while distraction causes 10-30% of road deaths. Equally worrying is the fact that 25% of all road fatalities in Europe are alcohol-related.
Education and training are key factors in instilling appropriate behaviour and attitudes in road users. It is vital that drivers are aware of their own limitations, the dangers of speeding or texting behind the steering wheel and of the influence of alcohol or drugs on their ability to drive.
The enforcement of existing traffic laws is also crucial, as about 65% of fatal accidents are caused by violations of traffic rules. Cracking down on traffic offences will make a difference, but we also need better enforcement across borders. European policy makers need to decide how to apply rules across Europe and to ensure they are complied with.