Road traffic safety aims to reduce the harm (deaths, injuries, and property damage) resulting from crashes of road vehicles. Harm from road traffic crashes is greater than that from all other transportation modes (air, sea, space, off-terrain, etc.) combined.
Road traffic safety deals exclusively with road traffic crashes how to reduce their number and their consequences. A road traffic crash is an event involving a road vehicle that results in harm. For reasons of clear data collection, only harm involving a road vehicle is included. A person tripping with fatal consequences on a public road is not included as a road-traffic fatality. To be counted a pedestrian fatality, the victim must be struck by a road vehicle.
Vehicle safety features
Safety can be improved by reducing the chances of a driver making an error, or by designing vehicles to reduce the severity of crashes that do occur. Most industrialized countries have comprehensive requirements and specifications for safety-related vehicle devices, systems, design, and construction. These may include: * Passenger restraints such as seat belts — often in conjunction with laws requiring their use — and airbags * Crash avoidance equipment such as lights and reflectors * Driver assistance systems such as Electronic Stability Control * Crash survivability design including fire-retardant interior materials, standards for fuel system integrity, and the use of safety glass * Sobriety detectors: These interlocks prevent the ignition key from working if the driver breathes into one and it detects significant quantities of alcohol. They have been used by some commercial transport companies, or suggested for use with persistent drink-driving offenders on a voluntary basis.
Countermeasures directed at drivers
Safety can be improved by methods that encourage safe behavior, or reduce the chances of driver error. Some of these include: * Compulsory training and licensing, (although this is often a once-off requirement some countries require periodic retests and others will require drivers convicted of offences to undergo certain training and retests before being allowed back on the roads). (see: traffic psychology) * Restrictions on driving while drunk or impaired by drugs. * Restrictions on mobile phone use while on the move. * Compulsory insurance to compensate victims. * Restrictions on commercial vehicle driver hours, and fitting of tachographs. * Conventional and automated enforcement of traffic laws, including red-light running cameras and photo-radar.