A road safety performance indicator for vehicle fleet compatibility

Michiel Christoph, Martijn Alexander Vis, Lucy Rackliff, Henk Stipdonk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper discusses the development and the application of a safety performance indicator which measures the intrinsic safety of a country's vehicle fleet related to fleet composition. The indicator takes into account both the ‘relative severity’ of individual collisions between different vehicle types, and the share of those vehicle types within a country's fleet. The relative severity is a measure for the personal damage that can be expected from a collision between two vehicles of any type, relative to that of a collision between passenger cars. It is shown how this number can be calculated using vehicle mass only. A sensitivity analysis is performed to study the dependence of the indicator on parameter values and basic assumptions made. The indicator is easy to apply and satisfies the requirements for appropriate safety performance indicators. It was developed in such a way that it specifically scores the intrinsic safety of a fleet due to its composition, without being influenced by other factors, like helmet wearing. For the sake of simplicity, and since the required data is available throughout Europe, the indicator was applied to the relative share of three of the main vehicle types: passenger cars, heavy goods vehicles and motorcycles. Using the vehicle fleet data from 13 EU Member States and Norway, the indicator was used to rank the countries’ safety performance. The UK was found to perform best in terms of its fleet composition (value is 1.07), while Greece has the worst performance with the highest indicator value (1.41).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)396-401
Number of pages6
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Early online date30 Jul 2013
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


  • SPI
  • benchmarking
  • comparison
  • mass
  • road crash
  • severity


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