© European Comission

Between 2001 and 2017, the number of road fatalities in Europe fell by 57.5%. The European average is 49 victims per one million inhabitants. This means that The Netherlands will have set a road safety record of 31 road fatalities per million inhabitants in 2017. In addition to The Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom score best when it comes to road safety in Europe. Nevertheless, recent figures show that the drop is steadily slowing down. In order to reduce sources of road traffic risks in the future, the EU in Brussels has decided that new cars should in future have a number of additional safety features. These new safety standards came into force last Sunday.

More accidents due to e-bikes

Although the overall figures have been falling for years, the ever-increasing numbers of casualties and fatalities among cyclists is considerable. Experts see the reason for this in the growing number of pedelecs. Albeit these are also helping senior citizens to remain mobile for longer periods of time. Intersections are still a particularly dangerous spot for cyclists. They are easily overlooked by cars and especially by truck and bus drivers. Systems that can alert truck and bus drivers have not been installed in all vehicles as yet. Another potential risk for road users is the notorious microsleep at the wheel. Approximately 25% of all accidents are caused by fatigue according to experts.

More active and passive road safety

In accordance with the new rules, all new vehicle models launched on the European market as of July 2022 must be equipped with advanced safety features. These include technology to detect driver fatigue as well as distraction, an improved impact zone in order to reduce the risk of injury to pedestrians and cyclists, and systems aimed at reducing the blind spots of trucks and buses.

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The new measures should help to significantly reduce the number of fatalities and casualties across the EU. The EU is committed to reducing the number of fatalities and serious injuries to close to zero as possible by 2050 (“Vision Zero”). Moreover, these new rules should “pave the way for ever greater network-connected and automated mobility. They should also contribute to the innovative and competitive potential of the European automotive industry.”


All the standard safety features for new cars as of 2022:


  • Advanced emergency braking (cars, vans)
  • Alcohol interlock installation facilitation (cars, vans, trucks, buses)
  • Drowsiness and attention detection (cars, vans, trucks, buses)
  • Distraction recognition / prevention (cars, vans, trucks, buses)
  • Event (accident) data recorder (cars, vans, trucks, buses)
  • Emergency stop signal (cars, vans, trucks, buses)
  • Full-width frontal occupant protection crash test – improved seatbelts (cars and vans)
  • Head impact zone enlargement for pedestrians and cyclists -safety glass in case of crash (cars and vans)
  • Intelligent speed assistance (cars, vans, trucks, buses)
  • Lane keeping assist (cars, vans)
  • Pole side impact occupant protection (cars, vans)
  • Reversing camera or detection system (cars, vans, trucks, buses)
  • Tire pressure monitoring system (vans, trucks, buses)
  • Vulnerable road user detection and warning on front and side of vehicle (trucks and buses)
  • Vulnerable road user improved direct vision from driver’s position (trucks and buses

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About the author

Author profile picture Petra Wiesmayer is a journalist and author who has conducted countless interviews with high-profile individuals and researched and written general entertainment, motorsports, and science articles for international publications. She is fascinated by technology that could shape the future of mankind and enjoys reading and writing about it.As an avid science fiction fan she is fascinated by technology that could shape the future of mankind and enjoys reading and writing about it.