How We Can Help

Here’s how iRAP can help you save lives

iRAP works on a global and regional basis to promote safer road infrastructure that saves lives and prevents serious injuries.

We achieve this through our advocacy work, partnerships with those managing road networks, providing the global metrics to measure safety performance, support for projects and the provision of free software that enables road assessments to be carried out.

The road improvements that we help to develop maximise the reduction in road trauma.  Over 1,000,000 KM of road have now been assessed by partners using the iRAP methodology paving the way for many roads to be upgraded and lives saved.

The iRAP metrics have been adopted and used by national governments, state and local governments, development banks, mobility clubs and the private sector. They are recommended for use by the United Nations, World Health Organisation, FIA Foundation and other leading institutions.

Our methodology for saving lives has been developed by the world’s leading road safety researchers and organisations.  The global risk mapping and star rating standard for infrastructure safety is independently governed by the Global Technical Committee, and local innovation by partners is encouraged through our Innovation Framework.  We are working with our partners to develop new products that meet the increasing need for evidence-based tools to inform and shape road safety investment on the way to halving road deaths and injuries and ultimately achieving Vision Zero.  In this way expertise is shared openly around the world as we work together to create a world free of high-risk roads.

We work together with partners in low, middle and high income countries.  We work in urban and rural environments.  We work in countries with lots of existing data, and countries with limited existing data.  We work together with other road safety partners to ensure a holistic safe system approach is considered.  We work with all partners who can help create a world free of high-risk roads.

Our main tools and techniques are known as the ‘four iRAP protocols’. Find out more about them below.

Star Ratings

Star Ratings are based on road inspection data and provide a simple and objective measure of the level of safety which is ‘built-in’ to the road for vehicle occupants, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians.

Five-star roads are the safest while one-star roads are the least safe.

Broadly speaking, every extra star rating results in a halving of crash cost in terms of the number of people who are killed and seriously injured.

Importantly, Star Ratings can be completed without reference to detailed crash data, which is often unavailable in low-income and middle-income countries.

Click on the different elements to explore the Star Rating process:

Road Survey Road Design Road Coding Data Preperation Processing Star Ratings Investment Plan Design Refined Image Map

All the iRAP road survey data which is gathered around the world, is processed through ViDA, our central data base.

It’s easy-to-use and contains the results from more than 1,000,000km of road assessments. You can use it to create life-saving Star Ratings and Safer Road Investment Plans.  One of the great things about ViDA is that it uses a ‘risk worm’ to segment roads into different levels of risk. This means you can target investment to deliver the biggest return in lives saved and serious injuries prevented.

We’re constantly updating ViDA to make it even more flexible and easy to use.

You can register to use ViDA for free.

Investment Plans

iRAP considers more than 90 proven road improvement options to generate affordable and economically sound Safer Road Investment Plans (SRIP) that improve a road's Star Ratings and will save lives.

Here are three examples of countermeasures that have been identified for around 300km of roads in the Dominican Republic. Click on each countermeasure to view an interactive map of where they could be used and the number of deaths and serious injuries they could prevent.

Because each road – and the community it serves – is unique, every Safer Road Investment Plan is different.  By assessing and optimising the 90 key attributes that are universal to all roads, we arrive at a clear network-level plan that will maximise the lives saved per unit of investment based on the road users on that road network.

The investment plans take into account the existing road features, the speed and volume of traffic, the expected fatalities and injuries before and after treatment, the heirarchy of treatments, the expected economic benefits of investing in that treatment, the benefit to cost ratio and the internal rate of return.  In this way the road owner can have a full appreciation of the investment business case and have confidence that the interventions will deliver results.

User defined investment plans can also be developed and road authority partners around the world are developing bespoke countermeasure trigger sets to suit their investment priorities and institutional structures (e.g. safe system trigger set, speed management module, maintenance programme).

Our plans aim to make roads safer for all road user groups and provide the starting point for a detailed investigation and specification of road upgrades at a location. Ultimately, we want to see all roads for all road user groups upgraded or speed appropriately managed to deliver a 3-star or better journey for all.  (Find out more here about 3-star or better.)

Risk Mapping

In regions where detailed crash data is available, iRAP partners produce colour-coded Risk Maps that represent the actual number of deaths and injuries on a road network.

Risk Maps capture the combined risk arising from the interaction of road users, vehicles and the road environment. The maps provide an at-a-glance objective view of where people are dying and where their crash risk is greatest.

Risk maps are a powerful tool for road safety policy makers, professionals and advocates.  Risk Maps can help inform priorities across all pillars of road safety action (management, infrastructure, vehicles, road users and post-crash care).  They include standard ways of expressing and benchmarking:

  • crashes per kilometre or mile
  • crashes per kilometre or mile travelled
  • crashes per road user group, crash type or other metrics
  • crash costs per length or distance travelled

Performance Tracking

Risk Rate Distribution 2012 - 2014

Road environments – and the communities they serve – are constantly in transition.  Changing patterns in economic activity, traffic volumes, urban density and boundaries, road investment and wear and tear/misuse of infrastructure can mean that performance can vary over time.

The regular risk mapping or star rating of a network can provide unique and transparent insights into the success of all road safety investment. Improvements in performance can be celebrated as lives are saved. Trends in performance can be monitored and early action taken to address new issues and persistently high-risk roads.

Regularly updated risk maps have been used effectively by a number of countries (see UK example). If crash data and risk maps are not possible, then a Star Rating reassessment undertaken every 3-5 years can be a powerful performance tracking tool.

Get in touch with us to find out more information