More than three thousand preventable deaths and many thousands of serious injuries from road trauma occur every day. More than 1.2 million people currently die on the world’s roads each year, with an estimated cost of 2-3% of global GDP.
The actions needed to improve road safety are well understood: build safer roads, improve vehicle safety, reduce speeds and encourage safe road user behaviour. Significant analysis has gone into attributing economic value to the effect these ‘safe system’ interventions can have on reducing crashes and the severity of their consequences. Still, there are major gaps in capacity to deliver the elements for safety in many countries and, critically, in the evidence base that can unlock those elements at scale.
Similarly, significant investment each year goes into building and maintaining road infrastructure and meeting the costs of road trauma. Yet, there are significant challenges to directing capital into prevention at the scale required to meet the road safety goals set by the international community
Social impact investing provides an exciting option to ‘unlock’ the benefits of improving road safety: it can prove concepts, prioritise data collection and a multistakeholder approach, laying the foundations for larger scale commercial structures. This will require clear identification of elements of the social and financial cost and benefit, not yet captured in most current data and models.
FIA Foundation, ‘Breaking the Deadlock’ 2015
Exploratory work on utilising the iRAP’s Star Rating and Investment Plans to help identify the the social and financial cost and benefit of investment in road infrastructure.