Loughborough University has been awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education 2007, in recognition of its vehicle, road and driver safety research.
Road safety research is conducted within two main areas of the University – the Vehicle Safety Research Centre (VSRC) and the Driver Sleepiness Research Group (DSRG).
Established in 1982, the VSRC conducts research into the causes of accidents and injuries in real world crashes and has made major contributions to European road and vehicle safety. Since its formation the VSRC has conducted over 7,000 in-depth crash investigations and has made important advances in the science of crash analysis.
The DSRG, established in 1993, was the first UK research organisation to recognise the real problem of driver sleepiness and bring it to public attention. Its research and application of sleep science has led to widely adopted guidelines for the identification of sleep-related road crashes and to practical countermeasures. These include the ‘Tiredness can kill – take a break’ signs on motorways, changes to the Highway Code, and the setting of legal precedents concerning driver liability.
The University’s research into vehicle safety and driver sleepiness is internationally recognised. Strong emphasis is placed on the development of practical measures to protect road users, and widespread communication to modify driver behaviour and raise awareness. The contributions of the VSRC and DSRG to saving lives and reducing serious injuries are widely acclaimed, and have greatly improved understanding of the causes of crashes and how they can be reduced.