The project is being heralded as the best source of accident research data in the world, and is expected to result in measures to cut the accident rate, currently claiming the lives of more than 3,000 people and costing the UK £13 billion a year. The On The Spot (OTS) project will see teams of accident investigators - supplied from the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) and the Research Institute for Consumer Ergonomics (RICE) - deployed to an accident to gather data.
Launching OTS, Transport Minister Lord Whitty said: 'Through a better understanding of the cause of accidents, OTS accident research will help reduce the number of deaths and injuries on our roads.'
As well as driver training and experience, data will focus on the vehicles, including damage, failures, features fitted and their contribution.
The project is expected to lead to substantial road safety benefits, with information on alcohol, fatigue, drugs, driver experience, road user behaviour or excessive speed and these could influence the development of the next generation of safety systems, such as airbags, seatbelts and advanced crumple zones.