The EU research project SafetyCube pays specific attention to serious road injuries, defined as nonfatal road traffic casualties with an injury severity level of MAIS3+. By means of surveys, information was collected on current practices concerning the estimation of the number of MAIS3+ casualties and on costs related to serious road injuries in different European countries. Moreover, the effect of differences in practices on the estimated number of MAIS3+ casualties was investigated by applying different methods to the same data. Finally, by means of a literature review, analysis of additional case studies, and burden of injury calculations, health impacts of serious road injuries were investigated. This paper presents six main lessons learned from these activities. Practices concerning the estimation of the number of MAIS3+ casualties differ between countries; some countries apply correction factors to police data, other countries use hospital data, and a third group of countries uses linked police and hospital data. Practices also differ concerning the selection of MAIS3+ road traffic injuries within hospital data. Differences in methodology appear to affect the MAIS3+ estimate. Therefore, one should be careful when comparing figures from different countries. The SafetyCube guidelines can support further harmonization. It is important to reduce the number of serious road injuries because injuries can have major impacts on a casualty’s life and pose a burden to society. About 75% of the MAIS3+ road traffic casualties are not fully recovered 3 years postcrash. Moreover, serious road injuries cost countries up to 2.7% of their gross domestic product.
Serious road traffic injuries in Europe, Lessons from the EU research project SafetyCube