iDREAMS Policy Brief on Corporate Social Responsibility and road safety

By Isobel Duxfield / Updated: 09 May 2023

Within the frame of the iDREAMS project, POLIS has published a new policy brief on the topic of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and its impact on road safety and transport. The brief focuses on the role of CSR in promoting safe driving practices, reducing road accidents, and improving overall road safety.

i-DREAMS, a 4-year project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, has developed a ready-to-use solution to many challenges faced by businesses in the transport industry.

Mobility must be safe to become sustainable. As a growing number of public authorities commit to reducing traffic fatalities and promoting walking and cycling, public opinion is shifting on the issue of road risk. The objective of this project is to set up a framework for the definition, development, testing and validation of a context-aware ‘Safety Tolerance Zone’ for driving, within a smart Driver, Vehicle & Environment Assessment and Monitoring System (iDREAMS). Taking into account, on the one hand, driver background factors and real-time risk indicators, and on the other hand, driving task complexity indicators, a continuous real-time assessment was made to monitor and determine if a driver is within acceptable boundaries of safe operation (i.e., Safety Tolerance Zone).

Several factors of driver state negatively impact road safety, such as distraction (in-vehicle or external), fatigue and drowsiness, health concerns (e.g., illness, frailty, cognitive state) and extreme emotions (e.g., anxiety, stress, anger). Moreover, differences in socio-cultural factors are still among the main determinants of road risks. At the same time, technological developments make massive and detailed operator performance data easily available, which allows for new opportunities for the detection and design of customised interventions to mitigate the risks, increase awareness, and upgrade driver performance, constantly and dynamically.

According to the policy brief - written by Pedro Homem de Gouveia and Lina Kabbaj from POLIS, CSR can play a crucial role in promoting road safety by encouraging companies to adopt safe driving practices, investing in road safety infrastructure, and promoting awareness campaigns.

For transport companies, road safety fits well in CSR strategies. While reducing road risks is a goal in itself, prioritising road safety in management strategies would positively affect the company’s image, sustainability, and profitability. The concern of private companies to be viable in their business model is legitimate, but road safety represents an opportunity, rather than an obstacle.

The i-DREAMS system, by monitoring driving style, coaches drivers towards safer driving behaviours.

The brief also highlights the importance of gamification, research, and private actors' role in putting safety front and centre in their own plans.

Read the full policy brief here.


Image design: Alessia Giorgiutti for iDREAMS

Safety and urban mobility