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The University of Southampton

£2m to help reduce deaths from road accidents

Published: 3 August 2017
A busy street in Dhaka, Bangladesh
A busy street in Dhaka, Bangladesh

The University of Southampton has been awarded nearly £2m to research and help reduce the high number of fatalities from road traffic accidents in low and middle-income countries (LMICs).

The money is part of £120m from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) given to 33 research units and groups, with the aim of improving the health of patients and public.

Southampton’s money will go to the NIHR Group on Global Road Safety, part of the University’s Transportation Research Group.  It will fund work to collect road transport data, develop and simulate solutions to road safety problems, and help shape policies and regulations to reduce accidents in LMICs.

Lead researcher Professor Neville Stanton commented: “World Health Organisation figures tell us that low and middle-income countries have more than twice as many road traffic fatalities, per head of population, compared to high-income countries. They represent 82 per cent of the global population, but they only have 54 per cent of registered motor vehicles – demonstrating a disproportionate number of deaths relative to their level of motorisation.

“We aim to reduce the number and severity of road accidents in LMICs through our underpinning philosophy of ‘local solutions for local problems’ – working with partners in four key countries.  We don’t set out to impose a westernised view of road safety; instead we seek to capture the current challenges and develop and evaluate relevant and realistic solutions.”

The team will conduct research in four countries, from low-income through to upper middle-income. They will collaborate with universities in Bangladesh (Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology), Kenya (Strathmore University), Vietnam (National University of Civil Engineering) and China (Tsinghua University). 

 Following the success of the initial national call for projects by the NIHR, a call for a second round of applications has now been launched, funded by £40m from the Department of Health Official Development Assistance (ODA) budget.  Health Minister Lord O’Shaughnessy said: “This funding allows our universities to strengthen their research and expertise as leaders in global health research.  The UK will continue to be at the forefront of health knowledge, and it is only right that we support other nations as they improve care for patients and public.”


Notes for editors

  1. University of Southampton project team: Prof. Neville Stanton (Director), Dr Katie Plant, Prof. John Preston, Dr Bani Anvari, Prof. Paul Roderick, Prof. Charles Deakin, Dr Guiqing Yao and Joy Richardson (Administrator).
    The team has partners in Bangladesh, Kenya, China and Vietnam; Prof. Md. Shamul Hoque, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Prof. Gilbert Kokwaro, Strathmore University, Kenya, Prof. Jianping Wu, Tsinghua University, China and Prof. Vu Hoai Nam, National University of Civil Engineering, Vietnam
  2. The University of Southampton drives original thinking, turns knowledge into action and impact, and creates solutions to the world’s challenges.  We are among the top one per cent of institutions globally.  Our academics are leaders in their fields, forging links with high-profile international businesses and organisations, and inspiring a 24,000-strong community of exceptional students, from over 135 countries worldwide. Through our high-quality education, the University helps students on a journey of discovery to realise their potential and join our global network of over 200,000 alumni.
  3. For more on the University of Southampton’s Transportation Group, please visit:
  4. The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR): improving the health and wealth of the nation through research. Established by the Department of Health, the NIHR: 
    funds high quality research to improve health
    trains and supports health researchers
    provides world-class research facilities
    works with the life sciences industry and charities to benefit all
    involves patients and the public at every step
  5.  For further information, visit the NIHR website

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