The ESRA initiative

ESRA (E-Survey of Road users’ Attitudes) is coordinated by Vias institute. It is a joint initiative of road safety institutes, research centres, public services, and private sponsors from all over the world. The aim is to collect and analyse comparable data on road safety performance and road safety culture. The ESRA data are used as a basis for a large set of road safety indicators. These provide scientific evidence for policy making at national and international levels.

At the heart of ESRA is a jointly developed questionnaire survey, which is translated into national language versions. The themes covered include self-declared behaviour, attitudes and opinions on unsafe behaviour in traffic, enforcement experiences and support for policy measures. The survey addresses different road safety topics (e.g., driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs and medicines, speeding, distraction, seatbelt and helmet use) and targets car occupants, moped riders and motorcyclists, cyclists, pedestrians, and riders of e-scooters. 

Already three editions of ESRA have taken place. ESRA1 was conducted in 2015-2017, ESRA2 in 2018-2020 and ESRA3 in 2023. In total, the ESRA survey has already been conducted in 68 countries across 6 continents. 

The ESRA initiative is managed by the ESRA Steering Group, a consortium currently consisting of 11 organisations across the world. The initiative is led by Vias institute (Brussels, Belgium).

Aim & objectives

  • Provide scientific support for road safety policy making at national and international levels
  • Make internationally comparable data available on the current road safety situation in countries all over the world
  • Develop a series of reliable, cost-effective and comparable road safety performance indicators
  • Develop time series on road safety performance

The intention is to repeat this survey every three years and extend it to an increasing number of countries.

ESRA Methodology, in a nutshell, it is:

  • An ONLINE survey using representative sample (aiming at n=1000 per country, exceptions exist):
    • 37,000 road users participated in the ESRA3 survey
    • 45,000 road users participated in the ESRA2 survey
    • 40,000 road users participated in the ESRA1 survey
  • A common questionnaire developed and translated into:
    • 49 different national language versions for ESRA3 edition
    • 62 different national language versions for ESRA2 edition
    • 33 different national language versions for ESRA1 edition
  • Hard quota are used for gender and age distribution during the sampling procedure.
  • 5 types of road users are reached to respond to the questions:
    • Car drivers
    • Moped riders and motorcyclists
    • Cyclists
    • Pedestrians
    • E-scooters (new since ESRA3)
  • 5 road safety topics are addressed:
    • Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs and medicines
    • Speeding
    • Protective systems (e.g., seat belt use, helmet use)
    • Distraction
    • Fatigue
  • 10 main themes are covered:
    • Use of different transport modes
    • Self-declared safe and unsafe behaviour in traffic
    • Acceptability of safe and unsafe traffic behaviour
    • Attitudes towards safe and unsafe traffic behaviour
    • Involvement in road crashes
    • Subjective safety and risk perception
    • Support for policy measures
    • Opinions and experiences with enforcement measures
    • Infrastructure (new since ESRA3)
    • Specific regional questions (new since ESRA3)
  • For more information on methodology, look at ESRA2 methodology report


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