Can the road surface be made safer for pedestrians? This is not an idle question. According to the WHO, falls and related injuries are the second leading cause of death in road traffic accidents in the world. Moreover, most of them are among people over 65 years old.
A large team of researchers from several dozen universities has developed a concept for a safe road surface as part of the SAFERUP project. It is an acronym for Sustainable, Accessible, Safe, Resilient, and Smart Urban Pavements, which means “sustainable, affordable, safe, durable and smart urban pavements”.
To soften the pavement, the researchers added 40:60% car tire crumbs to a traditional mixture of rocks and tar. Since tar is an extremely viscous liquid, it binds well to crumb rubber from car tires.
The SAFERUP concept is very similar to floor coverings for playgrounds, which also use crumb rubber. Studies have shown that the new road surface not only protects against injuries, but, contrary to the fears of many, is absolutely environmentally friendly.
The immediate goal of SAFERUP is to train specialists involved in the construction of new generation roads. Scientists are convinced that cities of the future will have safe sidewalks equipped with special sensors and other solutions that will record falls and various accidents.