Focal points – Focusing forward


Principles for focal points

The bfu is committed to accident prevention in the areas of road traffic, sports and in and around the home. The available resources are not unlimited, so the bfu prioritises focal points while taking into account the following principles:

  • The actual accidence occurrence determines focal points. This means that the bfu gets involved in areas where many accidents with serious consequences occur, while at the same time taking into consideration the safety needs of the general public. 
  • Preventative measures are based on good practice research findings. 
  • Accidents are to be avoided. If this is not possible, their consequences are to be minimised.  
  • Situational prevention is more effective and sustainable than behavioural prevention. 
  • Measures should be economically as well as politically and socially acceptable.  
  • Involuntary risk exposure and third-party endangerment are prioritised over voluntary risk exposure and self-endangerment.


Focal point programs

The bfu carries out focal point programs, with the aim of prioritising and achieving a coordinated approach to accident focal points. The various activities of the bfu and its partners should be coordinated without overlaps or gaps.

Focal point programs run, in accordance with the prevention cycle, in three phases, as a general rule for four to six years. Current bfu focal point programs are devoted to the topics novice drivers, snow sports, bicycles, falls, motorcycles, (summer) mountain sports and speed.


Road traffic focal points


Applying the criterion of fatalities and seriously injured persons results in the following accident focal points:

• Novice drivers
• Motorcycles
• Bicycles
• Speed
• Fatigue and distraction
• Senior citizens

The challenges are the stagnation in the proportion of seriously injured persons, the increase in the proportion of vulnerable road users and the rise in age-related deficits and illnesses. 

Find out more in our safety dossiers on road traffic topics.

Sports focal points


The focal points in accident occurrence and therefore the main fields of activities in sports accident prevention are: 

  • Snow sports (skiing, snowboarding, sledging)  
  • Off-road cycling 
  • Mountain sports (hiking, climbing, ski mountaineering and off-piste skiing) 
  • Water sports (drowning)
  • Football

The challenges lie in the rise in the variety of sports, the drop in organised sports activities (club sports), increasing numbers of beginners and less-accomplished practitioners and the increasing length of exposure time, especially in over-45 year-olds. 

Find a comprehensive representation of accident prevention focal points in sports in the safety dossier  “Sports accidents research”.

Focal points in and around the home


With 1500 deaths annually, almost eleven times as many people in Switzerland lose their lives in accidents in or around the home and during leisure activities than in sports activities, and almost five times as many than in road accidents. Over four-fifths of fatalities are caused by falls. The elderly are particularly affected. This means that the work of the bfu concentrates mainly on fall prevention.

Selective measures focus on injuries caused by tools and equipment, broken glass and sheet metal as well as accidents involving choking. 

Find a complete representation of accident occurrence in and around the home in the safety dossier “Home and Leisure”.