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The work described assesses the impact of inter-vehicle communication systems on road safety. A simple model is used to assess the reduction in accident risk if the response time of drivers is improved by state of the art technology. The currently available techniques for inter-vehicle communication, based either on direct communication between vehicles or on vehicle-to-infrastructure and vice versa, are briefly examined in order to provide an overview of the recent proposals the world of electronics and telecommunications has made available to the transport industry concerning safety. A method to assess safety, based on a parameter called risk index (RI), is then proposed in order to evaluate to what extent the use of vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication technologies can actually increase road safety.