Accident data provide limited information about the road safety phenomenon if they are not coupled with data on risk exposure (vehicle, passenger traffic, etc.).  Within the framework of the European project SafetyNet, an EU common framework for collecting, processing and analyzing risk exposure data has been developed in order to allow for more meaningful road safety analyses. Within this common framework data concerning the road network, the driver population, the vehicle fleet, vehicle and passenger kilometers, the number of trips and the time in traffic were examined.  Starting from the existing risk exposure data, best practices on methodologies to collect and process these data were explored and put into a proposal for a common framework to be used throughout Europe and allow for the availability of comparable risk exposure data. Special emphasis was given to the discussion on risk exposure in relation to time and to distance, showing the complexity of the task and the attention one should pay when making road safety analyses with risk exposure data.  The gradual acceptance by the European countries of this common framework for risk exposure data is expected to upgrade significantly the possibilities for road safety analyses in the coming years and contribute thus to the achievement of ambitious targets of halving the number of fatalities in the European roads.