The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering of National University of Science and Technology of the Sultanate of Oman (NU) organized with great success the first lecture in the context of International Webinar series on Sustainable Road Safety, which was held on 5 May. Dr. Stergios Mavromatis, Assistant Professor at the NTUA, Department of Transportation Planning, delivered a webinar titled Role of Infrastructure design in achieving sustainable Road safety. The Webinar gave a deep insight into the existing issues in accident analysis and discussed the proactive and reactive strategies with appropriate examples. The Vision zero and safe system approach were presented , while the improvement of road design to reduce potential crashes was explained with practical examples.
The fifth Newsletter of the Horizon 2020 project BeOpen (European forum and observatory for open science in transport) was recently released with the results of the second event held virtually at the US TRB (Transportation Research Board) 2021 Annual meeting and successive presentations of the TOPOS Observatory and Forum key features to the transport and open science community. Additionally, this Newsletter gives a preview of the outcomes of the internal workshop on Impact assessment of open science in transport research.
The European Commission has recently published a Report titled: Study into the market development and safety of personal mobility devices (PMDs) and L-category vehicles, prepared by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL). The main objectives of this study were to provide an inventory of the various types of personal mobility devices available on the market, to provide a detailed analysis of the market and the influence of the existing legislations at EU and national level and to provide a collection and evaluation of available data and information on accidents involving personal mobility devices.
The German Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt) recently published a Report titled Safety Performance Indicators in road traffic – Overview and experiences from international practice. The findings of this Report contribute to the conceptual framework of the “Road Safety Research Programme 2019” of the German Federal Highway Research Institute, aiming to describe indicators that precede a potential accident event as a description of the state of the road traffic system and predictors of the accident.
Which factors lead to driving errors? A structural equation model analysis through a driving simulator experiment, April 2019
A paper titled “Which factors lead to driving errors? A structural equation model analysis through a driving simulator experiment” authored by Panagiotis Papantoniou, George Yannis and Eleni Christofa is published in Journal of IATSS. Data were obtained from a driving simulation experiment in which 95 participants covering all ages were asked to drive under different types of distraction (no distraction, conversation with passenger, cell phone use) in rural and urban road environment, as well as in both low and high traffic conditions. Structural Equation Models were developed and the driving error was modeled as a latent variable based on several individual driving simulator parameters. The results of this complex model reveal that the impact of driver characteristics and area type are the only statistically significant factors affecting the probability of driving errors. Interestingly, neither conversing with a passenger nor talking on the cell phone have a statistically significant impact on driving error behaviour which highlights the importance of the present analysis and more specifically the development of a measure that represents overall driving error behaviour instead of individual driving errors variables.
The Sustainable Mobility for All Initiative (SuM4All), World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), and the International Road Federation (IRF) have launched a Report titled Sustainable Mobility: Policy Making for Data Sharing. The Report draws attention to the need for policy guidance for data sharing between public and private sector stakeholders in the transportation sector. Increasing digitalization of mobility can accelerate the transition toward sustainable urban mobility.
WB/GRSF -Road Crash Trauma, Climate Change, Pollution and the Total Costs of Speed Report, March 2021
The World Bank Global Road Safety Facility (GRSF) has published a Report titled: Road Crash Trauma, Climate Change, Pollution and the Total Costs of Speed: Six graphs that tell the story. The purpose of this Report is to provide information on the relationships relevant to fundamental road transport policies, design, and operation. Well-established evidence shows the importance of managing travel speeds for road safety, for efficiency, for improved inclusion, and for greenhouse gas and other emissions.
The World Bank Global Road Safety Facility (GRSF), under the new BIGRS Program 2020-2025, hosts the Speed Management Hub. In this platform, the GRSF team provides evidence-based road safety knowledge to help manage speed through infrastructure interventions, effective enforcement, targeted awareness measures, and vehicle technology. Key engagements from this focus area include the provision of technical expertise to program partners, countries and cities on speed management and the preparation and publication of Global Speed Management Guidelines.
The World Bank Global Road Safety Facility (GRSF) announced the launch of their newly redesigned website: roadsafetyfacility.org. This project provides better access to the use of GRSF research and products will improve guidance and advocacy actions to address the global road safety crisis. Some of the new features of this site are Interactive Road Safety Country Profiles, Speed Management Hub and DRIVER platform.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has recently published the PIN Flash Report 40 titled: Are Medical Fitness to Drive Procedures Fit for Purpose? with the active contribution of NTUA. This Report examines the current state of play in PIN countries regarding the assessment of medical fitness to drive, with reference to the 2006 EU Directive on Driving Licence and recommends that a standardised screening process be considered across all Member States when assessing a driver’s fitness to drive. The process should be based on international best practice and ideally, consistent across all jurisdictions.
Impact of pandemic to mobility behavior in the European Union using time-series analysis, March 2021.
An NTUA Diploma Thesis titled “Impact of pandemic to mobility behavior in the European Union using time-series analysis” was recently presented by Marianthi Kallidoni. This Diploma Thesis revealed that school closing is the most important exogenous factor for describing driving or walking, while the effect of “Stay at home” orders was not a significant factor for the evolution of people movements. In addition, countries which suffered the most due to the pandemic showed a strong correlation with the restrictive measures. Furthermore, no time-series models were found to describe the countries which implemented weak countermeasures.
Investigation of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mobility in Greece using time series analysis, March 2021.
An NTUA Diploma Thesis titled “Investigation of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mobility in Greece using time series analysis” was recently presented by Eleni Blatsouka. This Diploma Thesis shows that the closing of educational institutions and lockdown are the most important exogenous factors for describing mobility, while the curfew and the mandatory use of mask in all public areas are not significant factors. In addition, seasonal models appear to produce better forecasts than the non-seasonal ones.
An NTUA Diploma Thesis titled “Time Series Analysis of Vehicle and Pedestrian Traffic in Athens” was recently presented by Nick Economou. The result of this Diploma Thesis is that from summer onwards the forecasted mobility evolution of drivers and pedestrians in Athens Great Area is lower than the observed one, which may be due to summer holidays and high temperatures during summer months in which the prediction was based. Considering the modal split on the examined roads in the center of Athens, it is observed a reduction in the use of passenger vehicles with a simultaneous increase in the use of taxis, which may be due to the adaptation of drivers to the new traffic conditions of the Panepistimiou street brought about by the Athens Great Walk pilot operation.
An NTUA Diploma Thesis titled “Impact of weather conditions and rush on road safety” was recently presented by Giota Spanou. This Diploma Thesis shows that snow and rain lead to a significant increase in the probability of an accident. Fog increases the accident probability only in the event of a dangerous event. Also, time pressure seems to have the same effects as snow, a fact that should concern drivers.
An NTUA Diploma Thesis titled “Correlation of declared and revealed driver behaviour using smartphone sensors” was recently presented by Nadia Kokkali. The result of this study is that driving experience, driver age, number of injury accidents in which the driver was involved, vehicle age, fines received by the driver during the last 3 years are all variables associated with increased harsh events. In most of the cases, a convergence between stated and revealed behaviour was observed.
ETSC – Road Safety Priorities for the EU: Briefing to Members of the European Parliament Report, March 2021
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has recently published a Report titled: Road Safety Priorities for the EU: Briefing to Members of the European Parliament. In this briefing, ETSC outlines its recommendations to MEPs on what can be done to reach the new 2030 road safety targets, as input to the European Parliament’s Own Initiative Report on Road Safety. The Road Safety Framework proposes eight new Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) against which EU Member State performance will be analysed to set outcome targets based on the indicators.
The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) partnership with iRAP’s award-winning Star Rating for Schools (SR4S) programme, delivered the FIA School Assessment Toolkit to identify high-risk schools, establish and conduct safety assessments, communicate results and scale-up outcomes.The Toolkit provides over 30 knowledge documents, guidelines and templates to plan, resource, apply and advocate for school zone improvements that will save children’s lives by delivering a 3-star or better journey to school.
A new book titled ‘Highway Safety Analytics and Modeling‘ authored by Dominique Lord, Xiao Qin, Srinivas R. Geedipally, has been recently published. This book covers the key elements needed for making effective transportation engineering and policy decisions based on highway crash data analysis. It covers all aspects of the decision-making process, from collecting and assembling data to making decisions based on the results of the analyses. The book discusses the challenges with crash and naturalistic data, identifying problems and proposing best methods to solving them. It examines the nuances associated with crash data analysis, showing how to develop countermeasures, policies, and programs to reduce the frequency and severity of traffic crashes
Colonna P., Ranieri V., Berloco N., Intini P. – Road safety. Technical solutions to a behavioural and technological problem with a scientific approach, December 2020
A new book titled “Road safety. Technical solutions to a behavioural and technological problem with a scientific approach” authored by Pasquale Colonna, Vittorio Ranieri, Nicola Berloco and Paolo Intini was published on December 2020. This book is aimed to provide both the scientific background and an operational framework for safety enhancement of existing roads, applicable regardless of the specific country and to prioritise the human value thanks to the benefits from reduced severe crashes.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has recently published a Report titled: The Impact of COVID-19 on Traffic Safety and Mobility Education. The Report focuses on the effect of the restrictions imposed by most European Governments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular the closure of schools, affected the provision of traffic safety and mobility education in their country, their work related to it, and how they adapted to it. The potential for Traffic Safety and Mobility Education improvement during and after the pandemic is discussed.
Together for Safer Roads (TSR), together with presenting sponsors UPS foundation and CalAmp, announced a vision zero technology fund to support fleet safety in essential services and purpose-based organizations. The fund will underwrite the adoption of lifesaving vehicle technologies and will assist in its implementation among essential service organizations’ fleet operations.
The Horizon 2020 project HADRIAN (Holistic Approach for Driver Role Integration and Automation Allocation for European Mobility Needs) published recently the 1st HADRIAN Newsletter. One-year technical work is presented, highlighting the HADRIAN operational concept for improved driver role for automated driving and the respective driver state monitoring capability and HMI approach, together with related safety and impact assessment and the elaboration of ethical and legal implications for automated driving.
The Forum of European Road Safety Research Institutes (FERSI) published a Paper titled “E-scooters in Europe: legal status, usage and safety“, which presents the legal status, usage and safety of e-scooters in 18 European countries. Many countries are working on more targeted or more elaborate legislation. Οbjective information about numbers, safety, users and their behaviour is scarce and needs to be strengthened.
The Forum of European Road Safety Research Institutes (FERSI) published a Position Paper titled “Towards an evidence-based national road safety programme“. The paper intends to offer guidance to Member States on developing a national road safety programme. Its main message is that a road safety programme must be based on scientifically sound evidence in order to ensure that it focuses on the most relevant issues and implements the most appropriate treatments.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), recently released a Report titled “Global Trade in Used Vehicles“, which looks at 146 countries that import used vehicles, and calls for action to regulate the trade through the adoption of a set of harmonized minimum quality standards. These would ensure used vehicles contribute to cleaner and safer fleets in recipient countries. UNEP and partners will address these issues, initially with a project focused on Africa.
The Road Safety GB organised with great success the 6th conference titled “Joining the Dots“, held online on March 2021. This conference focused on pressing topics facing the profession in this exceptional year and beyond including; changes in travel choice, the impact on roads casualties, shifting road user behaviour and predicting modal shift towards active travel. The recordings of the presentations are now available: NTUA actively contributed with the following presentation: Impact of COVID-19 on driver behaviour in Greece and selected countries
The fourth Newsletter of the Horizon 2020 project BeOpen (European forum and observatory for open science in transport) was recently released with all the past 6 months achievements, including activities and deliverables. The project’s goal is to progress beyond the state-of-the-art, developing an appropriate regulatory framework and policies to support innovation and deployment.
The Horizon 2020 project i-DREAMS (smart Driver and Road Environment Assessment and Monitoring System) recently released its 3rd Newsletter, presenting the main accomplishments of the project, through creative solutions and risk mitigation strategies. The newsletter overviews the progress of the project during 2020, and highlights the technical results of project deliverables, spanning from the theoretical modelling of the Safety Tolerance Zone and the active and post-trip intervention strategies to the practical organization of the 6-month field trial experiment and the corresponding hardware and software developed from the consortium.
The 4th ESRA2 Webinar took place with great success on 16 December 2020 including the NTUA presentation titled: “Moped drivers and Motorcyclists”. This presentation was based on the results of the ESRA2 Thematic Report titled “Moped drivers and motorcyclists” focusing on key PTW attitudes from a survey that collected data from more than 35,000 road users across 32 countries worldwide. Speeding, drink and drive, helmet use and mobile phone distraction as well as self-declared safety perception of using mopeds and motorcycles, were among the key issues highlighted.
The European Commission (DG Move) has recently developed the Sustainable Urban Mobility Indicators, which is a set of practical and reliable indicators that support cities to perform a standardised evaluation of their mobility system and to measure improvements that result from new mobility practices or policies. Two out of the 18 mobility indicators concern key urban road safety indicators to be jointly considered within the new urban sustainable mobility policies. The complete set of indicators is now available
The European Commission (DG Move) recently presented the EU Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy together with an Action Plan of 82 initiatives (several of which aim to promote and enhance road safety), which lay the foundation for how the EU transport system can achieve its green and digital transformation .
Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean said: “As the backbone that connects European citizens and business, transport matters to us all. Digital technologies have the potential to revolutionise the way we move, making our mobility smarter, more efficient, and also greener”.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has recently published a Report titled: Alcohol Interlocks in Europe: An Overview of Current and Forthcoming Programmes. This new Report aims at providing a more practical approach showing how each country has implemented their national scheme or intend to implement it in the future. It also identifies strengths and weaknesses to advocate for more effective measures and to inspire other Member States to deliver successful programmes.
The IRF Data Warehouse is a web-based global road data platform and warehouse that can complement and support national and regional efforts to collect and manage data. The IRF Data Warehouse also contributes to capacity-building and advocacy activities on a number of topics and in particular, road safety. The entire time series of the IRF World Road Statistics enables immediate and effective data analysis and is complemented by a series of dashboards and interactive data visualisation tools.
The World Road Association – PIARC published a Report titled “Prevention and Mitigation of Tunnel-Related Collisions”. This report presents and recommends possible organizational and technical measures one can implement to lower the probability or the mechanical consequences of tunnel related collisions, that is, collisions in which the specific characteristics of a tunnel play a role in either the cause or the effect.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to support a EUR 470 million nationwide Scheme to reduce death and injury caused by traffic accidents across Greece. NTUA had contributed to the economic analysis of this major road safety scheme. Over the next three years, national road operator Egnatia Odos will improve road safety at 7,000+ of the most dangerous sites, located across 11 Regions of Greece. The small scale safety schemes will include installation of traffic barriers, provision of anti-skid surfaces and improved warning signs and markings on roads identified as high-risk.
Greek Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Kostas Karamanlis, stated that “improving road safety across Greece is a national priority and the EIB support will reduce significantly the risk of accidents at the Greek interurban road network”.
Economic Assessment of Road Infrastructure Safety Schemes in Greece Using Crash Prediction Methodology, at the TRB 99th Annual Meeting, January 2020
A paper titled “Economic Assessment of Road Infrastructure Safety Schemes in Greece Using Crash Prediction Methodology”, authored by G. Yannis, A. Dragomanovits, J. Roussou, D. Nikolaou, was presented at the Transportation Research Board (TRB) 99th Annual Meeting, on January 2020. This research presents a case study for the economic assessment of road safety schemes in crash prone locations in selected rural highways in Greece, using crash prediction models from the AASHTO Highway Safety Manual. The analysis results demonstrate the high impact of this large Road Safety Scheme.
A paper titled “Vulnerable road users: Cross-cultural perspectives on performance and attitudes“, authored by George Yannis, Dimitris Nikolaou, Alexandra Laiou, Yvonne Achermann Stürmer, Ilona Buttler, Dagmara Jankowska-Karpa is now published in the Journal of IATSS. The results of this paper indicate that crossing the road at places other than nearby pedestrian crossings, reading a text message or checking social media while walking on the streets, cycling and riding without wearing a helmet, and speeding on powered two-wheelers outside built-up areas but not on motorways/freeways were the most frequently reported self-declared behaviours in 32 countries.
The International Transport Forum (ITF/OECD) published recently a new Report: “Monitoring Progress in Urban Road Safety Report”, tracking progress in reducing the number of road traffic fatalities and serious injuries in cities since 2010. It presents traffic safety data collected in 48 cities participating in the ITF Safer City Streets network and compares urban with national road safety trends. It provides indicators for the risk of traffic death for different road user groups, thereby enhancing the evaluation, monitoring and benchmarking of road safety outcomes.
An NTUA Diploma Thesis titled “Critical factors for the identification of traffic safety events in urban areas” was recently presented by Foteini Bardi. According to the results, the random forest model proved to produce more reliable results predicting traffic safety events with a lower false alarm rate, when compared to binomial logistic regression. Moreover, factor analysis demonstrated that data representing one minute before the event can be described by speed, the deviation of the vehicle from the middle of the road and the distance from the right boundary line. Similarly, data during the event can be better described through speed and longitudinal and lateral acceleration.
Critical factors of the influence of mobile phone use on driving behavior, based on smartphones’ data, October 2020
An NTUA Diploma Thesis titled “Critical factors of the influence of mobile phone use on driving behavior, based on smartphones’ data” was recently presented by Sofia Akritidou. The aim of this Diploma Thesis is to examine and model the critical factors of mobile phone use on driver behavior through the exploitation of data from smartphone sensors. The results revealed that the parameters affecting the use of mobile phone while driving are four, the percentage of driving duration with speed above the speed limit, distance driving, average deceleration, and average speed. For the general, urban and rural models, the average deceleration had the most significant impact, whereas for the highway model, distance was the most significant parameter.
An NTUA Diploma Thesis titled “Critical driving parameters affecting speeding using data from smartphones” was recently presented by Dimosthenis-Marios Tzoutzoulis. Data were collected from a smartphone application of 200 drivers in naturalistic driving and four log-linear regression models were developed correlating speeding with driving characteristics and with answers to dedicated questionnaire. The results demonstrate that the number of harsh accelerations, the percentage of mobile use and the distance of the trip affect the speeding percentage and are correlated with the aggressive behavior of the drivers. Furthermore, increased average acceleration does not always lead to breaking speed limits. Finally, male drivers tend to drive faster in comparison with women.
World Bank GRSF – Low and Middle-Income Country Profiles for Road Safety Opportunities and Challenges, October 2020
The World Bank Global Road Safety Facility (GRSF) has published a Guide, which gives a precise assessment on the magnitude and complexity of road safety challenges faced by Low and Middle Income Countries and assists policy makers understand the road safety framework in context of their own country systems and performance. This valuable Guide responds to the critical need for collecting and documenting accurate road safety performance data.
WB/GRSF – Guide on Determining Readiness for Speed Cameras and other Automated Enforcement, October 2020
The World Bank Global Road Safety Facility (GRSF) has published a Guide in order to assist a jurisdiction to determine the level of readiness to move to automated enforcement and -among others- aims in identifying the powerful practical value of Automated Enforcement in saving lives and reducing injuries and to identify also issues and criteria to be considered before commencing automated enforcement.
The World Bank Global Road Safety Facility (GRSF) has published a Report, highlighting examples of GRSF’s effective delivery of global road safety solutions for the period of 2017-2019, such as the Green Transport in Vietnam, the BIRGS in Colombia and the Road Safety Barrier in Nepal. Since the first volume of this publication, GRSF work has come to fruition in these years and has pushed significantly forward the road safety agenda.
The International Road Traffic and Accident Database (IRTAD) of the International Transport Forum (ITF/OECD) published the Road Safety Annual Report 2020, which provides an overview of road safety performance for 42 IRTAD countries. Based on the latest data, the report describes recent road safety developments in these countries and compares their performance against the main road safety indicators. This year, a highly interesting special section on the impact of covid-19 pandemic on road accidents is added. NTUA has contributed to the detailed report for Greece.
A paper titled “Car drivers’ road safety performance: A benchmark across 32 countries” authored by C. Pires, K. Torfs, A. Areal, C. Goldenbel, W. Vanlaar, M. A. Granie, Y. A. Stürmer, D. S. Usami, S. Kaiser, D. Jankowska-Karpa, D. Nikolaou, H. Holte, T. Kakinuma, J. Trigoso, W. Van den Berghe, U. Meesmann, is now published in the Journal of IATSS. This paper is based on the second edition of the E-Survey of Road Users’ Attitudes (ESRA), an online survey carried out in 2018 and includes data from more than 35,000 road users across 32 countries. The objective is to present the main results of the ESRA survey regarding the four most important risky driving behaviours in traffic: driving under the influence (alcohol/drugs), speeding, mobile phone use while driving, and fatigued driving.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has published a Position Paper concerning the European Commission roadworthiness package implementation report for Directives 2014/45/EC on periodic roadworthiness tests, 2014/47/EC on technical roadside inspections of commercial vehicles and 2014/46/EC on issuing registration certificates. ETSC has prepared this updated position paper to feed into this process including priorities not taken on board last time and new developments such as eCall and automation.
The Global Designing Cities Initiative (GDCI), a program of the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), in partnership with the International Road Assessment Program (iRAP) published recently the “iRAP Star Ratings of NACTO-GDCI’s Global Street Design Guide”. Released in 2016, the Global Street Design Guide has served as a blueprint for safer and higher-performing streets, and as a tool for addressing the 1.35 million road accident deaths and up to 50 million injuries that occur each year as a result of poorly-designed roads. As such, iRAP’s Star Rating methodology offers a useful framework for validating the tools and transformations featured in the publication.
A paper titled “Meta-regressions of exposure parameters used in spatial road safety analyses, September 2020” authored by Apostolis Ziakopoulos, and George Yannis, is now published in Advances in Transportation Studies. The objective of this paper is to obtain quantitative estimates that several study characteristics impose on the values of their coefficients applying meta-regression techniques to three common exposure parameters (traffic volume/AADT, roadway length and vehicle distance traveled). Results indicate that the impact of traffic volume on crash counts was positively correlated with taking speed limit and road user age into consideration in spatial analyses, while the impact of road length on crash counts in spatial analyses was found to be higher in studies considering only fatal crashes.
The International Transport Forum (ITF/OECD) published recently a new Report titled “Best Practice for Urban Road Safety”, in which seven case studies of cities that are implementing data-driven road safety policies are presented. It highlights relevant experiences aimed at reducing the number of traffic casualties and protecting vulnerable road users in Barcelona, Bogota, Buenos Aires, Fortaleza, London, New York and Rotterdam and illustrates the diverse approaches to better understand road crashes and to prevent road traffic deaths and serious injuries.
Implemented by the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (EBRD) and supported by the World Bank GRSF, an international experts team has developed the Occupational Road Risk Toolkit – a structured e-learning program in which fleet managers, drivers, and motorcycle riders can receive tailored content. This platform contains resources and free e-learning modules for different stakeholders to help manage risk across numerous road safety challenges. With this innovative tool, EBRD wants to improve the quality of management and vehicle fleet as well as the way in which road networks are used.
United Nations Road Safety Collaboration Group (UNRSC) produced a Report titled “The Ten Step Plan for Safer Road Infrastructure”. The main objective is to support countries seeking
to implement initiatives in relation to the “Improved safety of road infrastructure and broader transport networks” for the achievement of UN Global Road Safety Targets 3 and 4 for safer new and existing roads. This Report aims to build the institutional capacity and regulatory framework to support these targets and unlock the potential of safer roads and safer cities to save lives.
A descriptive analysis of the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on driving behavior and road safety, September 2020
A paper titled “A descriptive analysis of the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on driving behavior and road safety” authored by Christos Katrakazas, Eva Michelaraki, Marios Sekadakis, and George Yannis, is now published in Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Driving behavior and safety indicators were captured through a specially developed smartphone application in two countries, namely Greece and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). It was shown that reduced traffic volumes due to lockdown, led to a slight increase in speeds by 6–11%, but more importantly to more frequent harsh acceleration and harsh braking events (up to 12% increase) as well mobile phone use (up to 42% increase) during March and April 2020.
An NTUA Diploma Thesis titled “Acceptance of environmental transport charging policies” was recently presented by Asimina Korentzelou. The aim of this Diploma Thesis is to investigate drivers’ acceptance of environmental transport charging policies with emphasis on environmental charging (annual card) for private cars access in Athens center. On that purpose, data were collected through a questionnaire survey, using stated preference methodology. The results demonstrate that annual card cost and travel time savings are the main factors for the acceptance of the annual card. Furthermore, men, young people and high-income travelers are more likely to accept the annual card and environmental traffic policies. Finally, it was observed that the environmental awareness of drivers affects the acceptance of environmental traffic policies.
Apostolos Ziakopoulos defended his PhD Thesis on Spatial Analysis of Road Safety and Traffic Behaviour using High Resolution Multi-parametric Data, July 2020
Apostolos Ziakopoulos has successfully defended his PhD dissertation titled: Spatial Analysis of Road Safety and Traffic Behaviour using High Resolution Multi-parametric Data. This PhD thesis was carried out at the Department of Transportation Planning and Engineering at the School of Civil Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens under the supervision of Prof. George Yannis, using data from OSeven Telematics.
The main objective of this PhD Dissertation is the spatial analysis of harsh event frequencies in road segments using multi-parametric data, including (i) high resolution naturalistic driving and driver behavior data from smartphone sensors, (ii) microscopic road segment geometry and road network characteristic data from digital maps and (iii) high resolution traffic data. Spatial analyses were performed on two parallel pillars: (i) Prediction models were developed in an urban road network training area, with the intent to transfer them to a second urban road network testing area and assess their predictive performance and (ii) Causal models including road user behavior and traffic input data were calibrated in an urban arterial study area per traffic state, in order to investigate additional underlying correlations in an effort to further understand the phenomena of harsh braking and harsh acceleration frequencies. Geographically Weighted Poisson Regression (GWPR) models, Bayesian Conditional Autoregressive Prior (CAR) models and Extreme Gradient Boosting algorithms with random cross-validation (RCV XGBoost) and spatial cross-validation (SPCV XGBoost) were implemented.
An NTUA Diploma Thesis titled “Preferences towards e-scooters in Athens” was recently presented by Vasilis Maragkoudakis. The objective of this Diploma Thesis is to investigate the preferences towards e-scooters in Athens and to identify the most important factors affecting traveler modal choices in Athens. Logistic regression models were developed (multinomial and binary), which demonstrated that the probability of choosing an e-scooter depends largely on the cost, time, comfort, attitudes, habits and the demographic characteristics of the respondents. The faster and the more economical is the trip and the more familiar is the traveler with e-scooters is, the more likely he/she is to choose them over other means of transport.
An NTUA Diploma Thesis titled “Event identification based on driving characteristics on rural roads” was recently presented by Akrivi Varela. Focus was put on determining the main factors that can describe the situation before and during an event. Results showed that random forest model performs much better than the binomial logistic regression model in identifying event occurrence with very few false alarms. Moreover, speed and longitudinal acceleration along with total distance driven from the beginning of the driving session, turned out to better describe the case of driving one minute prior to an event. Finally, driving during an event can be sufficiently described through speed, the deviation of the vehicle from the middle of the road as well as time headway with the vehicle ahead.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has published a PIN Briefing “The Impact of Covid-19 Lockdowns on Road Deaths in April 2020“, with the active contribution of NTUA. This Report assesses Covid-19 measures impact on road deaths in Europe during the month of April 2020 – by which time most countries were in lockdown. Out of 25 EU countries for which data is available, 19 saw a decrease in the number of road deaths in April 2020 compared to the month of April in the previous three years (910 people in 2020 compared to 1.415 people on 2019). A conclusion is that there were very substantial reductions in the number of road deaths as a result of the big drops in traffic volumes due to confinement.
The EU’s High Level Group for Road Safety held a discussion on road safety in the COVID era on 16 June and agreed on some conclusions setting out common principles for the forthcoming transitional period. It is highlighted the importance of obtaining and sharing timely data and the enhancement of safe active mobility. Ιt has also emphasized the need to reinstate road safety enforcement, particularly if higher volumes of cars return to the roads and to restore public confidence in public transport.
In the framework of the Executive MSc in Cities Laboratory (EMC Lab) of London School of Economics (LSE), a programme for urban professionals in the public, private and third sectors who want to understand and deliver change in cities, NTUA contributed actively with a presentation titled “Strategic Transport Planning in Athens“. It was highlighted the current mobility situation in Athens, the effect of COVID-19 in traffic and road safety and new mobility interventions.
The World Road Association – PIARC recently published a Report titled “Implementation of National Safe System Policies: A Challenge”, providing a summary of National Safe System Policies and Implementation in relation to the Safe System Approach. The Report also highlights the steps that low, middle and high-income countries alike can take to accelerate progress towards Safe System outcomes. Emphasis is given to road infrastructure safety and the respective institutional safety management.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has published the 39th PIN Flash Report “How to improve the safety of goods vehicles in the EU?“. This report examines the toll transport of goods and services has taken in terms of road deaths over the period 2010 to 2018. It examines the performance of individual countries, as well as the European Union as a whole, in tackling the risks, and describes some of the policies needed to reduce future deaths and serious injuries related to goods traffic.
A new NACTO resource on emerging street practices for pandemic response and recovery was developed through a collaboration between the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), the NACTO Global Designing Cities Initiative, Bloomberg Associates, Street Plans, and Sam Schwartz. This resource aggregates and synthesizes emerging practices in transportation and street design in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It highlights cities’ current efforts to re-organize streets to best manage this crisis and support economic recovery. This new resource will be revised and expanded regularly as more data becomes available on what approaches are the most successful at meeting city goals.
A paper titled “A critical overview of driver recording tools” authored by Apostolis Ziakopoulos, Dimitris Tselentis, Armira Kontaxi and George Yannis, is now published in Journal of Safety Research. The objective of this review paper is to present and comparatively assess the various driver recording tools that researchers have at their disposal. A critical synthesis of the results was conducted, providing the advantages and disadvantages of utilizing each tool and including additional knowledge regarding ease of experimental implementation, data handling issues, impacts on subsequent analyses, as well as the respective cost parameters. New technologies provide undeniably powerful tools that allow for seamless data handling, storage, and analysis, such as smartphones and in-vehicle data recorders. However, this sometimes comes at considerable costs (which may or may not pay off at a later stage), while legacy driver recording methods still have their own niches to fill in research.
The new emblematic sustainable urban mobility arrangements within the Athens Great Walk project were presented by NTUA Professor George Yannis at the Athens City Council on May 11, 2020, which unanimously accepted the breakthrough and brave choices of Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis for extended regain of urban public space, public transport in priority, and safe and efficient mobility of pedestrians and cyclists.
European Commission – Study on Safety Feasibility of Retrofitting Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, April 2020
The European Commission has recently published the “Study on the feasibility, costs and benefits of retrofitting advanced driver assistance to improve road safety“, prepared by VTT and Ecorys. This study examined the technical feasibility of various retrofit ADAS systems (voluntarily or mandatory installable) while demonstrated the potential safety impacts of retrofitting the vehicle fleet and presented a cost-benefit assessment for the measures. Detection and warning of pedestrians and cyclists nearby the front or side of the vehicle proved having the highest benefit-cost ratio, as addressing the Vulnerable Road Users safety, being the key current road safety problem.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) published recently the “European Regional Status Report on Road Safety 2019” with the active contribution of NTUA. The European Regional Status Report on Road Safety describes the progress made by Governments in the Region. This Report demonstrates that over 221 people are killed on roads every day in the WHO European Region while thousands more are injured or disabled, with long-lasting effects. People from the eastern part of our Region bear the highest burden of road-traffic mortality and morbidity.
Audrey Testaferrata de Noto defended her PhD Thesis on Driver Perception-Reaction Times in Level 3 Automated Vehicles, 2020
Audrey Testaferrata de Noto has successfully defended his PhD dissertation titled: Driver Perception-Reaction Times in Level 3 Automated Vehicles. This PhD thesis was carried out at the Faculty for the Build Environment of the University of Malta under the supervision of NTUA Prof. George Yannis. The scope of the research was to establish the Perception-Reaction Time (PRT) of drivers in a simulated Level 3 vehicle and to examine the interdependency between the person-specific characteristics in relation to different scenarios featuring different in-vehicle distractions and different type of alerts and subsequently to compare these values with those of standard specifications used in road design in different countries for the calculation of Stopping Sight Distances (SSD). The results gave an average perception-reaction time of 4.23 seconds and showed that the younger age groups have lower PRTs for all scenarios than their older counterparts.
A paper titled “An exploration of European road users’ safety attitudes towards speeding” authored by Alexandra Laiou, Athanasios Theofilatos, George Yannis, Uta Meesmann and Katrien Torfs is now published in Journal of Transportation Safety & Security. The objective of this paper is to analyse attitudes and opinions of Europeans on speeding and compare them amongst countries based on demographic characteristics as well as to provide a number of recommendations to be used in the effort to reduce speeding and improve road safety. All reported attitudes depend strongly on participants’ gender and age. The majority of people who accept driving over the speed limit do not believe that speed limits are set at acceptable levels.
ONISR/Cerema – Great safety impact from the new 80 km/h speed limit on rural single carriageways in France, 2020
Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP) in collaboration with the VIAS Institute recently published the Manual on “Towards the 12 voluntary global targets for road safety”, providing guidance for countries on activities and measures to achieve the voluntary global road safety performance targets. It spells out what type of activities need to be undertaken, what data sources can be used and how performance can be measured and presented. It defines each target and points out what actions need to be taken and how each target can be measured.
The results of the EU-funded Horizon 2020 SaferAfrica project are highlighted at the Community Research and Development Information Service (CORDIS) of the European Commission. SaferAfrica, aiming to share expertise between Europe and Africa, focused on four pillars: Road Safety Knowledge and Data, a Road Safety Traffic Management Capacity Review, Capacity Building and Training and Sharing Good Practices. The most innovative results of the project are the African Road Safety Observatory and the African-European Dialogue Platform on Road Safety, developed with the active contribution of NTUA.
An NTUA Diploma Thesis titled “Spatio-temporal analysis of traffic safety using data from smartphone sensors” was recently presented by Elina Frantzola. Data from smartphone sensors on driver behaviour were combined with traffic data from the Athens Traffic Management Centre and the respective geometric characteristics from Google Maps in order to produce the respective GIS maps and allow for statistical analysis. The statistical models developed demonstrated that traffic characteristics (traffic speed and occupancy) have the most statistically significant impact on the frequency of harsh events compared to road geometric characteristics and driver behaviour data. Finally, a strong correlation between harsh events and time variation was found, indicating an overall increase in harsh events during nighttime.
An NTUA Diploma Thesis titled “Driving behaviour during texting and surfing in rural roads using a driving simulator” was recently presented by Marios Sekadakis. The aim of this Diploma Thesis is to investigate the impact of texting and web surfing through smartphone on the driving behaviour and safety of young drivers on rural roads. It was found that driver distraction leads to statistically significant increase of accident probability, headway distance and lateral distance variation. On the other hand, it was observed that speed variation and headway distance variation were reduced.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Investigation of Flying Autonomous Vehicles traveller acceptance in Greece” was recently presented by George Priftis. The objective of the present Diploma Thesis is to investigate traveller acceptance of Flying Autonomous Vehicles in Greece, as well as the identification of the most significant factors affecting that decision. Results show that the of acceptance mostly depends on the cost, time, comfort, choices, habits and demographics of Greek travellers. Faster and cheaper trips together with higher technology culture lead to higher acceptance of flying autonomous vehicles.
Comparative Analysis of Traffic Accident factors per Driver Nationality in the European Union, March 2020
A Diploma Thesis titled “Comparative Analysis of Traffic Accident factors per Driver Nationality in the European Union” was recently presented by Aikaterini Skliami. The application of the models on data from the EU CARE database, revealed that driver nationality had a statistically significant effect on the number of drivers killed in traffic accidents. The main factors differentiating traffic accidents of local and foreign drivers are driver gender and accident area type.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Driver choices towards ridesharing” was recently presented by Athanasia Boulougari. The objective of this Diploma Thesis is to investigate and analyse drivers’ preferences towards ridesharing, with focus on investigating whether passengers intend to share vehicles and identifying the main factors determining the choice of ridesharing service as a travel mode. Results indicate that especially young and female travelers were found willing more to use ridesharing services. Furthermore, it was found that when traveling for work, increased transit time and number of work related weekly trips lead to increased probability of ridesharing use.
The fifth edition of the Glossary for Transport Statistics is now published by the ITF, Eurostat and UNECE. The Glossary for Transport Statistics was published for the first time in 1994 with the purpose of assisting member countries during the collection of data on transport using the Common Questionnaire developed by the UNECE, ITF and Eurostat. It now comprises 744 definitions and represents a point of reference for all those involved in transport statistics. The road accidents section can be proved highly useful for international road safety statistics.
The World Bank Global Road Safety Facility (GRSF) published recently the “Guide for Road Safety Opportunities and Challenges: Low- and Middle-income Country Profiles“. The Report aims to support decision-making with key data, social and economic assessments for all 125 Low- and Middle-Income Countries. The Road Safety Country Profiles present information on management, roads, speed, vehicles, road users, and post-crash care, along with information on the current status for each country, region and with extensive information on key risk factors, issues and opportunities.
The Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs was launched by the European Commission in September 2018, as an effort to drive forward intercontinental cooperation on an equal footing. This related Transport Task Force has delivered recently with the active contribution of NTUA, a Report offering recommendations and conclusions on three important areas of transport cooperation: aviation, road safety and connectivity. On Road Safety the Report brings forward thirteen recommendations to reduce road accident injuries, addressing the five main priority areas: road safety management and data collection, infrastructure safety, vehicle safety, safety of road users and post-crash care.
The International Transport Forum (ITF/OECD) published recently a new Report titled “Safe Micromobility” as part of the ITF Corporate Partnership Board and with the active contribution of NTUA. This Report explores the safety aspects associated with the increasing use of e-scooters and other forms of micromobility in cities. It considers a range of actions to make urban traffic with micromobility safe, including in street layout, vehicle design and vehicle operation, user education and enforcement of rules. The report offers ten recommendations for policy makers, city planners, operators and manufacturers.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), the Flemish Foundation for Traffic Knowledge (VSV) and Fundación MAPFRE have published a Report titled “Key Principles for Traffic Safety and Mobility Education”, as part of the LEARN! (Leveraging Education to Advance Road safety Now) project and it sets out 17 recommendations that should be implemented in all European countries, in order to ensure that everyone – and especially children and youngsters – receive high quality traffic safety and mobility education. They are accompanied by best practice examples that illustrate how these principles can be applied in practice.
NTUA Professor George Yannis made an invited lecture at the Permanent Road Safety Committee of the Hellenic Parliament on “European Road Safety Policy and Good Practices Worldwide” on February 6th, 2020. He stressed the importance for measures on priority risk factors (speed, alcohol, distraction, seat belt, helmet) and serious road safety capacity-building with appropriate evidence-based policy making.
The World Road Association – PIARC recently published the Catalogue of Case Studies, containing a properly documented set of interventions designed, implemented and operated worldwide to improve road safety in three specific fields: Vulnerable Road Users (VRUs), Human Factors (HF) and interventions in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs). This Catalogue is aimed to be enriched in the future with new case studies, showing other applications, different solutions to solve the same problems and better representing the safety interventions applied or applicable in LMICs.
The World Road Association – PIARC recently published the “Review of Global Road Safety Audit Guidelines – With Specific Consideration for Low- and Middle-Income Countries”. This Report involves a comprehensive review of current Road Safety Audit Manuals and Guidelines from a range of different countries to establish current practices and considers previous international reviews to determine key areas where additional guidance is required, or exemplar practice is well established. The initial consideration is given to the core issues facing many countries regarding implementing a comprehensive audit system.
The European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) and the Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety with the support of FedEx released a very interesting Guide containing good practices for supporting community and non-government organisations (NGOs) advocating for safer cycling in European cities. It is based on the experiences of the Netherlands and Denmark, two countries that have developed significant expertise in the field of cycling safety. Written in cooperation between the European Cyclists’ Federation, the Fietsersbond and the Cyklistforbundet, this guide seeks to collate and advocate for the adoption of best practice measures regarding road user behaviour, infrastructure design, safe vehicles and the management of road infrastructure.
A paper titled “A systematic cost-benefit analysis of 29 road safety measures” authored by Stijn Daniels, Heike Martensen, Annelies Schoeters, Wouter Van den Berghe, Eleonora Papadimitriou, Apostolos Ziakopoulos, Susanne Kaiser, Eva Agner Breuss, Aggelos Soteropoulos, Wim Wijnen, Wendy Weijermars, Laurent Carnis, Rune Elvik, Oscar Martin Pere is now published in Accident Analysis & Prevention: Volume 133. Cost-benefit analyses were carried out for measures with favorable estimated effects on road safety and for which relevant information on costs are available, within the Horizon 2020 SafetyCube project. The information on crash costs was based on data from a survey in European countries and the results were assessed in terms of benefit-to-cost ratios and net present value, providing highly useful support to decision makers.
The European Commission, through the Horizon 2020-funded Action ARCADE (Aligning Research & Innovation for Connected and Automated Driving in Europe), has released the Knowledge Base on Connected and Automated Driving (CAD). This database gathers all the information previously spread across projects and a broad network of stakeholders to establish a common baseline of CAD, thus ensuring transferability of knowledge for future research, development and testing of connected and automated driving.
A paper titled “Safety culture among bus drivers in Norway and Greece” authored by Tor-Olav Nævestad, Ross O. Phillips, Alexandra Laiou, Torkel Bjørnskau, and George Yannis is now published in Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour. The aims of this paper are to: (1) Examine the influence of national safety culture, sector safety focus and organizational safety culture on the safety behaviours of professional drivers, compared with other explanatory variables (e.g. age, type of transport, working conditions), and to (2) Examine the influence of safety behaviours and other factors (e.g. age, mileage, type of transport) on self-reported crash involvement. The study indicates a relationship between national road safety culture, road safety behaviour and crash involvement, that could be developed further to help explain differences in national road safety records.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has published a Report titled “Progress in reducing drink-driving and other alcohol-related road deaths in Europe”. The aim of this report is to provide an updated overview of the drink-driving situation in Europe, covering 32 countries including all 28 EU Member States, while it highlights specific legislation and enforcement measures from across Europe. A range of recommendations concerning further improvements in tackling drink driving are made to Member States and the EU institutions throughout this report.
The revised General Safety Regulation was formally approved by the European Council and the European Parliament on 27 November. As of 2022 new safety technologies will become mandatory in European vehicles to protect passengers, pedestrians and cyclists. Key new technologies include intelligent speed assistance, lane-keeping assistance, advanced emergency braking, warning driver drowsiness and distraction, reversing safety with camera or sensors and data recorder in case of an accident (black box). Advanced safety features will reduce the number of accidents (90% of which are due to human error), pave the way towards increasingly connected and automated mobility, and boost the global innovation and competitiveness edge of the European car industry.
A paper titled “A meta-analysis of the impacts of operating in-vehicle information systems on road safety” authored by Apostolos Ziakopoulos, Akis Theofilatos, Eleonora Papadimitriou, and George Yannis is now published in IATSS Research. This study aims to estimate the overall impact of distraction due to operating in-vehicle information systems (IVIS) and similar devices while driving on road crashes. While similar research has been undertaken, varying results have been reported so far. The findings of this meta-analysis, suggest that device operation as a risk factor while driving is a less researched aspect of driver distraction than others, and more studies would improve result estimates and transferability, especially for professional drivers.
The European Commission has published a leaflet demonstrating the road safety situation at the end of 2018 and the very important progress made since 2010 in the EU countries. The target of the EU was to halve the number of road fatalities on European roads by 2020. The purpose of this leaflet is to allow Member States and European citizens to compare their situation and to encourage them to continue their efforts regarding road safety.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) organised its bi-annual Main Council Meeting in Brussels on October 10th, 2019, where all latest road safety developments in Europe were discussed. NTUA as new member of ETSC presented the current and future activities of the NTUA Road Safety Observatory.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Investigation of Messinia drivers attitudes towards road safety” was recently presented by Nektaria Salem. The aim of this Diploma Thesis was the investigation of Messinia drivers attitudes towards road safety, based on their choices on road network safety upgrade of Kalamata – Pilos axis. From the analysis it was derived that the probability for a driver using a safety upgraded road network over the existing one, depends on travel time and upgrade cost, as well as on gender, age, occupation, education and income of the driver.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Long-term association of road accidents and weather conditions in European cities” was recently presented by Areti Thanasko. Data on average monthly temperature and precipitation for every city as well as the monthly number of road accidents for the period 1991-2017 was exploited. The application of statistical models revealed that increase of precipitation and temperature results at increase of road accidents. For the group of southern cities, the impact of weather conditions in road accidents is found more severe. For each time period, the rain has a negative impact on accidents, although their correlation is positive. Furthermore, temperature increase due to climate change slows down the improvement of road safety.
The traffic and safety effect of smartphone texting and web surfing during driving in cities using a driving simulator, 2019
A Diploma Thesis titled “The traffic and safety effect of smartphone texting and web surfing during driving in cities using a driving simulator” was recently presented by Maria Oikonomou. Driving profiles of 36 young people were collected through a driving simulator experiment while a survey was conducted to collect the characteristics and driving habits of the participants. A key finding is that web surfing and texting while driving cause: increased accident probability and decreased mean speed and its variation, headway distance and its variation, as well as steering wheel variation. Finally, the use of the Google Maps application has the greatest impact on mean speed variation, while the use of Facebook App while driving has the greatest impact on mean headway distance variation and mean steering wheel variation.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Modelling Automated Vehicles’ Socio-economic Impact” was recently presented by Epameinondas Theodorakos. The aim of this Diploma Thesis was the development of a model that, by filling in the values for several parameters, could estimate the socio-economic impact of the automated traffic for different penetration scenarios, compare these scenarios results and demonstrate each parameters’ impact on the total cost. The model application results highlighted the crucial benefits of automated traffic and quantified the socio-economic parameters impact depending on the penetration scenarios and the reference year, with most important the role of cost of travel time.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Analysis of pedestrians distracted behaviour talking on mobile phone” was recently presented by Dimitra Typa. The aim of this Diploma Thesis was to investigate the impact of hand-held cell phone conversation on pedestrians’ traffic and safety behaviour, when crossing signalized intersections. An outdoor-environment experiment, through video recording, was conducted in real road conditions, in three signalized intersections at the centre of Athens for the purpose of comparing the behaviour of distracted and non-distracted pedestrians. The results of the models’ application demonstrated that distraction caused by hand-held cell phone conversation had a negative impact on pedestrians’ main traffic and safety characteristics, since, in general, mobile use not only decreases pedestrians’ speed but also increases their probability of being involved in an accident with an oncoming vehicle.
A paper titled “Driving Safety Efficiency Benchmarking Using Smartphone Data” authored by Dimitrios Tselentis, Eleni Vlahogianni, and George Yannis is now published in Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies. This paper aims to provide a methodological framework for the comparative evaluation of driving safety efficiency based on Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA). The analysis considers each driver as a Decision-Making Unit (DMU) and aims to provide a relative safety efficiency measure to compare different drivers based on their driving performance. The proposed methodological framework is tested on data from fifty-six (56) drivers during a 7-months period. Findings help distinguish the most efficient drivers from those that are less efficient. Most common inefficient driving practices are identified (aggressive, risky driving, etc.) and driving behaviour is comparatively evaluated and analyzed.