The Global status report on road safety 2018 has been published by World Health Organisation (WHO) with the active contribution of NTUA, in December 2018, highlighting that the number of annual road traffic deaths which has reached 1.35 million. Road traffic injuries are now the leading killer of people aged 5-29 years. The report suggests that the price paid for mobility is too high, especially because proven measures exist. These include strategies to address speed and drinking and driving, among other behaviours; safer infrastructure like dedicated lanes for cyclists and motorcyclists; improved vehicle standards such as those that mandate electronic stability control; and enhanced post-crash care. Drastic action is needed to put these measures in place to meet any future global target that might be set and save lives.
The African Road Safety Observatory is now on line constituting a space for interaction to highlight the road safety needs in African countries, developed with the active contribution of NTUA. It is one of the main results of the SaferAfrica project funded by the European Commission Horizons 2020 Programme and includes various knowledge and tools, such as statistics, reports, fact sheets, knowledge resources and links and it is integrated with crowd-sourcing functions to facilitate the participation of experts and end-users, through an interactive Dialogue Platform.
Identification of patterns of driver speeding behaviour and safety margins from tangent to curve, 2018
A paper titled “Identification of patterns of driver speeding behaviour and safety margins from tangent to curve” authored by Eleonora Papadimitriou, Stergios Mavromatis, Dimosthenis Pavlou and George Yannis is now published in Advances in Transportation Studies. This paper presents a novel definition of drivers’ safety margins reflected in speed profiles on a tangent to curved road design. These safety margins are based on a vehicle dynamics model, which is implemented to assess the speed variation at impending skid conditions from tangent to curve on the basis of several parameters. Data from a driving simulator experiment are used to test the proposed methodology, explore driver’s speed profiles and the parameters affecting drivers’ safety margins. The results suggest that drivers’ safety margins towards the examined curve are considerable, with the majority of the drivers using less than 55% of the available vehicle engine power.
The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation published a Report titled “Analysis of the state of the art, barriers, needs and opportunities for setting up a Transport Research Cloud”, with the active contribution of NTUA Professor George Yannis. This Report focuses on the requirements for data sharing within the transport research community. In particular, the Report examines the potential of a Transport Research Cloud (TRC) as a subset of the European Union’s European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) initiative. Six domain experts collected data based on their personal experiences, contacts, prior research and a survey sent out to other researchers in the transport domain to enable a preliminary analysis concerning the needs, barriers and potential benefits for the domain should a TRC be realized. Road Safety constitutes a major component of this Transport Research Cloud.
European Commission – Study on powered two-wheeler and bicycle accidents in the EU, SaferWheels, 2018
The European Commission’s Directorate General for Mobility and Transport (DG Move) published the Final Report of the “Study on powered two-wheeler and bicycle accidents in the EU, SaferWheels”, with the active contribution of NTUA. The SaferWheels study was conducted to investigate accident causation for traffic accidents involving powered two-wheelers and bicycles in the European Union. The objective of the study was to gather PTW and bicycle accident data from in-depth crash investigations, obtain accident causation and medical data for those crashes, and to store the information according to an appropriate and efficient protocol enabling a causation-oriented analysis.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has launched a new campaign “Last Night the EU Saved My Life”. The EU has the exclusive authority to set minimum safety standards for all new vehicles sold on the EU market. EU crash safety tests, and mandatory inclusion of technologies such as seat belt reminders and Electronic Stability Control have saved thousands of lives. The revision of the “General Safety Regulation”, published on 17 May 2018, includes a set of new vehicle safety measures, including mandatory installation of new driver assistance technologies, as well as revised minimum crash testing standards and measures to protect pedestrians and cyclists. But the new legislation now needs the support of Members of the European Parliament and the Member States of the European Union in order to be passed into law, and that’s why ETSC has launched this new campaign with the active support of NTUA.
UNECE – 50th anniversary, Vienna Conventions on Road Traffic and on Road Signs and Signals, 1968-2018
UNECE celebrates the 50th anniversary of Vienna Conventions on Road Traffic and on Road Signs and Signals, 1968-2018. At the turn of their 50th anniversary, the Vienna Conventions on Road Traffic and on Road Signs and Signals from 1968 are more relevant than ever. Whether helping to address the most critical road safety needs, or facilitating the development of automated driving functionalities, reference to these legal texts, which are evolving with technological developments, is a necessity for countries around the world. The two Conventions have a global scope and are important frameworks facilitating international road traffic through uniform traffic rules and harmonized road signs, signals, symbols and markings.
The 2018 Polis Conference on “Transport innovation for sustainable cities and regions” took place with great success on 22 and 23 November 2018, in Manchester, UK, organised by POLIS, the European Cities Network. The conference provided an opportunity for cities, metropolitan areas and regions to showcase their transport achievements to a large audience, and for the wider transport community to engage with representatives of local and regional authorities on innovative transport solutions. Road Safety was one of the key areas of the Conference, as is also the subject of the special joint POLIS–ITF workshop titled: From Safety Data to Safer City Streets. The 2018 Polis Conference was the most successful edition ever, with a record number of 550 participants. In 2019, the annual event will return to Brussels, and will celebrate the network’s 30th anniversary.
Which factors affect accident probability at unexpected incidents? A structural equation model approach, 2018
A paper titled “Which factors affect accident probability at unexpected incidents? A structural equation model approach” authored by Panagiotis Papantoniou, Constantinos Antoniou, George Yannis and Dimosthenis Pavlou is now published in Journal of Transportation Safety & Security. A driving simulator experiment was carried out, in which 95 participants were asked to drive under different types of distraction (no distraction, conversation with passenger, cell phone use) in different road and traffic conditions. Then, in the framework of the statistical analysis, driving performance is estimated as a new unobserved (latent) variable based on several individual driving simulator parameters while a structural equation model is developed investigating which factors lead to increased accident probability at unexpected incidents. Regarding driver distraction, results indicate that cell phone use has a negative effect on accident risk confirming the initial hypothesis that when talking on the cell phone drivers find it difficult to handle an unexpected incident and as a result are more likely to commit an accident.
The International Traffic Safety Data and Analysis Group (IRTAD) of the International Transport Forum (ITF) organised a Meeting in Belgrade, Serbia, on 17-18 October 2018, in which the latest international road safety developments were discussed. NTUA contributed actively with 3 presentations:
The UN Road Safety Collaboration is organizing the global campaign for the Fifth UN Global Road Safety Week, 6-12 May 2019, under the theme “leadership for road safety”. Enlightened leaders are able to provide a vision of what the future might look like and to mobilize action to achieve this. The goal of the Week, which will be held from 6-12 May 2019, is to generate a demand from the public for stronger leadership for road safety worldwide. Its objectives are to provide an opportunity for civil society to generate demands for strong leadership for road safety, especially around concrete, evidence-based interventions which will save lives and to inspire leaders to take action by showcasing examples of strong leadership for road safety within governments, international agencies, NGOs, foundations, schools and universities, and private companies, among others.
Dimitris Tselentis defended his PhD Thesis on Benchmarking Driving Efficiency using Data Science Techniques, 2018
Dimitris Tselentis has successfully defended his PhD dissertation titled: Benchmarking Driving Efficiency using Data Science Techniques applied on Large-Scale Smartphone 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. The main objective of this PhD is to provide a methodological approach for driving safety efficiency benchmarking on a trip and driver basis using data science techniques. It also investigates the way to achieve this by defining a safety efficiency index based on travel and driving behaviour metrics collected from smartphone devices. Furthermore, the present doctoral research proposes a methodological framework for identifying the least efficient trips in a database and for estimating the efficient level of metrics that each non-efficient trip should reach to become efficient. Finally, this dissertation’s objective is to study the temporal evolution of driving efficiency and identify the main driving patterns and profiles of the driver groups formed.
Since 54 years, the International Road Federation (IRF) World Road Statistics (WRS) continue to be the major comprehensive, universal source of statistical data on road networks, traffic and inland transport. Over the past years, the WRS have proved to be an invaluable and internationally accepted reference tool for governments, NGOs, investments banks, research institutes and anyone analyzing and reporting trends in key subject areas like traffic volumes and vehicle usage, road expenditure, road safety, energy consumption and emissions. This year, the WRS 2018 (data 2011-2016) features more than 205 countries, with data on over 45 road related topics, presented in nine substantive sections, with the active contribution of NTUA for the Greek data.
The Horizons 2020 research project InDev (In-depth Understanding of Accident Causation for Vulnerable Road Users) recently published a handbook with focus on vulnerable road users entitled: How to analyse accident causation? This handbook was developed to help road safety professionals diagnose road safety problems by gaining more insights into the mistakes by road users that lead to collision. It describes various road safety methods that can be applied for studying the safety of vulnerable (and other) road users, including: accident data analysis, conflict and behavioural observations, self-reporting and naturalistic studies and road safety audit and inspection.
The United Nations Road Safety Trust Fund which launched in April 2018, took an important step towards becoming operational, with the first meetings of its Advisory Board and Steering Committee taking place in Geneva. The Trust Fund aims to catalyze efforts to address the critical global road safety situation by bridging the gaps in the mobilization of resources and ensuring the effective coordination of action at all levels.
EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc recently announced the appointment of Matthew Baldwin as European Coordinator for Road Safety to help drive forward the new road safety strategy as set out under the key actions in the Commission’s third Mobility Package to modernise Europe’s transport system in May 2018. The role will involve the coordination of road safety efforts with Member States, the European Parliament, cities, regions and all stakeholders in the road safety community. Matthew Baldwin gave an exclusive interview to the NTUA Road Safety Observatory:
NRSO: Matthew, tell me a bit about this new role of the European Coordinator for the promotion of road safety in Europe and what will be your specific areas of focus?
MB: First, thanks for this opportunity to set out what this role is all about and how I see it as fitting into our road safety “architecture”. (more…)
Capturing the effects of texting on young drivers behaviour based on copula and Gaussian Mixture Models, 2018
A paper titled “Capturing the effects of texting on young drivers behaviour based on copula and Gaussian Mixture Models” authored by Loukas Dimitriou, Katerina Stylianou, and George Yannis is now published in Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour. This research effort aims to investigate the impact of texting on young drivers’ behavior and safety based on data from driving simulator experiments, for different driving contexts, like motorways, urban and rural roads, during daytime and night, and for alternative weather conditions (‘clear sky’ and rain). GMMs application showed that drivers using mobile phones who were involved in a collision presented a different driving behavior compared to the drivers who were occupied but were not involved in a collision.
The Eurostat Regional Yearbook 2018 provides a detailed picture relating to a broad range of statistical topics across the Regions of the EU Member States, as well as the Regions of the EFTA and candidate countries, including the European Regions with the lowest and highest road accident rates. Each chapter presents statistical information in maps, tables, figures and infographics, accompanied by a descriptive analysis highlighting the main findings.
A Diploma Thesis titled “The effect of anger on driver behavior and safety” was presented by Orestis Gavalas in July 2018. In order to achieve this goal, a driving simulator experiment was conducted and a questionnaire including the DAX scale was filled in a sample of 125 drivers. The collected data were grouped into anger components using the factor analysis method. Subsequently, both linear and logarithmic regression models were developed. Valuable conclusions were reached including men demonstrating higher levels of driving anger as well as that anger decreases with increasing age. The presence of anger is related to the increase in average speed, the reduction of headway (measured in time) and the increase in the probability of being involved in an accident and a road traffic infringement. On the other hand, forgiveness and noble mindedness lead to fundamentally opposite effects.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Critical driver behaviour and risk factors in Europe” was presented by Dimitrios Vachaviolos in July 2018. The aim of the present Diploma Thesis is the analysis of critical behavior and risk factors of drivers in Europe. To this end, we analyzed the responses of a representative sample of 17,980 European citizens who participated in the pan-European ESRA survey, which took place in 2016. The analysis of behavior and the investigation of the critical factors affecting driver behavior and safety, was carried out by using statistical methods of cluster analysis and binary logistic regression. The model results revealed that speeding leads to the increase of accident involvement probability, as is the case also for fatigue – drowsiness and distraction.
European Commission – DG for Research and Innovation in their Success Stories Web-page recently published the SaferAfrica H2020 project, which has been taken place with the active contribution of NTUA. As a continent, Africa has some of the most lethal roads in the world. A lack of road safety protocols, wanting road conditions and poor post-crash emergency response systems make for alarmingly high fatality rates. To help turn this around, the EU-funded project SaferAfrica is driving policies aimed at improving road safety. “Europe can play an important role by supporting African countries in improving road safety and achieving the Action Plan targets [African Road Safety Action Plan 2011-2020],” says project coordinator Luca Persia. “In this view, the project aims at building favourable conditions and opportunities for the effective implementation of road safety actions in African countries by setting up a Dialogue Platform between Africa and Europe.”
A Diploma Thesis titled “Mobility and road safety in European cities” was presented by Dimitrios Giagkou in July 2018. The objective of this Diploma Thesis is to investigate the impact of mobility characteristics on road safety in European cities. For this analysis, various international databases were exploited with data on road accident fatalities, demographics and mobility characteristics of 25 European cities in 2012. Generalized Linear Models were developed for both the total number of fatalities and for specific subcategories too. The results led to the conclusion that more public transport capacity offered, more cycle trips and fewer motorcycles lead to a reduction in the number of fatalities in urban road accidents. Moreover, it was found that denser road network, higher population density and higher GDP per capita are correlated with fewer fatalities in urban road accidents.
Impact of economic, social and transport indicators on road safety during the crisis period in Europe, 2018
A Diploma Thesis titled “Impact of economic, social and transport indicators on road safety during the crisis period in Europe” was presented by Dimitrios Nikolaou in July 2018. For this analysis a database containing Human Development Index (HDI), suicides, passenger-kilometers and road fatalities for European states for 2006-2015 was developed. The results led to the conclusion that Human Development Index has the most important impact and its increase leads to road fatalities decrease. Moreover, the economy evolution effect on road accidents is more important than social and transport indicators. Especially after the economic crisis, the impact of the economy is even higher. Passenger-kilometers were also found with increased impact on the number of road fatalities after the economic crisis.
Correlation of road safety performance with health and economy indicators in the European Union, 2018
A Diploma Thesis titled “Relation of the performance of road safety to medical, economic and social indicators to countries in the European Union” was presented by Myrto Damianou in July 2018. The 27 European Union Member States are studied between 2008 and 2014. Linear regression and the linear mixed statistical model were developed.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Comparative investigation of road accidents cost in the European Union” was presented by Ypatia Mihou-Archimandritou in July 2018. The objective of this Diploma Thesis is the comparative investigation of road accidents cost in the European Union and its correlation with social, economic and transport indicators. For this analysis, data from various international sources were exploited and a common database was developed, containing data about the rate of passenger cars use, GDP per capita, population, road accidents fatalities, suicides, number of passenger cars, Misery Index and other for the year 2015. The results led to a conclusion that an increase of the rate of passenger cars use leads to a decrease of the accident cost, while an increase of Misery Index leads to an increase of the accident cost. Furthermore, in economically strong countries higher accident cost is observed in comparison to the other two groups.
In the framework of the European Survey of Road users’ safety Attitudes (ESRA), NTUA released 3 new infographics, regarding “Drivers’ self-declared behaviour” , “Drivers’ attitudes towards unsafe behaviour” and “Drivers personal and social acceptability” .
ESRA is a joint international initiative of 26 research centers and road safety institutes; the project has surveyed road users in 38 countries on 5 continents. The purpose of this network is to collect comparable data on the opinions, attitudes, and behaviour of road users concerning road safety and mobility, and to provide scientific evidence for policy making at the national and international levels. The Updated Main Report (2017 edition) of ESRA has been published containing the results from the survey in 38 countries, including 13 Latin America countries.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Investigation of Drivers’ Preferences Towards New Innovative Vehicle Insurance Schemes” was presented by Emmanouil Konstantinopoulos in July 2018. The objective of this Diploma Thesis is to investigate the most important factors that determine the demand of Greek drivers for vehicle insurance services comprising new innovative insurance schemes of Pay As You Drive and Pay How You Drive (PAYD & PHYD), taking into account critical characteristics of driving behaviour. The analysis demonstrated that the young and the female drivers show higher probability of selecting PAYD/PHYD schemes, while the Freelancers are more reluctant to such schemes.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Modelling the economic impact of road accidents in Greece” was presented by Eleftherios-Marios Kourtis in July 2018. The objective of this Diploma Thesis is the estimation of the human cost of road accidents based on the “Willingness-to-Pay” (WTP) methodology, and the identification of drivers attitudes towards the probability of getting involved in a road accident, using the “Stated Preference” method. The results demonstrate a positive correlation between the number of road accidents that a driver was involved so far and the annual amount that is willing to invest. Additionally, it was found that most of the drivers support the reduction of the probability to get involved in an accident. Lastly, based on the WTP methodology, the road accident fatality human cost was estimated at 1.761 million euros.
The new Forever Open Road website has been launched by FEHRL. The vision behind the Forever Open Road programme is to focuss on the best of existing technologies and the best of those to come. Many of the required solutions exist already from previous research, but are not (yet) implemented to their full potential; some innovations will be developed in the short-term, and others at an earlier stage of development with implementation in the longer term. Investigation on the untapped potential and the eventual barriers to their implementation will undoubtedly offer quick wins to the road operators.
Serious crashes on inter-urban roads may be slashed by a quarter over the next 30-40 years with the introduction of automated vehicles. However, the journey may be far from easy, with a mixed fleet transition and vital need for roads that cars can read, according to recent Report released by EuroRAP. The Report, the third in the “Roads that Cars Can Read” series, examines the relationship between road infrastructure and safety for conventional and increasingly-autonomous vehicles (AVs) and provides a framework for infrastructure safety investment. Other Reports in the series: “Roads that cars can read I: A consultation paper” – 2011 and “Roads that cars can read II: A quality standard for road markings and traffic signs on major rural roads” – 2013.
A paper titled “Public opinion on Usage-Based Motor Insurance Schemes: a stated preference approach” authored by Dimitris Tselentis, Akis Theofilatos, George Yannis and Manos Konstantinopoulos is now published in Travel Behaviour and Society scientific Journal. This paper aims to investigate which parameters affect users’ willingness to pay for alternative usage-based motor insurance pricing schemes such as Pay-as-you-drive (PAYD) and Pay-as-how-you-drive (PHYD). Results indicated that women and smartphone owners are more likely to choose a new insurance schemes. Kilometers and cost reduction were also found to affect similarly the choice for both Usage-Based-Motor Insurance (UBI). Moreover, the higher the speed reduction imposed to the driver, the lower the probability of the UBI scheme to choose it.
NTUA Professor George Yannis gave a Lecture at the European Commission – DG for Research and Innovation on 11 June 2018 in Brussels, titled “Road Safety in Africa and Beyond“. The Lecture focused on various aspects of road safety in Africa and worldwide, on the the SaferAfrica research project and on the respective EU international cooperation policies in the field, followed by a vivid discussion on key road safety problems and the EC role for potential policies, programmes and measures for the improvement of road safety in Africa and worldwide.
The Updated Main Report (2017 edition) of the European Survey of Road users’ safety Attitudes (ESRA) has been published containing the results from the survey in 38 countries, including 13 Latin America countries, with the active contribution of NTUA. The updated version of the ESRA webpage with Deliverables and Publications includes the 2017 Main Report in 3 languages (English, Spanish, French), six Thematic Reports on European drivers attitudes, and the country fact sheets.
The European Union Road Federation (ERF) and the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations (FEMA) have published a joint position paper, called ‘Improving infrastructure safety for powered two-wheelers’. Only in 2017 power two-wheelers fatalities (motorcycles and mopeds) counted for 17% of the total road victims, while accounting only for 1,8% of the total traffic flow. Both ERF and FEMA strongly believe that road safety for motorcyclists can be significantly improved by looking at the design of road infrastructure.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has published the 35th PIN Flash Report “An Overview of Road Death Data Collection in the EU“, with the active contribution of NTUA. The goal of this PIN Flash Report is to gather information on road death data collection in different PIN countries and to find out if and how countries cross-check or complement road death data recorded by the police with alternative sources. This Report provides very useful information to exchange good practice on how to improve road death data collection and recording.
The European Commission’s Directorate General for Mobility and Transport (DG Move) published a Report on the preparatory work for an EU road safety strategy 2020-2030. This Report was prepared by Jeanne Breen assisted by SWOV and Loughborough University’s Design School. The Commission set three objectives to be addressed: 1) assess the outcome of the road safety policy framework to 2017; 2) consider current and future changes in mobility and its consequences and challenges in relation to road safety; and 3) assist in the preparation of the EU road safety framework for 2020-2030.
A paper titled “Impact of real-time traffic characteristics on crash occurrence: The case of rare events” authored by Athanasios Theofilatos, George Yannis, Pantelis Kopelias and Fanis Papadimitriou is now published in Accident Analysis and Prevention Journal. This paper investigates crash likelihood by utilizing real-time traffic data from three random loop detectors in the Attica Tollway located in Greater Athens Area in Greece and by proposing a framework driven by appropriate statistical models (Bias Correction and Firth method) in order to overcome the problems that arise when the number of crashes is very low. Under this approach instead of using traditional logistic regression methods, crashes are considered as rare events. The method and findings of the study provide insights on the mechanism of crash occurrence and also revealed that lower speeds are more likely to result in accident.
Since 53 years, the International Road Federation (IRF) World Road Statistics (WRS) continue to be the major comprehensive, universal source of statistical data on road networks, traffic and inland transport. Over the past years, the WRS have proved to be an invaluable and internationally accepted reference tool for governments, NGOs, investments banks, research institutes and anyone analyzing and reporting trends in key subject areas like traffic volumes and vehicle usage, road expenditure, road safety, energy consumption and emissions. This year, the WRS 2017 (data 2010-2015) features more than 205 countries, with data on over 45 road related topics, presented in nine substantive sections, with the active contribution of NTUA for the Greek data.
European Commission (DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion) released a very interesting guide containing good practices for managing work related vehicle risks in the EU, with a specific focus on workplace transport, driving for work and working on or near a road. With this interactive e-guide many good practices are provided as well as an overview of relevant regulations and information in three key aspects of vehicle risks: safe driving for work, workplace transport safety, and working on or near a road.
The International Road Traffic and Accident Group (IRTAD) of the International Transport Forum (ITF/OECD) published recently a new Report: “Safer Roads with Automated Vehicles?”. This report examines how increasing automation of cars and trucks could affect road safety, and which security vulnerabilities will need to be addressed with the rise of self-driving vehicles. It introduces the principles of Safe System approach and the relevance of Vision Zero for road safety to the wider discussion on vehicle automation.
The International Road Traffic and Accident Database (IRTAD) of the International Transport Forum (ITF/OECD) published the summary version of the Annual Report 2018, which provides an overview of road safety performance for 32 countries. The report outlines the most recent road safety developments across IRTAD countries and provides comparative data for the main road safety indicators also detailed by road user, age group and type of road. Furthermore, the IRTAD Annual Report contains syntheses of the the road safety strategies and targets in place as well on recent trends in speeding, drink-driving and other aspects of road user behaviour.
The European Commission’s Directorate General for Mobility and Transport (DG Move) has released the well expected and breakthrough EU integrated policy for the future of road safety within its new set of actions to modernise Europe’s transport systems with the agenda for safe, clean and connected mobility“. This integrated policy comes together with the revision of road infrastructure safety management directive (with the active contribution of NTUA) and the proposal for a regulation on type-approval requirements for motor vehicles and the communication on the road to automated mobility. The full list of proposals, together with the respective fact sheets and supporting documents is available:
Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc stated that the European Commission has put forward initiatives addressing the challenges of today and paving the way for the mobility of tomorrow; today’s measures constitute a final and important push so that Europeans can benefit from safe, clean and smart transport.
A paper titled “How many crashes are caused by driver interaction with passengers? A meta-analysis approach” authored by Athanasios Theofilatos, Apostolos Ziakopoulos, Eleonora Papadimitriou, and George Yannis is now published in Journal of Safety Research. Conversation and other interactions with passengers while driving induce a level of distraction to the person driving. This paper conducts a qualitative literature review on the effect of passenger interaction on road safety and then extends it by using meta-analysis techniques. The findings of the random-effects meta-analyses that were carried out showed that driver interaction with passengers causes a non-negligible proportion of road crashes, namely 3,5% of crashes regardless of the age of the passengers and 3.8% when child and teen passengers are excluded.
The Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) has issued a comprehensive set of statistics on Casualty Road Accidents in Greece for 2016, comprising time-series for the decade 2007-2016. In 2016, 11.318 road accidents with fatalities or serious injuries occurred in Greece, recording a decrease of 1.1% in comparison with 2015 and ending an impressive road fatalities drop during the economic crisis of almost 50%. During the last five years, road fatalities in Greece have decreased by 29% (since 2011), however injury road accidents decreased only by 17%. The rate fatalities per number of vehicles has decreased by 30% since 2011.
A Regional Workshop on Road Safety Data organized by the EuroMed Transport Support Project, took place with great success on 8-10 May 2018 in Athens. This Workshop allowed sharing national, European and international experiences and best practices in the Mediterranean Region with road safety data and suggested a road map for the follow up actions. NTUA actively contributed with five (5) presentations:
- The SaferAfrica Project
- Road Accident Statistics: The Greek Experience
- Strengths and weaknesses of road crash data collection in the EuroMed region – Diagnosis
- Understanding and bridging the differences between national reported and WHO estimated road traffic fatalities
- Setting up road safety reliable, harmonized and comparable data collection system and sharing at regional level
The International Road Traffic and Accident Group (IRTAD) of the International Transport Forum (ITF/OECD) published recently a new Report: “Cooperative Mobility Systems and Automated Driving”. Automated vehicles could make roads safer as well as reduce congestion. Whether society will be able to capture these benefits while minimizing negative impacts depends on effective regulation of self-driving vehicles. The technology is still largely experimental and mass use is likely to take decades. This report reviews the range of existing service concepts for automated driving systems and technologies, the operational environments they require and assesses the need for regulatory action.
“The Road to Zero Report” was developed by the Road to Zero Coalition, together with the RAND Corporation, setting a goal to eliminate traffic fatalities in the U.S. by 2050. The report is the first of its kind in the U.S. and identifies proven, life-saving actions for the short, mid, and long-terms that should be taken by federal, state, and local government officials; automakers; technology manufacturers; business leaders; insurance agencies; law enforcement; and safety advocates.
The International Transport Forum (ITF/OECD) published recently a new Report: “Integrating Urban Public Transport Systems and Cycling”. Seamless integration between bus, BRT, light rail, metro and rail systems and walking and cycling is the main challenge in delivering competitive levels of service, in terms of convenience, flexibility, cost as well as safety. ITF Report recommendations suggest that cycling can greatly extend the range of public transport options available to urban travellers. Cycling significantly increases the catchment area of rail stations with bike-share systems greatly facilitating the use of cycling to complete trips on public transport as well as promoting cycling more generally.
The United Nations have recently launched the UN Road Safety Trust Fund, aiming to accelerate progress in improving global road safety by bridging the gaps in the mobilization of resources for effective action at all levels. The Fund is expected to mobilize resources from governments, intergovernmental or non-governmental organizations, the private sector, philanthropic organizations and individuals. UNECE estimates that every $1,500 contributed to the Road Safety Trust Fund could: save one life, prevent ten serious injuries, and leverage $51,000 in road safety investment.
Jean Todt, United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, stated that the UN Road Safety Trust Fund has the potential to galvanize our global efforts to address the road safety situation, building on the progress made and experience gained over the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020.
The European Commission’s Directorate General for Mobility and Transport (DG Move) published the EU good practice guide: Safer roads for all. It includes Road Safety Statistics in EU, and good practices in EU countries with different safety performance levels. The EU success story is the result of many contributing factors: making road safety a political priority; broad cooperation across borders for a true European road safety area; adoption of the ‘safe system’ approach and the ‘vision zero’ perspective; target setting, data collection and continuous monitoring of results; and dedicated actions ranging from education and awareness campaigns to legislative action and safety focused technical vehicle regulations.
Structural equation model analysis for the evaluation of overall driving performance: A driving simulator study focusing on driver distraction, 2018
A paper titled “Structural equation model analysis for the evaluation of overall driving performance: A driving simulator study focusing on driver distraction” authored by Panagiotis Papantoniou is now published in Traffic Injury Prevention, Volume 19, 2018 – Issue 3, pp. 317-325. 95 participants from all age groups were asked to drive under different types of distraction (conversation with passenger, cell phone use) in urban and rural road environments with low and high traffic volume in a driving simulator experiment. Then, a structural equation model is developed in which overall driving performance is estimated as a latent variable based on several individual driving simulator measures. The implementation of the structural equation model allows for the assessment of driving behaviour in terms of overall performance and not through individual performance measures, which allows an important scientific step forward from piecemeal analyses to a sound combined analysis of the interrelationship between several risk factors and overall driving performance..
The International Traffic Safety Data and Analysis Group (IRTAD) organised by the International Transport Forum (ITF) a meeting which took place in Paris, on 5-6 April 2018
NTUA presentations concerned:
The Department of Methodology in the Behavioural Sciences of the University of Valencia organised the CAMP-sUmp University Campus Sustainable Mobility Conference, co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund of the Interreg MED Programme in Valencia, Spain, on 27 March 2018. Designed to improve sustainable mobility in the Mediterranean area universities’ campus, CAMP-sUmp promotes the advancement of low-carbon strategies and energy efficiency within safe and efficient transport policies. At the CAMP-sUmp Conference the Action Plans and the related Road Maps were presented aiming to support Universities to improve their sustainable mobility plans with emphasis on traffic safety. Presentations were given by the CAMP-sUmp Universities: Catanzaro, Athens, Valencia, Cyprus, Split, Malta and Bologna.
NTUA actively contributed with the following presentation: Studying Sustainable Mobility in University Campuses
Development of an Optimization Model of Resource Allocation for the Management of Urban Transport Buses, 2018
A Diploma Thesis titled “Development of an Optimization Model of Resource Allocation for the Management of Urban Transport Buses” was presented by Ilias Laios in March 2018, aiming to estimate the optimal allocation of the financial resources of the Athens Urban Transport Organization aiming for the most desirable result of the more efficient replacement of bus fleet. A mathematical optimization model based on the principles of linear integer programming was developed and implemented to achieve the goal. The greatest reduction in the cost of bus fleet management results from favorable conditions for the purchase of innovative and more efficient types of buses, such as electric buses and compressed natural gas buses.
The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) launched a publication titled “Securing safe roads: the politics of change” which is an output of the project: The politics of road safety. Over the past 10 years, road safety has been escalated to an issue of international concern. Together with the World Resources Institute Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, ODI undertook research in three middle-income cities: Nairobi, Kenya; Mumbai, India; and Bogotá, Colombia. In this report, ODI synthesizes the findings from these case studies concluding with a series of strategies to improve road safety.
POLIS, the European cities and regions network for innovative transport solutions released a discussion paper entitled: “Road Vehicle Automation and Cities and Regions”. Polis promotes the discussion about vehicle automation, focusing on the car as opposed to lorries and buses and on ‘personal mobility’ rather than logistics. The aims of this paper are among others: a) to raise awareness of AV developments and their potential mobility and safety impact among city and regional administrations and to assist them in setting transport policies and plans to deal with them and b) to raise awareness of city and regional transport policies among vehicle manufacturers and other automated vehicle players.
The European Commission has published the preliminary 2017 road safety statistics, which indicate for the second year in a row, a decrease in the number of fatalities of around 2%. While national authorities deliver most of the day-to-day actions, such as enforcement and awareness-raising, the Commission is working on a series of concrete measures to spur further substantial progress. This would be another step towards a “Europe that protects” as envisioned by President Juncker.
Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said: “25 300 people lost their lives on our roads last year, and many more were left with life-changing injuries. Behind these figures are as many stories of grief and pain. Road safety is of course a responsibility shared with the Member States, but I believe that the EU can do more to better protect Europeans. The ambition is clear: saving more lives on our roads.”
The Road Safety Statistics on EU are included in the recent EU report titled “Trends, Statistics and main challenges” and are discussed in the European Commission Fact Sheet: 2017 road safety statistics: What is behind the figures?
A Diploma Thesis titled “Analysis of the impact of autonomous vehicles to travel behaviour” was presented by Panagiotis Papalymperis in March 2018, aiming to analyse the effect of autonomous vehicles on the mobility behaviour as well as to identify the main characteristics that affect this behaviour. For this purpose, data collected from 235 travelers who participated in a stated-preference survey with a questionnaire were analyzed. Through the multinomial and binary regression models developed it appears that time is the parameter with the highest effect on the choice of the mode of transport. Furthermore, respondents expressed an overall positive attitude towards autonomous vehicles, however they were concerned about sharing the vehicle with unknown people, preferring to be alone in an autonomous vehicle
The International Road Traffic and Accident Group (IRTAD) of the International Transport Forum (ITF/OECD) published recently a new Report “Speed and Crash Risk”, with the active contribution of NTUA. After reviewing the current knowledge on the relationship between speed and crash risk, this report analyses eleven cases from ten countries that have recently changed speed limits or introduced a large-scale automatic speed control. The analysis confirms the very strong relationship between speed and crash risk and that higher speed is associated with increased occurrence and severity of road crashes.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has published a Position Paper titled “EU Funds for Road Safety in the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027“. In this paper, ETSC presents recommendations for funding for road safety initiatives within the next long-term EU budget, known as the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). These recommendations should support work towards meeting the EU’s current target to reduce road deaths by 50% by 2020 and the new targets for 2030 as well as the long-term Vision Zero.
A paper titled “Driving in Mild Cognitive Impairment: the role of depressive symptoms” authored by Ion N. Beratis, Nikos Andronas, Dionysia Kontaxopoulou, Stella Fragkiadaki, Dimosthenis Pavlou, John Papatriantafyllou, Alexandra Economou, George Yannis and Sokratis G. Papageorgiou is now published in Traffic Injury Prevention. Previous studies indicate a negative association between depression and driving fitness in the general population. This paper aimed to cover a gap in the literature and to explore the link between depressive symptoms and driving behavior in individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) through the use of a driving simulator experiment. Results indicated that depressive symptoms could be a factor explaining why certain patients with MCI present altered driving skills. Therefore, interventions for treating the depressive symptoms of individuals with MCI could prove to be beneficial regarding their driving performance.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has published a Position Paper titled “5th EU Road Safety Action Programme 2020-2030”. 2016 was the third consecutive poor year for road safety: 25,670 people lost their lives on EU roads compared to 26,200 the previous year. But this followed a 1% increase in 2015 and stagnation in 2014. In addition, around 135,000 people were seriously injured on European roads in 2014 according to European Commission estimates.
ETSC has identified nine main priorities for action with the top three outlined in the Executive Summary: vulnerable road user safety, automation and reducing the numbers seriously injured on Europe’s roads. A new, EU-level road transport agency could be critically important to planning and delivering new measures as well as providing regulatory oversight of the increasingly complex vehicle type approval that will be required to deal with increased automation.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has published a Position Paper titled “Proposed changes to the driving and resting time rules and tachographs”. Amending Regulation (EC) No 561/2006 as regards on minimum requirements on maximum daily and weekly driving times, minimum breaks and daily and weekly rest periods and Regulation (EU) 165/2014 as regards positioning by means of tachographs ETSC welcomes the European Commission’s proposals on driving and resting times and the opportunity they give to improve road safety in the professional transport sector. While ETSC appreciates the rationale behind the proposals, it is crucial that any changes do not compromise the safety of those working in the professional transport sector, and by extension, other people using the road network.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has published the 34th PIN Flash Report “New EU vehicle safety standards essential to reducing child road deaths“, with the active contribution of NTUA. More than 8,000 children aged 0-14 years have been killed in road traffic collisions over the last ten years in the European Union, new data show. Half of the children killed were travelling in cars, a third were walking and 13% were cycling. ETSC says that measures that can reduce speeding are critical to preventing the deaths of more children and is calling for the EU to require vehicle safety technologies such as Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) and Automated Emergency Braking (AEB) that can detect pedestrians and cyclists to be fitted as standard on all new cars.
The UNECE Global Road Safety Model SafeFITS developed by NTUA is now freely available online. The primary objective of the state of the art “Safe Future Inland Transport Systems (SafeFITS)” model is to assist Governments and Decision Makers to identify the most appropriate road safety policies and measures, allowing them to simulate the impact and effectiveness of different possible interventions based on real-world data.
Jean Todt, United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety stated that: SafeFITS provides a tool to help Member States review their current road safety situation and priorities, assisting them to determine the most appropriate and beneficial policy options for their national context, under the framework of the Decade of Action for Road Safety.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has just published a Report titled ‘Call for mandatory alcohol interlocks in vans, lorries and buses across the EU‘. ETSC is looking at how to reduce the 5.000 deaths still caused by drink-driving in the European Union each year and comes up with two main recommendations: the EU should require alcohol interlocks: a) to be fitted in all new professional vehicles and b) retrofitted to cars used by repeat drink-driving offenders.
Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of ETSC said that: the alcohol interlock programmes have proven to be one of the most effective measures for tackling repeat drink-driving offences and should be extended across the European Union.
The International Road Traffic and Accident Group (IRTAD) of the International Transport Forum (ITF/OECD) published recently a new Report, with the active contribution of NTUA, which examines how improving insights regarding the real number of alcohol-related road casualties worldwide can help to save lives. A total of 45 countries were surveyed with the help of an online questionnaire, and insightful statistics are presented in this Report.
IRTAD Chairman, Professor Fred Wegman, highlighted that: “With great certainty, the real number of alcohol-related road casualties is higher than reported in the official statistics”.
Simulation based safety margin assessment on speed variation between tangent to curved road alignment, 2018
A paper titled “Simulation based safety margin assessment on speed variation between tangent to curved road alignment” authored by Eleonora Papadimitriou, Stergios Mavromatis, Dimosthenis Pavlou and George Yannis is now published in Advances in Transportation Studies. This paper investigates the safety margins of drivers along tangent to curved road sections. A vehicle dynamics model is presented, allowing to assess the vehicle speed variation at impending skid conditions from tangent to curve on the basis of several parameters. The results suggest that drivers’ safety margins towards the examined curve are considerable, with the majority of the drivers using less than 55% of the available vehicle horse power. Higher initial speed was positively correlated with driving efficiency i.e. lower safety margins. On the contrary, a higher safety margin was associated with earlier deceleration before the curve.
Road safety is a major issue in Latin America and substantial actions are needed to reduce the number of road deaths and injuries. The International Transport Forum (ITF) released a report which describes and benchmarks road safety management and performance in ten Latin American countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay and Uruguay. The comparisons in this study allow identifying similarities and differences between countries’ road safety performance. It will be useful to policy makers in assessing weaknesses and strengths, and designing effective road safety policies that make use of the experiences in other countries.
e-Drive Academy is an Innovative Educational e-platform for Safe, Smart, Ecological Transport and Driving, developed and operated by the General Directorate of Road Safety of the Hellenic Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks. e-Drive Academy provides all necessary educational services in order to develop an improved road safety culture and safe travelling for all road users, regardless of age, education or economic level. It aims to raise awareness of road users to adapt their behaviour to safer everyday travelling, with particular emphasis on consolidation of road safety issues and traffic safety education of children and preparing them as the responsible drivers of tomorrow. e-Drive Academy introduces for the first time the systematic teaching of Traffic Behaviour and Road Safety in Greek Primary Schools which start within 2018.
World Resources Institute (WRI) Ross Center for Sustainable Cities and the Global Road Safety Facility of the World Bank in their publication titled “Sustainable and Safe: A Vision and Guidance for Zero Road Deaths” indicated that the most effective way to prevent traffic deaths is a systemic approach that shifts responsibility away from the drivers and pedestrians using roads to the city planners and officials designing them.
Claudia Adriazola, WRI Director on Health and Road Safety, highlighted that analysis in 53 countries found that those that have taken a “Safe System” based approach have achieved both the lowest rates of fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants and the greatest reduction in fatality levels over the past 20 years.
The World Bank launched a publication titled: “The high toll of traffic injuries – Unacceptable and Preventable“, in which a comprehensive methodology is proposed in order to quantify both the income growth and social welfare benefits that safer roads could bring to developing countries. The analysis is based on data collected from 135 countries over 24 years, and demonstrated that reducing the number of road traffic injuries in developing countries not only increases income growth, but also generates substantial welfare benefits to societies.
Dr Soames Job, Head of the World Bank Global Road Safety Facility highlighted that: (a) Cutting traffic deaths and injuries by half could add 7 to 22% to GDP per capita over 24 years in select countries, (b) Welfare benefits equivalent to 6 to 32% of GDP per capita could be realized over the same period if traffic deaths and injuries were halved and (c) Road traffic injuries are the single largest cause of mortality and long-term disability among people aged 15-29, prime working age.
The European Commission’s Directorate General for Mobility and Transport (DG Move) published the Final Report of “The implementation of Directive 2006/126/EC on driving licences”, with the active contribution of NTUA. The third Directive on driving licences entered into force in January 2013 and provides harmonized rules aimed at enhancing drivers’ freedom to move, reducing the possibility of driving licence fraud and improving road safety in the EU. This Study explores the implementation of the third Directive on driving licences four years after implementation and assesses whether the introduced novelties contributed to achieving the objectives set by the Directive.
A paper titled “Accident Prediction Modelling: a literature review” authored by Tassos Dragomanovits, George Yannis, Alexandra Laiou, Francesca La Torre, Lorenzo Domenichini, Thomas Richter, Stephan Ruhl, Daniel Graham, and Niovi Karathodorou, is now published in the themed issue on transport safety and assessment of the Proceedings of ICE – Transport. This paper presents a comprehensive literature review on road traffic Accident Prediction Models (APMs) and Crash Modification Factors (CMFs). The focus is on motorways and higher ranked rural roads and the study was performed within the PRACT research project carried out for the European Road Authorities Organistion (CEDR). The review of CMFs focused on their background and development, the various methods for developing them and the key issues in their application. The review resulted in the development of an online APM and CMF Repository, with the aim of assisting the practical application of gathered experience on accident prediction.
The impact of nighttime driving to driver behavior and safety in cities with the use of driving simulator, 2017
A Diploma Thesis titled “The impact of nighttime driving to driver behavior and safety in cities with the use of driving simulator” was presented by Armira Kontaxi in November 2017. An experimental process on a driving simulator was carried out and regression statistical models were developed to investigate the impact of nighttime driving on the mean speed, on the standard deviation of the mean headway distance and on the mean reaction time and accident probability. The models’ application demonstrated that nighttime driving in urban area leads to an increase of the mean speed, of the standard deviation of the mean headway distance and of the mean reaction time, resulting thus to a significant increase of the accident probability.
The Transport Research and Innovation Monitoring and Information System – TRIMIS is an online platform for researchers to share and discuss innovation in mobility in Europe. It is an evolution of the Transport Research & Innovation Portal (TRIP), and incorporates TRIP’s database of over 10,000 EU and national transport research projects. TRIMIS monitors the implementation and effectiveness of the roadmaps developed by the Strategic Transport Research and Innovation Agenda (STRIA). TRIMIS analyses technology trends, research and innovation capacities and developments in the European transport sector, providing open-access information.
Analysis of the impact of nighttime driving to young drivers’ behavior and safety in rural roads with the use of driving simulator, 2017
A Diploma Thesis titled “Analysis of the impact of nighttime driving to young drivers’ behavior and safety in rural roads with the use of driving simulator” was presented by Eleftheria Kyriakouli in November 2017 aiming to analyze the impact of nighttime driving on driver behavior and safety in rural areas through a driving simulator experiment. Regression models were developed to analyze the impact of driving at night on the mean speed, on the mean headway distance of the vehicle and the mean reaction time and on the probability of causing an accident. The models’ application demonstrated that nighttime driving leads to small decrease of the mean speed and increase of the mean headway distance of the vehicle, which however cannot outweigh the increase of the mean reaction time in case of an accident and therefore resulting to an increase of accident probability.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Investigation of the effect of tourism on road accidents” was presented by Vasileios Bellos in November 2017. The objective of this Diploma Thesis is to investigate the effect of tourism on road accidents. For this purpose, data on road accidents in Greece for the five-year period of 2011-2015 were collected. Negative binomial regression models were developed and it was observed that both the tourist season and tourism as travelling purpose led to an increase in road accidents, with the highest increase being observed in tourist regions. The increase of the relative rate ratio of road accident involvement for foreign tourists in tourist regions may indicate the increased risk of foreign tourists compared to Greek drivers.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Investigation of the impact of weather conditions to young drivers’ behavior and safety in cities with the use of driving simulator” was presented by Maria Chaireti in November 2017. In order to achieve this objective, an experimental process on a driving simulator was carried out and regression models were developed to investigate the impact of weather conditions on the mean speed, the lateral position of the vehicle from the right borderline and the accident probability. The models’ application indicated that driving in the rain contributes to a small reduction in speed, but also to a significant increase in the probability of an accident. When driving in fog, drivers seem to be more cautious, as the lateral position of the vehicle from the right borderlines reduced and the probability of an accident decreased.
Analysis of the impact of weather conditions on the behaviour and safety of young drivers on rural roads with the use of driving simulator, 2017
A Diploma Thesis titled “Analysis of the impact of weather conditions on the behaviour and safety of young drivers on rural roads with the use of driving simulator” was presented by Anna-Maria Sourelli in November 2017. This Thesis focused on the analysis of the impact of weather conditions on the behaviour and safety of young drivers on rural roads. In order to achieve this objective, an experimental process using a driving simulator was carried out, in which 40 participants aged 20-28 years drove in different driving scenarios. Lognormal regression methods were used in order to develop the mathematical model of the average driving speed and binary logistic methods were used for the model of the accident probability. The models’ application revealed that rain increases significantly the accident probability, despite the observed speed reduction.
Modelling the effect of traffic regimes on safety of urban arterials: the case study of Athens, 2017
A paper titled “Modelling the effect of traffic regimes on safety of urban arterials: the case study of Athens” authored by Athanasios Theofilatos, George Yannis, John Golias and Eleni Vlahogianni is now published in Journal of Traffic and Transportation Engineering. To achieve the aims of the study, traffic and accident data during the period 2006–2011 from two major arterials in Athens were collected and processed. Firstly, a finite mixture cluster analysis was implemented to classify traffic into clusters. Afterwards, discriminant analysis was carried out in order to correctly assign new cases to the existing regimes by using a training and a testing set. Lastly, Bayesian logistic regression models were developed to investigate the impact of traffic regimes on accident likelihood and severity. The findings of this study suggest that urban traffic can be divided into different regimes by using average traffic occupancy and its standard deviation, measured by nearby upstream and downstream loop detectors. The results revealed potential specific hazardous traffic conditions. In general, high occupancy values increase accident likelihood, but tend to lead slight accidents, while PTWs are more likely to be involved in an accident, when traffic occupancy is high. Transitions from high to low occupancy also increase accident likelihood.
The Directorate General for Mobility and Transport (DG Move) of the European Commission released the Statistical Pocketbook 2017 ‘EU Transport in figures‘. In this Statistical Pocketbook, key road safety Tables are contained, together with several other Tables on transport statistics, providing a complete picture of current trends in transport in Europe. Data on road fatalities for the EU member states and associate countries allow for time series comparisons and country rankings.
The new online manual on road asset management announced by the World Road Association (PIARC) aims to help countries, whatever their stage of development, maintain their infrastructures and implement strategies to manage their road assets. This tool is intended for national and international decision-makers in fields concerning road safety, road network and ITS operation, and tunnels. Road infrastructures represent a key public asset in most countries, and traditional methods of managing the asset must progress to meet the requirements and constraints of the 21st century.
The International Road Traffic and Accident Database (IRTAD) of the International Transport Forum (ITF/OECD) published the full version of the Annual Report 2017, which provides an overview of road safety performance for 2015 in 40 countries, with preliminary data for 2016, and detailed reports for each country. It includes tables with cross country comparisons on key safety indicators and puts special emphasis on road safety for an ageing population, which represents a growing concern in many countries. The positive trend over the last few years of reduced road fatalities did not continue in 2015 and 2016. The 31 IRTAD member countries registered a 3.3% increase in road fatalities in 2015 compared to 2014. Finally, in 2016, the number of fatalities increased in 14 countries.
The SafetyCube European Road Safety Decision Support System (DSS) was recently launched, developed within EU Horizons 2020 research project SafetyCube with the active contribution of NTUA. SafetyCube DSS is a long waited powerful tool offering for the first time worldwide, scientific evidence on the effects of a large number of road safety risks and related countermeasures on behaviour, infrastructure, vehicle and post-crash care, providing a wealth of scientific evidence to support road safety decision making.
NTUA presentation in the launch event concerned: SafetyCube – the European Road Safety Decision Support System
European Commission launched a report following the C-ITS Platform Phase I report from January 2016 and addresses the common technical and legal framework necessary for the deployment of C-ITS and also takes the needs and possibilities of higher levels of automation into consideration. Following an invitation of the European Commission, industry representatives and public authorities have agreed on a further developed shared vision on the inter-operable deployment of Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) towards cooperative, connected and automated mobility (CCAM) in the European Union.
FIA Region I and its member Clubs are launching #ParkYourPhone, a campaign to encourage responsible smartphone use in traffic. For drivers, pedestrians and cyclists, only a few seconds of distraction can make a difference between life and death. FIA President and UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, Jean Todt, said “Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians need to understand the dangers of using smartphones in traffic. To combat the 3,500 lives lost every day in road accidents, I urge all road users to park their phones when they are in traffic.”
FIA Region I published “Policy position on road infrastructure and tunnel safety”. Many of the problems that road users face today are linked with poor maintenance of road infrastructure. Therefore, FIA Region I welcomes the European Commission’s plan to revise and merge the road infrastructure safety management Directive and the Directive on minimum safety requirements for tunnels.
FIA Region I published “Policy position on event data recorders”. Conducting road accident research and subsequent establishment of liability, in some instances, requires use of event data recorders (EDR) and data storage systems for automated driving (DSSA). The European Commission is evaluating whether EDRs should become standard equipment under the revision of the General Safety Regulation. FIA Region I sees no compelling case to mandate EDRs in all new vehicles.
Comparative assessment of the behaviour of drivers with Mild Cognitive Impairment or Alzheimer’s disease in different road and traffic conditions, 2017
A paper titled “Comparative assessment of the behaviour of drivers with Mild Cognitive Impairment or Alzheimer’s disease in different road and traffic conditions” authored by Dimosthenis Pavlou, Eleonora Papadimitriou, Costas Antoniou, Panagiotis Papantoniou, George Yannis, John Golias and Sokratis G. Papageorgiou, is now published in Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, Volume 47, May 2017, pp. 122-131. The objective of this research was the analysis of the driving performance of drivers with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) or Alzheimer’s disease (AD), in different road and traffic conditions, on the basis of a driving simulator experiment. The results of this research suggest that compensatory behaviours developed by impaired drivers are not adequate to counterbalance the direct effects of these cerebral diseases on driving skills. They also demonstrate that driving impairments increase as cognitive impairments become more severe (from MCI to AD).
Traffic and safety data analysis: from correlation to causation and policy support, Loughborough, 2017
NTUA Professor George Yannis has given an invited lecture at the School of Architecture, Building & Civil Engineering of Loughborough University on “Traffic and safety data analysis: from correlation to causation and policy support“. The Lecture focused on the various facets of road safety data, starting from the need for evidence based road safety policies, followed by key road safety analysis methods, the challenges of road safety measures’ assessment and the role of road user behaviour and concluding with an integrated road safety approach from data monitoring and analysis to policy support. A vivid discussion followed under the coordination of Loughborough University ITS Professor M.Quddus.
Safe Future Inland Transport Systems (SafeFITS), the Global Road Safety Model developed by NTUA for the United Nations – Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) with the support of the International Road Transport Union (IRU) was presented by NTUA Professor George Yannis, at the Global Forum for Road Traffic Safety (WP.1) as part of its Seventy-fifth session in 19 September 2017, in order to showcase current developments and obtain feedback from national representatives. The SafeFITS tool is built around a statistical model based on historical road safety data and the relations between different road safety indicators. SafeFITS will enable Governments to identify the most appropriate road safety measures and policies to save even more lives.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Development of driver speed models based on detailed driving data from smartphone sensors” was presented by Christina Gonidi in July 2017. A large data set recorded per second was used, containing information about the exact position of the vehicle, its acceleration and deceleration and the point where 100 drivers performed harsh manoeuvers or speed changes or when they used their mobile phone, etc. In order to analyze the available data, six statistical linear regression models forecasting driver average speed were developed: one general model, two models for the periods inside or outside risky hours and three models for each road type (urban, rural and highways). The results demonstrated a strong correlation between the average speed and the distance covered by the driver as well as driver accelerations and harsh changes.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has published two position papers on regulations on general safety and on pedestrians.
Position Paper: “Revision of the General Safety Regulation“: Within the context of the EU target to halve road deaths between 2010 and 2020, the forthcoming revision of the General Safety Regulation will require bold action to ensure that road deaths continue to fall, and that vehicle safety improvements are not limited to the wealthiest consumers or member states.
Position Paper: “Review of the Pedestrian Protection Regulation 78/2009“. ETSC welcomes the initiative of the European Commission to review the legislation on the protection of pedestrians and other vulnerable road users (VRUs). It is of paramount importance that the EU takes steps to improve the safety of this often neglected category of road users.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Analysis of the effect of economic recession on road safety in Greece” was presented by Christos Batsos in September 2017. For this analysis, suitably processed road accident data during the period 2003-2014 have been exploited. It appears that the economic recession has led to a significant reduction in fatalities and serious injuries. The principal mechanisms bringing this decline about are the reduction of accidents with involvement of passenger cars, of young drivers and outside traffic junctions. These results indicate that apart from the decline of vehicle kilometers of travel, changes in road user behaviour might have contributed significantly to the overall improvement of road safety during the economic crisis.
Modelling mobile phone use impact on driver behaviour through the exploitation of data from smartphone sensors, 2017
A Diploma Thesis titled “Modelling mobile phone use impact on driver behaviour through the exploitation of data from smartphone sensors” was presented by Anastasia Argyropoulou in July 2017. The aim of this Diploma Thesis was to examine and model the impact of mobile phone use on driver behaviour through the exploitation of data from smartphone sensors. To achieve this objective, data collected from 100 drivers who participated at a naturalistic driving experiment for four months were analysed through statistical modelling. The application of the models revealed that the factors affecting the harsh events are five, with the average driving speed being the main one, while the factors affecting the possibility of using the mobile phone while driving are six, with the average angular speed being the main one.
A paper titled “Meta-analysis of the effect of road work zones on crash occurrence” authored by Athanasios Theofilatos, Apostolos Ziakopoulos, Eleonora Papadimitriou, George Yannis, and Konstandinos Diamandouros is now published in Accident Analysis and Prevention. This paper presents formal meta-analyses of studies that have estimated the relationship between the number of crashes and work zone duration and length, in order to provide overall estimates of those effects on crash frequencies. All studies presented in this paper are crash prediction models with similar specifications. Meta-regression findings indicate that the main factors influencing the overall estimates of the beta coefficients are study year and region for work zone duration and study year and model specification for work zone length.
SafeFITS, the Global Road Safety Model developed by NTUA for the United Nations – Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) with the support of the International Road Transport Union (IRU) has been presented and discussed at the respective RoundTable in Geneva, on June 30th, 2017. SafeFITS Model is a global macroscopic road safety decision making tool aiming to assist governments and decision makers, both in developed and developing countries, to explore and choose the most appropriate road safety policies and measures in order to achieve tangible results. The SafeFITS Model is based on the related scientific knowledge available worldwide, with emphasis on recent academic research and project results.
NTUA Professor George Yannis presentation concerned:
The International Transport Forum (ITF) together with IRU, ITWF and ACEA launched a report titled: “Managing the Transition to Driverless Road Freight Transport”. This report considers how a transition to driverless road freight transport could happen. Today’s technology already makes it possible to operate automated trucks. Reduced reliance on humans to move road freight in the future could offer large cost savings for businesses and consumers. It could also disrupt the careers and lives of millions of professional truck drivers. Based on different scenarios for the large-scale introduction of automated road freight transport, this study makes recommendations to assist governments manage potential disruption and ensure a just transition for affected drivers.