The European Commission – DG Move has published a Staff Working Document titled “EU Road Safety Policy Framework 2021-2030 – Next steps towards “Vision Zero” which includes details as to how it intends to put its Strategic Action Plan on Road Safety into practice . This Document includes a first list of Road Safety Key Performance Indicators (KPI), elaborated in close cooperation with Member States and the active contribution of NTUA, that will be monitored across the EU to underpin the target of 50% reduction in fatalities and serious injuries by 2030. The list (including indicators like vehicle safety, seat belt and helmet wearing rate, speed compliance and post-crash care) is a living document that will be developed further over time, but first data can be gathered on this basis from next year.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) published the 13th edition of PIN Annual Report , with the active contribution of NTUA, presented at the 2019 Annual PIN Conference which took place with great success on 19 June, 2019 in Brussels. According to this PIN Report, the new European figures show that the number of persons killed last year fell by just 1% and the EU target to cut road deaths in half over the decade to 2020 looks well out of reach.
Ireland was the winner of this year’s ETSC Road Safety Performance Index (PIN) award, being the second safest EU Member State in 2018, in terms of road mortality (road deaths per million inhabitants) and having moved up five places in the ranking of EU countries since 2010 when it held the 7th place.
The 1st newsletter of the Horizon 2020 project Levitate was recently released highlighting the key activities of the first 6 months of the project. It contains an inspiring interview with Rune Elvik, Senior research officer at TØI, suggesting that any progress in Connected and Automated Transport cannot eliminate the human factor. Furthermore, it highlights the results from the first Workshop of the Levitate Stakeholder Group in Gothenburg on May 2019 and of the respective presentation of Levitate project at the scientific Workshop organized by the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) on ‘Digitalisation and Road Safety Research’ in Athens on May 2019.
A new book titled ‘La sécurité routière en France – Road Safety in France‘ authored by Laurent Carnis, Catherine Gabaude and Marie-Line Gallenne, was published in May 2019. Since the 1970s, road accidents have undergone a remarkable evolution, which has led to fewer fatalities and fewer casualties on French roads. But the accidents remain too numerous and still defeat the chronicles. Greater road safety justifies measures that give rise to lively discussions where everyone claims to be an expert. This book guides the reader through themes such as trauma victims, alcohol or drugs driving.
A paper titled “Safety Culture among Private and Professional Drivers in Norway and Greece: Examining the Influence of National Road Safety Culture” authored by Tor-Olav Nævestad, Alexandra Laiou, Ross O. Phillips, Torkel Bjørnskau and George Yannis is now published in Safety Journal. This study investigates road safety culture (RSC) as an explanation for this discrepancy by: (1) Comparing the road safety behaviours among professional and private drivers in Norway and Greece, (2) Examining factors influencing road safety behaviours, focusing especially on national road safety culture, and (3) Examining the influence of road safety behaviours and other factors (e.g., demographic and work-related variables) on accident involvement. The results indicate that aggressive violations are more similar among private and professional drivers within the national samples, than across the national samples, while seat belt use seems to vary according to the professional versus private dimension.
A paper titled “Safety assessment of control design parameters through vehicle dynamics model” authored by Stergios Mavromatis, Alexandra Laiou, and George Yannis is now published in Accident Analysis and Prevention. An existing vehicle dynamics model was utilized to define design parameters up to which steady state cornering conditions apply and consequently lift the restrictions of the point mass model. Aiming to assess critical safety concerns in terms of vehicle skidding, the motion of a passenger car was examined over a range of design speed values paired with control design elements from AASHTO 2011 Design Guidelines as well as certain values of poor pavement friction coefficients. For full text just ask us by replying to this email.
The European Road Transport Research Advisory Council (ERTRAC) has published the “Safe Road Transport Roadmap – Towards Vision Zero: Roads without Victims”, with the active contribution of NTUA. The main objective of this ERTRAC roadmap is to provide a joint stakeholder view on the road safety research needs in Europe. The roadmap is based on the current state of the art and the identified challenges to reach the ambitious goals set for the EU. In this roadmap, ERTRAC proposes a set of eleven high priority road safety research and innovation needs, which should be implemented by providing ample room for citizens and road users themselves to engage.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has published a Report titled “Road Safety Priorities for the EU 2020-2030: Briefing for the European Parliamentary Elections”. This ETSC Report suggests additional legislation priorities over the period 2019-2024, concerning: a) the improvement of cyclists, pedestrians and powered two wheelers safety, b) automated and connected mobility, c) the reduction of serious injuries on EU roads, d) the efficient enforcement, e) the drug driving and f) the education and training (revision of the European Driving License Directive).
The European Commission’s Directorate General for Mobility and Transport (DG Move) published a Report titled: “Transport in the European Union: Current Trends and Issues“. The Report sets out the key trends and issues for the single European transport area, the development of a safe transport infrastructure network across EU countries, and the external costs of transport, accompanied with the respective country analyses. Special emphasis is given to the consequences of road accidents.
The International Transport Forum (ITF/OECD) published recently a new Report: “Road Safety in European Cities – Performance Indicators and Governance Solutions”. This reports benchmarks road safety performance for 72 urban areas, mostly in Europe, and illustrates governance solutions to improve urban road safety with case studies conducted in Lisbon (Portugal) and Riga (Latvia). The report proposes new road safety indicators to assess the level of risk for each mode of transport. It finds that a modal shift away from private motor vehicles could significantly enhance road safety in dense urban areas and deliver public health benefits associated with increased physical activity and improved air quality.
According to the European Commission preliminary statistics, fewer people died on European roads in 2018 but more efforts are needed to make a big leap forward. In 2018, there were around 25.100 fatalities in road accidents in the EU 28. This is a decrease of 21% compared to 2010, and 1% compared to 2017. The EU countries with the best road safety results in 2018 were the United Kingdom (28 deaths/million inhabitants), Denmark (30/million), Ireland (31/million), and Sweden (32/million), whereas the best improvement since 2010 was demonstrated by Greece (-45%) and Lithuania (-43%). With an average of 49 road deaths per one million inhabitants, this confirms that European roads are by far the safest in the world, but it also shows that we are off track to reach our target of halving the number of road deaths by 2020.
A paper titled “The European road safety decision support system on risks and measures” authored by the Horizons 2020 SafetyCube project team is now published in Accident Analysis and Prevention. The European Road Safety Decision Support System is an innovative system providing the available evidence on a broad range of road risks and possible countermeasures. This paper describes the scientific basis of the DSS. The structure underlying the DSS consists of (1) a taxonomy identifying risk factors and measures and linking them to each other, (2) a repository of studies, and (3) synopses summarizing the effects estimated in the literature for each risk factor and measure, and (4) an economic efficiency evaluation instrument (E3-calculator).
FIA launched a brand new visualized tool-website with key figures on vision and its impact on road safety in 14 countries all over the world. It provides data regarding visual disorders population percentages of each country, vision legislation and driving license, minimum acuity for both eyes, minimum vision field etc.
European Investment Bank and European Commission join forces to support investments in transport safety with special focus on roads. At the TEN-T and CEF Conference in Bucharest, the EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc together with Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Vazil Hudák launched the “Safer Transport Platform” to promote safety as a key element for transport investment and to provide easy access to technical and financial advice, in particular for road safety. The “Safer Transport Platform – Road Safety Advisory” is available via a dedicated website.
Combined impact of road and traffic characteristics on driver behavior using data from smartphones, 2019
A Diploma Thesis titled “Combined impact of road and traffic characteristics on driver behavior using data from smartphones” was recently presented by Virginia Petraki. High resolution driving behavior data were collected using sensors of smartphones which were combined with traffic and road geometry characteristics and subsequently were depicted spatially using GIS. From the application of these models it is observed that in road segments there is an increase in the number of harsh events if average traffic volume per lane increases in the respective segments. Furthermore, in junctions as the average occupancy increases, there is an increase in harsh accelerations, and as average speed increases more harsh decelerations occur.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Correlation of driver behaviour and fuel consumption using data from smartphones” was recently presented by Eva Michelaraki. The aim of this Diploma Thesis is the correlation of driver behaviour and fuel consumption using data from smartphones. To achieve this objective, data collected from 17 drivers who participated at a naturalistic driving experiment for four months are analyzed. The results demonstrated that there was a remarkable reduction in fuel consumption, by improving the way participants were driving and also a smoother and a greener driver behavior was achieved. A stronger correlation has emerged between harsh accelerations and fuel consumption, but also speed, braking, smartphone usage while driving, driving at night and demographic features had a direct impact on fuel consumption.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Self-assessment and Road Behaviour” was recently presented by Mikaela Panagiotopoulou. The aim of the Diploma Thesis is to relate self-assessment and other characteristics of drivers with parameters of their road behavior. To achieve this goal, a pilot simulator experiment was conducted and a questionnaire was filled in a sample of 125 drivers. The application of the models revealed that the drivers who have positively self-assessed their driving abilities drive faster and showcase speedy reaction time. The drivers in general, evaluated realistically their driving skills with an exception when it came to the safety driving measures which were: keeping an adequate headway from the vehicle in front, accurately adjusting their speed on different driving conditions, maintaining speed limits.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Greek drivers’ attitudes towards aggressive driving” was recently presented by Aggeliki Stefatou. The objective of this Diploma Thesis is the investigation of the characteristics of driver aggressiveness in Greece via their perceptions on their own behavior and the behavior of other drivers. Specifically, within the framework of the SafeCulture survey, the answers of 302 car drivers and 201 two-wheeler drivers on 8 questions regarding speed, 6 questions regarding overtaking behavior and aggressiveness and 4 questions regarding alcohol consumption were analyzed. Results indicate that drivers do not perceive traditional crash factors as causes for their crash involvement. The only contributing factors perceived by drivers was found to be those involving driver overtaking behavior and aggressiveness.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Spatial analysis of driver safety behavior using data from smartphones” was recently presented by Ilias Parmaksizoglou. Smartphone driver behaviour data were processed in a GIS computer environment, resulting to the development of new tables describing the phenomena observed on the map of a major road axis in Athens, in nodes and links. Analytic maps were developed aiming to indicate patterns of the accumulation and ranking of the harsh events in the selected road axis. Finally, four linear regression models were developed, which demonstrated speed as the most statistically significant factor in predicting harsh events per day on a region basis.
Impact of economic, social and transport indicators on road safety during the crisis period in Europe, 2019
A Diploma Thesis titled “Impact of economic, social and transport indicators on road safety during the crisis period in Europe” was recently presented by Valentina Vassili. The objective of this Diploma Thesis is to investigate the impact of economic, social and transport indicators on road safety before and after the crisis period in Europe. For this analysis a database containing Gross Domestic Product per capita (GDP), motorway-kilometers per road network-kilometers, vehicle fleet per population and road fatalities for European states for 2000-2016 was developed. The results led to the conclusion that Gross Domestic Index per capita has the most important impact and its increase leads to road fatalities decrease. Moreover, the increase of motorway-kilometers per road network positively affects the road fatalities decrease.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Identification of critical driving parameters affecting speeding using data from smartphones” was recently presented by Aris Kokkinakis. Data collected from sixty- eight drivers who participated at a naturalistic driving experiment for fifteen months were analyzed with the use of linear regression modelling. The results revealed that key parameters like distance, high intensity harsh accelerations and braking, harsh cornering, average deceleration and mobile usage, had statistically significant on driver speeding behaviour. The number of high intensity harsh brakings had the most significant impact on speeding, whereas for each type of road separately, distance was the most significant parameter.
The EU institutions have reached a provisional political agreement on the revised General Safety Regulation. 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 “Review and ranking of crash risk factors related to the road infrastructure” authored by Eleonora Papadimitriou, Ashleigh Filtness, Akis Theofilatos, Apostolis Ziakopoulos, Claire Quigley and George Yannis is now published in Accident Analysis and Prevention. This analysis was carried out within the SafetyCube project, which aimed to identify and quantify the effects of risk factors and measures related to behaviour, infrastructure or vehicles, and integrate the results in an innovative road safety Decision Support System (DSS). Synthesis of results was made through 39 ‘Synopses’ (including 4 original meta-analyses) on individual risk factors or groups of risk factors. This analysis allowed the ranking of infrastructure risk factors into three groups: risky (11 risk factors), probably risky (18 risk factors), and unclear (7 risk factors). For full text just ask us by replying to this email.
Prof. George Yannis made a presentation about “Open Science in Transport” at the kick-off meeting of the BeOpen, Horizon 2020 project, which took place in Brussels in 14 February 2019. BeOpen aims to create a common understanding on the practical impact of Open Science and to identify and put in place the mechanisms to make it a reality in transport research. Road Safety constitutes a major component of this Open Science in Transport initiative.
Basic characteristics of road fatalities in Greece for the period 1991-2017 are summarised in a comprehensive Table prepared by the NTUA Road Safety Observatory (data source: ELSTAT). Since 2007, there are approximately 900 less road fatalities per year in Greece. According to these time series data a spectacular decrease in road fatalities for children 0-14 years old (-71%), young drivers (-61%) and on motorways (-61%) is observed during the last decade. On the contrary, fatalities decrease during the last decade is quite limited for moped riders (-26%), older drivers (-28%) and at rural (36%) and urban (37%) junctions.
A paper titled “Investigation of the effect of tourism on road crashes” authored by Vasileios Bellos, Apostolos Ziakopoulos, and George Yannis is now published in Journal of Transportation Safety & Security. Based on police data on road crashes in Greece for the 5-year period of 2011 to 2015, negative binomial regression models were developed, which led to the conclusion that tourists are more often involved in road crashes in Greece. Furthermore, the increase of the relative rate ratio of road crash involvement for foreign tourists in touristic regions indicates a clear increased accident risk of foreign tourists compared to Greek drivers.
NTUA Professor George Yannis presented recently the Global Road Safety Landscape at the Governing Board Meeting of the Private Sector Global Coalition Together for Safer Roads (TSR) composed by 16 leading global companies, highlighting the key challenges, perspectives and opportunities of global road safety.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has published a report titled “7 SMART Ways of tackling Drink-Driving in Europe”. The report aims to present the wide-ranging approaches used to tackle drink driving in Europe, including legislation (BAC limits, rehabilitation programmes for drink driving offenders), enforcement, technology (alcohol interlocks) campaigns and education.
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. This year the WRS 2018 (data 2011-2016) features more than 205 countries, with data on over 45 road related topics, with the active contribution of NTUA for the Greek data. What is highlighted this year is that freight transport is almost evenly split between road and rail in both Europe/ Central Asia region and North America. Passenger transport in these regions is essentially by road with 88% of passengers travelling by roads in Europe/Central Asia and 99% in North America. These statistics allow governments and urban planners to pinpoint where in the transport sector to focus their time and resources to ensure passenger safety and maximum economic benefits.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has published a Report titled “The Status of Traffic Safety and Mobility Education in Europe” with the active contribution of NTUA. Even though the overwhelming majority of European countries consider education as an essential part of the integrated approach to traffic safety, this first overview of traffic safety and mobility education in Europe demonstrates that in practice road safety education in schools at all levels is not sufficient. Only in the Czech Republic, Ireland and Germany is road safety education provided at all levels.
NTUA Road Safety Research is ranked 2nd in Europe and 6th worldwide according to a recent study titled: “Visualization and analysis of mapping knowledge domain of road safety studies“, published at the leading safety Scientific Journal Accident Analysis and Prevention. Moreover, NTUA Prof. George Yannis appears to be among the most productive scientific authors worldwide in the field of road safety. This ranking is based on a systematic analysis of all road safety studies published on Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE) and Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI) between 2000 and 2018, containing several interesting performance indicators on road safety research worldwide (topics, trends, papers, journals, universities).
Road safety behavior of drivers with neurological diseases affecting cognitive functions: an interdisciplinary Structural Equation Model analysis approach, 2018
A paper titled “Road safety behavior of drivers with neurological diseases affecting cognitive functions: an interdisciplinary Structural Equation Model analysis approach” authored by Dimosthenis Pavlou and George Yannis is now published in Advances in Transportation Studies. This research suggests the evaluation of driving behavior by using multiple driving indexes in a combined integrated manner, through a large-scale driving simulator experiment, comprising medical/neurological and neuropsychological assessments of 225 active drivers, and a set of driving tasks for different traffic volumes, different driving environments, including in-vehicle distraction conditions. The statistical analysis methodology developed and implemented was based on Principal Component Analysis and Structural Equation Models (SEMs). SEM results indicated that the impact of neurological diseases affecting cognitive functions is significantly detrimental on the latent variables “driving performance” and on the observed variables “reaction time” and “accident probability”. The AD group had the worse driving behavior profile among the examined groups with neurological diseases affecting cognitive functions.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has published a briefing synthesis titled “EU Strategy for Automated Mobility”. ETSC warmly welcomes and fully agree with the Commission’s acknowledgement that when it comes to automated mobility, “only the highest safety and security standards will suffice”. This must remain the guiding principle in the years to come. Automated driving has the potential to significantly improve road safety. However, recent collisions involving vehicles with automated technology on board demonstrate that automated driving may also pose new risks to road safety, and that the technology is not yet mature.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) published an Interactive Map on Global Road Safety, based on the recently published Global Status Report on Road Safety 2018. This Interactive Map is a highly useful tool allowing to visualize a wealth of information and several road safety parameters per country as well as to highlight the shocking fact that every 23 seconds a road user looses their life.
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 insufficient progress as the number of annual road traffic deaths 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”. The goal of the global road safety week, is to generate a demand from the public and the 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.
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, with the support and data from OSeven Telematics. 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.
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 recently presented by Dimitrios Giagkou, focusing on the impact of mobility characteristics on road safety in European cities. For this analysis, various international databases (CARE, UITP, Eurostat) 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 linear mixed statistical model were developed. The results demonstrated important but different impacts of the examined indicators at the different countries and varying impact weight of these indicators.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Comparative investigation of road accidents cost in the European Union” was presented by Ypatia Mihou-Archimandritou in July 2018. For this analysis, social, economic and transport indicators 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, with the support and data from OSeven Telematics. 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. Furthermore, based on the WTP methodology, the road accident fatality human cost in Greece 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, with the support and data from OSeven Telematics. 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 full version of the Road Safety Annual Report 2018, which provides a detailed insight of road safety performance for 28 countries. The Annual 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.