The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has just published the 33th PIN Flash Report “Tapping the potential for reducing work-related road deaths and injuries“, with the active contribution of NTUA. Over 25,600 lives were lost on the road in the European Union in 2016, of those a large proportion were victims of work-related road (WRR) collisions. Even though the exact number is unknown, it is likely that up to 40% of all road deaths are work-related. It includes three parts: Part I: Work-related road safety (WRRS) data collection and reporting, Part II: The national legal framework for work-related road safety, and Part III: Public authority leadership in managing work-related road risks.
The Private Sector Global Coalition Together for Safer Roads (TSR) composed by 16 leading global companies has organised on June 19th, 2017, in Atlanta, USA a Round Table Discussion on New Trends and Opportunities in Road Safety. This Round Table Discussion demonstrated the high potential of technology and new trends for safety improvement as well as the role of the Member Companies to promote and exploit this potential. NTUA Professor George Yannis presentation concerned:
Time series and support vector machines to predict Powered-Two-Wheeler accident involvement and accident type, 2017
A paper titled “Time series and support vector machines to predict Powered-Two-Wheeler accident involvement and accident type” co-authored by Athanasios Theofilatos, George Yannis, Costas Antoniou, Antonis Chaziris and Dimitris Sermpis, is now published in Journal of Transportation Safety and Security. This study exploited real-time traffic and weather data from two major urban arterials in the city of Athens, Greece. Due to the high number of candidate variables, a random forest model was applied to reveal the most important variables. Then, the potentially significant variables were used as input to a Bayesian logistic regression model in order to reveal the magnitude of their effect on PTW accident involvement. The results of the analysis suggest that PTWs are more likely to be involved in multi-vehicle accidents than in single-vehicle accidents. It was also indicated that increased traffic flow and variations in speed have a significant influence on PTW accident involvement.
A paper titled ‘Simulation of Texting Impact on Young Drivers’ Behaviour and Safety on Motorways‘ co-authored by George Yannis, Alexandra Laiou, Panagiotis Papantoniou and Christos Gkartzonikas is now published in Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour. A driving simulator experiment was carried out, in which 34 young participants drove in different driving scenarios. Results suggest that texting leads to statistically significant decrease of the mean speed and to increased headway in normal and in specific traffic and weather conditions on motorways, as drivers appear to produce compensatory behavior while texting. Furthermore, texting leads to increased accident probability, probably due to longer reaction time of the driver at unexpected incidents.
Every day, 3,500 people are killed on the roads. Young people are particularly affected as road crashes are the number one cause of death of 15 to 29 year old. This is an alarming trend, a plague that needs to be stopped, a human, economic and social cost which has become unacceptable. The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) together with our 245 member organisations around the world. Everyone has a role to play in making safer roads for all. The #3500LIVES campaign outlines the 10 rules that can help save your life and the lives of others. FIA encourages to sign up to the FIA Manifesto for Global Road Safety which calls on all Governments to prioritise road safety and introduce effective legislation on key risk factors on the road.
The School of Civil Engineering of Thessaloniki Mediterranean College organised with great success a forum titled: “The Vision Zero Concept: the role of Civil Engineer on Road Safety” on Monday 27 March 2017. This initiative’s goal was to approach road safety, covering three basic branches: the driver, the vehicle and the environment.
Comparative analysis of young drivers behaviour in normal and simulated conditions in urban roads, 2017
A Diploma Thesis titled ‘Comparative analysis of young drivers behaviour in normal and simulated conditions in urban roads‘ was presented by Danai Voutsina in March 2017. Data have been selected through an experimental process, in which the participants have driven in real urban conditions and on a driving simulator, while performing different scenarios. By using lognormal regression modelling, the impact of the driving environment, the specific characteristics of each driver as well as the driving style to the average vehicle speed change was investigated. The model application revealed that absolute values of drivers’ traffic performance varies between simulated and real driving conditions. However, speed difference between fast and slow drivers is very much the same at the two driving environments, as is also speed difference between drivers talking and not talking to the co-driver at the two driving environments.
A Diploma Thesis titled ‘Investigating the acceptance of autonomous vehicles by Greek drivers‘ was presented by Charalampos Souris in March 2017. A stated-preference approach was used that included hypothetical scenarios of cost, time, and safety, which were distributed in a specially developed questionnaire. By using models of logistic regression and the respective utility functions it was possible to extract a mathematical description of the drivers’ attitude towards autonomous vehicles. Results show that the Greek drivers attitude is dependent on the cost, time, and level of safety of the autonomous vehicles, the existence of driving support systems (GPS, parking assistant) in their cars today, their opinion on the traffic of autonomous public transport and taxis on the roads, their driving experience, age, and family income.
In the context of the Fourth UN Global Road Safety Week, WHO has released a new Report on Managing Speed, which highlights that excessive and inappropriate speed is among the key risks for road traffic deaths and injuries, contributing to around one third of road traffic fatalities in high-income countries and up to one half in low- and middle-income countries. Safe speeds are among the four main elements of the “safe systems approach” to road safety, along with safe roads and roadsides, safe vehicles and safe road users.
The Netherlands’ Institute for Road Safety Research (SWOV) published two reports on Automated Vehicle Safety. The first Report concerns “Safe interaction between cyclists, pedestrians and automated vehicles; What do we know and what do we need to know?” and identifies what is needed to know in order to ensure that an automated driving system, particularly during the transition period, does not compromise the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.
The second Report concerns “Safely towards self-driving vehicles; New opportunities, new risks and new challenges during the automation of the traffic system” and describes which developments can be expected during the automation of the traffic system and discusses the implications of these developments for road safety: the opportunities and the risks.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) released a Report concerning Drug Driving in Europe, Policy measures for national and EU action, authored by Laurence Atchison. Driving under the influence of psychoactive drugs leads to deaths and serious injuries on Europe’s roads. Both illicit and licit drugs can disrupt the psychological state of the driver and impair their driving performance. Using multiple drugs simultaneously, or in conjunction with alcohol, increases the risk of a collision even further. This report aims to provide a summary of drug driving across Europe, drawing on the latest research to provide an overview of how drugs affect collision risk and the prevalence of different types of drugs in different road users and regions.
The World Road Association – PIARC recently published a Report titled: “Risk Management for Emergency Situations“. In this Report, an effort was made to analyze world practices in emergency situation management and present integrated frameworks for risk and business continuity planning. This has produced recommendations for best practice in managing risk and emergency situations both generally and across the road network in particular.
The Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) recently announced the results of the Road traffic accidents survey for the 2016. This infographic visualises data regarding accidents, persons killed and persons injured in 2016 in Greece. In Attica, approximately 6.000 accidents took place, 7.000 persons persons (seriously or slightly) injured, and 201 persons killed.
Investigation of powered 2-wheeler accident involvement in urban arterials by considering real-time traffic and weather data, 2016
A paper titled ‘Investigation of powered 2-wheeler (PTW) accident involvement in urban arterials by considering real-time traffic and weather data‘ co-authored by Athanasios Theofilatos and George Yannis is now published in Traffic Injury Prevention Journal. This study exploited real-time traffic and weather data from two major urban arterials in the city of Athens, Greece. Because of the high number of candidate variables, a random forest model was applied to reveal the most important variables. Then, the potentially significant variables were used as input to a Bayesian logistic regression model in order to reveal the magnitude of their effect on PTW accident involvement. The results of the analysis suggest that PTWs are more likely to be involved in multi-vehicle accidents than in single-vehicle accidents. It was also indicated that increased traffic flow and variations in speed have a significant influence on PTW accident involvement.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) released a discussion paper concerning “Developing voluntary global performance targets for road safety risk factors and service delivery mechanisms“. This paper puts forward a set of voluntary global performance targets for the prevention of road traffic injuries, as well as the indicators that will be used to assess their achievement for Member States consideration and assist global road safety policy efforts.
Selected targets should be based on sound scientific evidence, have related indicators that are measurable, and politically supported. This paper proposes a selection of global targets based on these considerations, and specifies a limited set of indicators that may be used by participating countries to monitor progress towards the achievement of these targets.
A paper titled “Does the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease implies immediate revocation of a driving license?” authored by Sokratis G. Papageorgiou, Ion N. Beratis, Dionysia Kontaxopoulou, Stella Fragkiadaki, Dimosthenis Pavlou, and George Yannis is now published in International Journal of Clinical Neurosciences and Mental Health. Based on previous findings, patients with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) commonly present increased driving difficulties at a level that clearly supports the discontinuation of driving. Nonetheless, some patients with AD, retain adequate driving skills that are similar to those of cognitively intact individuals of similar age, whereas drivers with MCI present an accentuated risk to develop driving difficulties, but their performance is not consistently worse than that of healthy control drivers. Under this perspective this research suggests the need for implementing a personalized approach when taking decisions about the driving competence of drivers with AD and MCI that is based on the effective synthesis of multimodal driving-related indexes by the specialities of neurology, neuro-psychology and traffic engineering.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) released a Report concerning Targeted safety measures needed to prevent road deaths among young drivers, authored by Laurence Atchison. Zero tolerance on drink driving, additional hazard perception training and graduated driver licensing schemes should become the norm in order to help tackle the disproportionate risks faced by young drivers and motorcycle riders in Europe, according to this new ETSC Report.
Commenting on the report, Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of the European Transport Safety Council said: “With thousands of young people’s lives still being tragically cut short every year in Europe, we need policymakers to commit urgently to introducing smart, cost-effective and proven measures that can bring these numbers down.
The International Transport Forum (ITF) launched recently a Draft Discussion Paper titled “Overcoming Obstacles to Implementing Safety Management Systems”, prepared for the Roundtable on Safety Management Systems (March 23-24, 2017, Paris), authored by Jouni Lappalainen. The purpose of this paper is to examine the obstacles to implementing safety management systems and to discuss solutions for overcoming those obstacles in the four modes of transport: aviation, maritime, rail and road. These four transport modes can be considered to represent safety critical industries.
The Hellenic Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks, realizing the objectives of the policy agenda and the commitments under the National Action Plan (ITS Action Plan 2012), launched for the first time, a particularly important action which is expected to mark a new era for Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) in Greece: the National Architecture for Intelligent Transport Systems.
The action was carried out by teams of experts coordinated by the Department of Planning and Development of Transport of the Ministry and is based on internationally accepted concepts. The action is based on the involvement of all stakeholders through wide and open consultation process.
Thousands of students, teachers and citizens visited the “Zappeion” in Athens, from 9-16 December 2016, and took part in the 8-day Seminar about Traffic Behaviour, within the framework of the event “Road Safety: Education and Culture” organized by the Institute of Road Safety (RSI) “Panos Mylonas” and the European Commission Representation in Greece in cooperation with the Zappeion Hall, under the auspices of the Hellenic Parliament. More than 1,000 elementary students, middle school, high school, preschool children and pupils who take part in programs of the Hellenic Parliament Foundation, and hundreds of teachers and citizens had a great opportunity to try the unique live activities of the RSI, actively participating in the 8-day Traffic Behaviour program.
ETSC released a report concerning Alcohol interlocks and drink driving rehabilitation in the EU-Guidelines for Member States. Across Europe there is still a group of hard core drink driving offenders that seem unwilling or unable to change their behaviour despite the use of traditional countermeasures such as awareness campaigns, fines and driving bans. For this group, the introduction of an alcohol interlock programme seems to be an effective measure.
The report consists of three parts: The first provides an overview of the background to the drink driving problem and some traditional countermeasures. The second part profiles alcohol interlock offender programmes from five European countries. The third and final part presents some main practical guidelines for national authorities that are considering an alcohol interlock programme.
For the first time the United Nations has included road deaths and injuries as a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 3.6 – By 2020, halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents). iRAP believes that improving the world’s roads to a 3-star or better rating is a key way to achieve the SDG target of halving road deaths and injuries by 2020. In the following links a range of materials that iRAP is developing to support advocates for 3-star or better roads are available.
A paper titled “Innovative motor insurance schemes: A review of current practices and emerging challenges” authored by Dimitris Tselentis, George Yannis, and Eleni Vlahogianni, is now published in Accident Analysis & Prevention, , with the support and data from OSeven Telematics. The objective of this paper is to provide a review of the most popular and often implemented methodologies related to Usage-based motor insurance (UBI). UBI schemes, such as Pay-as-you-drive (PAYD) and Pay-how-you-drive (PHYD), are a new innovative concept that has recently started to be commercialised around the world. The main idea is that instead of a fixed price, drivers have to pay a premium based on their travel and driving behaviour. There is evidence that UBI implementation would eliminate the cross-subsidies phenomenon, which implies less insurance costs for less risky and exposed drivers. It would also provide a strong motivation for drivers to improve their driving behaviour, differentiate their travel behaviour and reduce their degree of exposure by receiving feedback and monitoring their driving preferences and performance, which would result in crash risk reduction for each driver individually but also for the whole population.
The prestigious Decade of Action Special Award for Road Safety for 2017 goes to the International Transport Forum (ITF) . The organisation is being honoured for its leadership in improving delivery of road safety across the world and its recent report “Zero Road Deaths and Serious Injuries: Leading a Paradigm Shift in Road Safety” specifically. “The new report comes at a time when the world needs to change up a gear or two to accelerate efforts to reduce the unacceptable toll of death and serious injury on our roads”, said Prince Michael of Kent, patron of the award. “It is a most welcome addition to the all-important bank of knowledge available to governments and is a fine example of the leadership shown by ITF.”
The ITF Report “Zero Road Deaths and Serious Injuries: Leading a Paradigm Shift to a Safe System“, was prepared by the ITF Safe System Implementation Working Group composed by international road safety experts including NTUA Prof. George Yannis.
A draft proposal for the constitution of a Road Safety Trust Fund was launched for consultations at the first Global Sustainable Transport Conference in Ashgabat. The proposed UN Road Safety Fund will aim at bridging the gaps in the mobilization of adequate resources to fund road safety projects at local, national and global levels. The total additional grant funding for road safety needed to achieve the SDG road safety targets is estimated at $770 million annually over the next decade. The proposed UN Road Safety Fund will serve as a vehicle to leverage additional funding. It is estimated that every $100 million contributed to the Fund would support:
- the leveraging of $3.4 billion of country and city road safety investment;
- the saving of 64,000 lives; and
- the averting of 640,000 serious injuries.
With $770 million of grant funding per year over the coming decade, the proposed UN Road Safety Fund could save 5 million lives and avert 50 million serious injuries in low and middle-income countries.
The European Commission adopted recently a European Strategy on Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS), a milestone initiative towards cooperative, connected and automated mobility. The Strategy will make it possible to deploy vehicles that can “talk” to each other and to the transport infrastructure as of 2019, aiming also to enhancing road safety on EU roads. The main components of the C-ITS Strategy are:
- Avoid a fragmented internal market
- Define and support common priorities
- Use a mix of communication technologies
- Address security and data protection issues
- Develop the right legal framework
- Cooperate at international level
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has published a Position Paper titled “The European Union’s Role in Promoting the Safety of Cycling” containing proposals for a safety component in a future EU Cycling Strategy, authored by Ellen Townsend. This paper builds on recent calls for the European Commission to come forward with a cycling strategy for the European Union and ETSC supports the need for co-ordinated European action on cycling and welcomes a pan-European strategy. This Position Paper is designed to serve as inspiration for the safety component of such a strategy and will look at initiatives within these different areas of action of relevance to cyclist safety.
The World Health Organization has released a new Report titled: “Post-crash response: Supporting those affected by road traffic crashes” outlining policies for improving health care and other systems to provide the key elements of post-crash support, addressing the fifth pillar of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. A broad and integrated approach to support survivors and families can mitigate the short- and long-term effects of experiencing a road traffic crash and can help those affected return to function and independence at home and at work. An effective post-crash response requires integration of injury care, mental health services, legal support and legislation, and data on road traffic crashes and injuries.
The Conference of European Directors of Roads (CEDR) has recently released a Position Paper titled “Main Road Safety Challenges for European Road Directors the next 5-10 years – Towards the Vision Zero“. The objective of this paper is to highlight the key challenges for the National Road Administrations and to emphasise the need to maintain an ongoing open and creative discussion across the National Road Administrations; to demonstrate the need to work together to advance Road Safety. The key challenges concern: a) the improvement of safety of the existing road infrastructure, b) speeds in harmony with road infrastructure, c) the improvement of safety of vulnerable road users, d) the evaluation and deployment of intelligent transport systems.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has launched a new Report on Managing Grey Fleet Safety: A Short Guide for Companies Whose Staff Drive Their Own Cars For Work. When a driver uses their own vehicle for work, they are still under the responsibility of the employer, and this presents a real challenge for managing associated work related road safety risk. Employers may think that it is easier to manage employees using their own cars for work, instead of a company car fleet. However once all of the considerations are taken into account this may not be the case. This guide has been produced to assist organisations review and improve grey fleet management, with a specific focus on safety concerns. It will explain the legal responsibilities as well as the business benefits of an effective grey fleet management policy. It will also explain how grey fleet road risks can be reduced through risk assessment, and stress the importance of integrating grey fleet policy in company procedures and management responsibility.
The Road Safety Unit of DG Move of the European Commission has recently released a Report titled “Study on Serious Road Traffic Injuries in the EU” prepared by SWOV, Loughborough University and BAST. According to the European Commission, 135,000 people are seriously injured on European roads every year and while the number of deaths has fallen dramatically over the last decade, serious injuries have declined at a much slower rate. It is therefore recommended in this study that the EU should set a target to reduce the number of people seriously injured in road collisions.
The new study examined real world collision data and investigation outcomes from across Europe in an attempt to boost understanding of the most common collision situations that result in serious injuries. The data reveal many of the key risk factors and victim profiles which could help member states identify the best measures to reduce such collisions.
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. The objective of e-Drive Academy is 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.
Correlation of road safety performance with social and economic indicators in the European Union 2016
A Diploma Thesis titled ‘Correlation of road safety performance with social and economic indicators in the European Union’ was presented by Ioannis Zantiris in November 2016. For this correlation a database was developed containing the most recent data regarding population, road fatalities, gross domestic product per capita, human development index, unemployment rate and several other economic and social indicators for the twenty eight countries of the European Union. Subsequently, multiple linear regression models were developed and applied for all countries and for groups of countries (northwestern, eastern, southern). The analysis demonstrated that the Human Development Index has the most important impact than any other parameter and its increase leads to road fatalities decrease.
The 29th ICTCT workshop took place in Lund, Sweden, on 20-21st October 2016 and offered a multidisciplinary forum for lively discussion among international experts in an open-minded and friendly atmosphere. The workshop mainly dealt with the question how to assess traffic safety. According to the philosophy of ICTCT, the safety assessment should not only rely on accident data but actively utilise other non-accident indicators that reflect the accident risk. Such methods are widely used in in rail and air transport, while acceptance is still low among road safety professionals.
NTUA presentations concerned:
The 23rd Meeting of the International Traffic Safety Data and Analysis Group (IRTAD) organised by the International Transport Forum (ITF) took place in Rome, on 12-14 October 2016.
NTUA presentation concerned: Design of the European Road Safety Decision Support System
ITF / IRTAD together with the Horizons 2020 project SaferAfrica organised a workshop regarding Road Safety in Africa which took place with great success on 12 October 2016, at Sapienza University of Rome, The workshop focused on “Fostering strategic cooperation between Africa and Europe on road safety” and it included two sessions: 1. Road safety policies and strategies and 2. Support for the road safety improvement in Africa.
NTUA presentation concerned: Road safety knowledge and data in Africa
The International Transport Forum has recently published an evidenced based Research Report titled “Zero Road Deaths and Serious Injuries: Leading a Paradigm Shift to a Safe System“, prepared by the Safe System Implementation Working Group composed by international road safety experts including NTUA Prof. George Yannis. This ITF Safe System Report was presented at a dedicated Road Safety Seminar, held with great success on 3 October 2016 in Paris France. All presentations are now available.
This Report is relying on experiences in ITF/OECD countries, with practical policy recommendations for the attention of policy makers on the various steps in implementing a safe system approach. A Safe System is based on the premise that road crashes are both predictable and preventable, and that it is possible to move towards zero road deaths and serious injuries. This, however, requires a fundamental rethink of the governance and implementation of road safety policy.
The Directorate General for Mobility and Transport (DG Move) of the European Commission released the Statistical Pocketbook 2016 ‘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.
On the occasion of the World Day of Alzheimer Disease (21/09/2016), the Department of Mental Disorders / Dementia of the Second Neurological Clinic of the University Hospital “Attikon” organized with great success an informational event on the latest developments in Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia diseases. The event includes speeches by professors of the Athens University Medical School and specialized health professionals who answered questions in relation to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and other topics related dementias.
Dr. Dimosthenis Pavlou made two presentations which concerned two critical questions:
Dimosthenis Pavlou has successfully defended his PhD dissertation titled: Traffic and safety behaviour of drivers with neurological diseases affecting cognitive functions. 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 impact of brain pathologies on reaction time, accident probability, driving errors, and driving performance was under investigation. The driving behaviour was examined in terms of both traffic and safety behaviour and the neurological diseases affecting cognitive functions concerned Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), and Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). A large-scale driving simulator experiment was carried out, comprising a medical/neurological and neuropsychological assessment of 225 drivers, and a set of driving tasks for different scenarios. An innovative statistical analysis methodology has been developed and implemented, based on Regression Models, Principal Component Analysis and Structural Equation Models.
Selected papers of the Transport Research Arena Conference which took place in Paris in 2014 are now published by ISTE/Wiley. A special volume co-edited by NTUA Prof. George Yannis, and ENPC Prof. Simon Cohen is dedicated to Traffic Safety, containing theoretical chapters and practical case studies addressing topics such as road safety management and policies, accident analysis and modeling, vulnerable road users’ safety, road infrastructure safety, ITS and railway safety.
A four page brochure titled ‘How 3-star or better roads can cut death and trauma’ is now available by EuroRAP aiming to support its members and road safety professionals across the continent in their meetings with key policy makers. The brochure provides key statistics and cost-benefit analyses to make the economic case for improving road infrastructure in order to help reduce deaths on Europe’s roads by 2020 to less than 50% of their 2010 total of 31,500. It features case studies and national 3-star policy targets and sets out recommended policy goals.
A paper titled ‘Mobile phone use, speed and accident probability of young drivers‘ authored by George Yannis, Leonidas Roumpas and Eleonora Papadimitriou is now published in Advances in Transportation Studies. A driving simulator experiment was carried out, in which young participants drove in different driving scenarios: urban and interurban areas, good or rainy weather, with or without the occurrence of unexpected incidents. Log-normal linear regression waw used to analyze the influence of mobile phone use and other parameters on the mean speed of drivers, whereas binary logistic regression was used to analyze the influence of mobile phone, change in speed and other parameters on accident probability. The results suggest that mobile phone use leads to statistically significant overall decrease of the mean speed. However, some drivers increased their speed during the mobile phone conversation, a case which has received little attention in the literature. Mobile phone use leads to significant increase of accident probability, indicating that the speed reduction when using a mobile phone is not sufficient to counterbalance the overall increased risk, especially when an unexpected incident occurs.
The International Road Traffic and Accident Database (IRTAD) of the International Transport Forum (ITF/OECD) published recently the full version of the Annual Report 2016, which comprises a synthesis of the main trends and road safety indicators for the year 2014 and preliminary data for the year 2015. It presents longer-term trends in order to better understand the developments taking place in the different countries.
While the 32 IRTAD member countries made good progress in reducing road deaths in the first half of the UN Decade of Action – the number of road fatalities fell by 8.8% between 2010 and 2014 – this positive trend faltered in 2015 when the number of road deaths increased in at least 19 countries, while only nine countries managed to reduce or stabilise their road death toll in 2015. Detailed validated reports for each country are illustrated in the full version of the IRTAD Annual Report. NTUA has contributed to the detailed report for Greece.
A Diploma Thesis titled ‘Investigation of declared and revealed driver behaviour using vehicle diagnostics’ was presented by Natalia Vittoratou in July 2016, with the support and data from OSeven Telematics. The aim of this diploma thesis is the correlation of stated and revealed driver’s behavior with the use of vehicle on-board diagnostics (OBD) data. On that purpose, a large data set from a driving behavior experiment was exploited, which recorded continuously (per second during a period of three months) the behaviour of 17 drivers. These data concerned harsh acceleration and braking, average traffic speed and mileage travelled. Drivers’ stated behaviour was investigated through a corresponding questionnaire. For the data analysis, a mathematical statistical model was developed using linear regression. The results demonstrated a strong correlation between harsh brakings and accelerations on one hand and the number of accidents, the annual income and the declared frequency of harsh braking on the other.
A Diploma Thesis titled ‘Attitudes of European drivers towards distraction’ was presented by George Vasilakis in July 2016. Responses of a representative sample of 17.000 European drivers are analyzed from the European survey ESRA, conducted in 2015. The analysis of driver behavior is carried out with the use of statistical methods of cluster analysis and negative binomial distribution. Through the method of cluster analysis, four different groups of European countries were ultimately formed with larger and smaller population, high and low income and the characteristics of each group were identified. Τhe results of cluster analysis were used at the negative binomial distribution in which the answers of Europeans to selected questions were summarized in the basic factors describing their driving behavior, the use of mobile phone during driving and their views on issues related to road behaviour of other drivers, the existing measures for road safety, and driver’s distraction.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Correlation of driver characteristics and its safety performance” was presented by Vasiliki Agathangelou in July 2016, with the support and data from OSeven Telematics. Data from an experiment on driver behaviour assessment from an expert was exploited, using on-road driving in conjunction with a self-evaluation questionnaire. The analysis of the drivers’ behaviour was carried out through factor and linear regression analyses. Three groups that characterise drivers’ perception of careless, aggressive and cautious driving behaviour were derived from factor analysis. Moreover, linear regression analysis revealed that driving experience, headways, self-reported driving skills and defensive driving affect positively the overall on-road driving performance score. It was ascertained that driving experience leads to statistically significant increase in overall on-road driving performance score.
A Diploma Thesis titled ‘Analysis of aggressive driving characteristics in Greece‘ was presented by Eva Kalpaxidi in July 2016. The aim of the present Diploma Thesis is the analysis of the characteristics of aggressive driving in Greece exploiting the Pan-European survey of road user’s attitudes: ESRA. Factor Analysis as well as Binary Logistic Regression and Negative Binomial Regression Models were developed in order to demonstrate the correlation between aggressive driving, police checks and the number of accidents caused by aggressive driving. The statistical models developed demonstrated that gender and age play a major role in aggressive driving, the majority of the drivers take positions against speeding and aggressive driving is described by three different characteristics: actions against other drivers, negative feelings and risk-taking actions while driving.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has just published the PIN Flash Report ‘How traffic law enforcement can contribute to safer roads‘, with the contribution of NTUA. Exceeding speed limits, drink or distracted driving and failure to wear a seat belt are still the leading causes of death and serious injury on European roads. Excessive or inappropriate speed is a primary factor in about one third of road deaths and an aggravating factor in many more. Drink driving causes as much as 25% of all road deaths in the EU. ETSC estimates that 900 car occupant deaths would have been prevented in 2012 if 99% of those in cars in collisions had been wearing safety belts. Driver distraction, including mobile phone use, is increasingly a factor in fatal collisions. Enforcement of road traffic laws is an essential component in preventing death and injury.
The PRACT Repository is a new online road safety toolcontaining the most recent Accident Prediction Models and Crash Modification Factors, highlighting effectiveness of road safety infrastructure measures worldwide, for use by road safety decision makers and practitioners worldwide.
This Repository has been developed within the framework of the project PRACT, (Predicting Road ACcidents-a Transferable methodology across Europe) carried out by the University of Florence, the National Technical University of Athens, the Technical University of Berlin and the Imperial College London, commissioned by theConference of European Directors of Roads.
The basic assumption on which the PRACT Repository is built is that Accident Prediction Models (APM) and Crash Modification Factors (CMF) can be transferred to conditions different from the ones for which they have been developed, if selected based on scientifically valid criteria and adapted to local conditions based on historical crash data.
Sensor-Based Multi-Dimensional Approaches for Extracting Power-Two-Wheeler Driving Patterns in Various Road Environments and Lighting Conditions – 2016
A paper titled ‘Sensor-Based Multi-Dimensional Approaches for Extracting Power-Two-Wheeler Driving Patterns in Various Road Environments and Lighting Conditions’ authored by Eleni Vlahogianni, George Yannis and John Golias is now published in Advances in Transportation Studies. Data from a naturalistic Powered Two Wheelers (PTW) driving experiment are exploited using principalcomponent analysis to identify the critical PTW driving characteristics and their combinations with the finalaim to reveal useful insights on the PTW driving patterns emerging on the road. Data are collected indifferent road environments, ranging from urban road arterials to suburban roads. The analyses reveal three prevailing PTW driving patterns: i. Acceleration, ii. Maneuvering, and iii. Braking. These patterns areobserved in both inside and outside urban areas and regardless of the lighting conditions (daylight, dusk, andnight). Nevertheless, although acceleration and maneuvering patterns contain the same driving variables inall driving cases examined, braking is conducted in a varying manner with respect to the type of the area andthe time of day.
In conjunction with World Day for Safety and Health at Work on April 28, Together for Safer Roads (TSR), the Coalition of global private sector companies, released the Advancing Road Safety Best Practices for Companies and Their Fleets report.
The Report outlines practices that companies can use to keep employees, partners, and contractors safe on the world’s roads, as well as minimize costs. Globally, between 25 and 33 percent of road crashes are work-related and 36 percent of occupational deaths are due to crashes. While these are sobering and devastating human costs, there are also great financial costs. Worldwide, employers incur costs of USD $518 billion per year due to road traffic collisions.
ETSC has just released a position paper titled: ‘A Proposal for a strategy to reduce the number of people seriously injured on EU roads‘. ETSC recommends to the EU to adopt a target of a 35% reduction between 2014 and 2020 in the number of people seriously injured. A 35% reduction over the period 2014-2020 would be similarly challenging for Member States to the target to halve road deaths between 2010 and 2020. In addition, the EU should adopt a joint strategy including measures against which delivery can be made accountable.
A report on Prioritising the Safety Potential of Automated Driving in Europe is now released by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC). Automated driving technologies are already preventing collisions and deaths on our roads. The purpose of the report is to give an overview of automated driving, identify the main safety benefits and offer some key recommendations for the near future for the EU and its Member States to create a regulatory environment that prioritises safety.
The European Commission – DG MOVE has recently released a Report titled ‘Risks and countermeasures for road traffic of elderly in Europe’ prepared with the active contribution of IMOB, NTUA, LAB and ERF. The purpose of this Report was to provide a comprehensive view on the situation of elderly road users in traffic and to provide an action plan containing recommendations for the most promising measures to be taken at the EU-level in the light of developing a proactive strategy to enhance the road safety of the elderly in the (near) future. This strategy is developed by assessing the main trends and road safety risks for all older road user groups and providing an overview and analysis of various countermeasures, including ITS, aimed at increasing road safety for all older road user groups.
A paper titled ‘Towards an integrated approach of pedestrian behaviour and exposure’ authored by Eleonora Papadimitriou is now published in Accident Analysis & Prevention. An integrated methodology for the analysis of pedestrian behaviour and exposure is proposed. The paper builds on existing research on pedestrian exposure, namely the Routledge microscopic indicator, and uses integrated choice and latent variables (ICLV) models of pedestrian behaviour, taking into account road, traffic and human factors. The method is tested with data from a field survey in Athens, Greece, which used pedestrian behaviour observations as well as a questionnaire on human factors of pedestrian behaviour. The results suggest that both pedestrian behaviour and exposure are largely defined by a small number of factors: road type, traffic volume and pedestrian risk-taking. The probability for risk-taking behaviour and the related exposure decrease in less demanding road and traffic environments. A synthesis of the results reveals conditions of increased risk exposure: principal urban arterials (where risk-taking behaviour is low but the related exposure is very high) and minor arterials (where risk-taking behaviour is more frequent, and the related exposure is still high). A “paradox” of increased risk-taking behaviour of pedestrians with low exposure is found, suggesting that these pedestrians may compensate in moderate traffic conditions due to their increased walking speed.
A paper titled ‘Relating traffic fatalities to GDP in Europe on the long term‘ with emphassis to turbulent financial situations, co-authored by Costas Antoniou, George Yannis, Eleonora Papadimitriou and Sylvain Lassarre is now published in Accident Analysis & Prevention. For this analysis, time series of the number of fatalities and GDP in 30 European countries for a period of 38 years (1975–2012) were exploited. This process relies on estimating long-term models (as captured by long term time-series models, which model each country separately). Based on these developments, utilizing state-of-the-art modelling and analysis techniques such as the Common Correlated Effects Mean Group estimator (Pesaran), the long-term elasticity mean value equals 0.63, and is significantly different from zero for 10 countries only. When we take away the countries, where the number of fatalities is stationary, the average elasticity takes a higher value of nearly 1. This shows the strong sensitivity of the estimate of the average elasticity over a panel of European countries and underlines the necessity to be aware of the underlying nature of the time series, to get a suitable regression model.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has just published the 30th PIN Flash Report ‘How safe are new cars sold in the EU?‘. In the last decade the long term road safety trend has been positive across the EU countries, and although the reduction in deaths may be a result of many factors, including better enforcement, changing behaviour and safer infrastructure, there is little doubt thatimproved vehicle safety standards since the late 1990’s have played an important role. One important indicator of the level of vehicle safety in Europe overall is what proportion of the number of tested vehicles actually sold meet Euro NCAP’s highest safety ratings. The last assessment of the progress of the Euro NCAP programme carried out by ETSC in 2009 found that there were very significant differences between the average Euro NCAP rating of new cars sold in Eastern and Central European countries, compared to their Western European counterparts.
The World Road Association (PIARC) has recently released a Report titled ‘Improving safety in road tunnels through real-time communication with users‘. This report is a continuation of the one published by PIARC in 2008 on ‘Human Factors and road tunnel safety regarding users‘. It describes human behavioural aspects when driving, andhow to communicate information to tunnel users in normal, congested and critical situations. It details the various systems that can be activated for real-time communication with users and reviews how these devices can be used in cases of congestion, a serious incident and fire and how the activation of these systems and devices must be adapted to the changing circumstances of the event.
Which are the effects of driver distraction and brain pathologies on reaction time and accident risk? – 2016
A paper titled “Which are the effects of driver distraction and brain pathologies on reaction time and accident risk?” authored by Dimosthenis Pavlou, Panagiotis Papantoniou, Eleonora Papadimitriou, Sophia Vardaki, George Yannis, Costas Antoniou, John Golias and Sokratis G. Papageorgiou is now published in Advances in Transportation Studies an international Journal. A driving simulator experiment with 140 participants (out of which 109 were patients) was carried out by an interdisciplinary research team of neurologists, neuropsychologists and transportation engineers. The brain pathologies examined include early Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Mild Cognitive Impairment. A statistical analysis was carried out by means of mixed generalized linear modelling and the results indicated significant differences between the driving performance of healthy drivers and patients. Patients with cerebral diseases reacted significantly slower at unexpected incidents than the healthy ones and were more likely to be involved in an accident. The mobile phone use had a significant negative effect on both reaction time and accident probability.
The Road Safety Unit of DG Move of the European Commission published recently the 2015 Edition of the EU Road Safety Country Overviews with the active contribution of NTUA, KFV and ERF. The EU Road Safety Country Overviews are based on most recent disaggregate data for all EU countries from theCARE Database of the European Commission as well as on structured information gathered from the EU Member States.
These Road Safety Country Overviews consist of five analysis sections (Social costs, Number killed and injured, Safety performance indicators, Safety measures and programmes, Structure and culture) and one synthesis section providing a comprehensive picture of current road safety facts and challenges in each EU country.
The World Road Association (PIARC) has recently launched the updated electronic encyclopedia called ‘Road Tunnels Manual‘ focusing exclusively on all the aspects linked to the use of road tunnels (geometry, tunnel equipment and maintenance, operations, safety, environment).
The PIARC Road Tunnels Manual comprises two principal parts: the part ‘Transverse aspects‘ containing 5 chapters and considering general aspects of road tunnels and the part ‘Operational and Safety Requirements‘ containing 4 chapters and addressing particular elements of tunnels taking these requirements into consideration. The Manual ends with a Glossary which describes 200 terms and definitions translated into twenty languages. PIARC Road Tunnel Manual is available in 10 languages.
The World Road Association (PIARC) has recently launched the electronic manual on Road Network Operations & Intelligent Transport Systems. The manual is a comprehensive, regularly updated handbook helping practitioners to alleviate road congestion, a major worldwide issue that directly affects the economies of many nations.
Road Network Operations (RNO) concern the methods at the disposal of road authorities and highway infrastructure operators that contribute to safer and more efficient travel for road users and for society as a whole. Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) concern a wide range of services that use information and communications technology that can improve transportation and mobility.
A report on the European facts and the Global status report on road safety 2015 has now been published by World Health Organisation (WHO). In 2013, almost85.000 people died from road-traffic injuries in the WHO European Region. Although the regional mortality rate is the lowest among WHO regions (9.3 deaths per 100 000 population), the rates of road traffic deaths vary widely in between European countries. More systematic efforts are needed if the global target of a 50% reduction in road crash deaths is to be achieved by 2020. NTUA contributed to the peer review of this Report.
UNECE has published a Report covering in detail the 11 goals that have been derived from the five pillars of the Global Plan to form its strategic approach to road safety during the Decade. It provides a comprehensive overview, including the status and key results of its goals, as well as descriptions of specific UNECE ITC initiatives and information on the challenges the overall road safety community faces. One of the main conclusions of this report is that political will and the introduction and use of national strategies are likely to be the difference makers in helping to reach the main goal: halving the number of road traffic deaths and injuries by 2020.
A paper titled ‘Introducing human factors in pedestrian crossing behaviour models‘ co-authored by Eleonora Papadimitriou, Sylvain Lassarre and George Yannis is now published in the Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour. A field survey was carried out, in which a panel of 75 pedestrians were asked to take 8 short walking trips (each one corresponding to a different walking and crossing scenario) in the Athens city centre in Greece, allowing to record their crossing behaviour in different road and traffic conditions. The same individuals were asked to fill in a questionnaire on their travel motivations, their mobility characteristics, their risk perceptions and preferences with respect to walking and road crossing, their opinion on drivers, etc. The walking and crossing scenarios’ data were used to develop mixed sequential logit models of pedestrian behaviour on the basis of road and traffic characteristics. The modelling results showed that pedestrian crossing choices are significantly affected by road type, traffic flow and traffic control. The questionnaire data were used to estimate human factors (components) of pedestrian crossing behaviour by means of principal component analysis. The results showed that three components of pedestrian crossing behaviour emerge, namely a “risk-taking and optimisation” component reflecting the tendency to cross at mid-block in order to save time, etc., a “conservative” component, concerning individuals with increased perceived risk of mid-block crossing, who also appear to be frequent public transport users, and a “pedestrian for pleasure” component, bringing together frequent pedestrians, walking for health or pleasure, etc. The introduction of these components as explanatory variables into the choice models resulted in improvement of the modelling results, indicating that human factors have additional explanatory power over road and traffic factors of pedestrian behaviour.
The European Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism has recently published a study prepared by the UK Transport Research Laboratory on the Impact of Higher or Lower Weight and Volume of Cars on Road Safety, particularly for Vulnerable Users. The study provides ananalysis of necessary technological changes, in order to improve the impact of higher or lower weight and volume of cars on road safety, particularly for, but not limited to vulnerable users.
The International Road Federation (IRF) and Patron Sponsor Michelin released recently the World Road Statistics (WRS), featuring more than 200 countries, with data on over 45 road related topics (data 2008-2013) presented in nine substantive sections: country profiles, road networks, road traffic, multimodal traffic comparisons, vehicles in use, road accidents, motor vehicles, road expenditures and energy.
The IRF World Road Statistics (WRS) continue to be a unique comprehensive, universal source of statistical data on road networks, traffic and inland transport, 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.
A Diploma Thesis titled ‘Investigation of driver’s behaviour using vehicle diagnostics‘ was presented by Eustratios Saplaouras in November 2015, with the support and data from OSeven Telematics. The aim of this Diploma Thesis is to investigate the driver’s behavior through the on-board diagnostics of the vehicle. A large data set was exploited, which were recorded per second and concerned the exact position of the vehicle, its speed, the spots where the driver was performing a sudden change of speed or a sudden maneuver, the fuel consumption, etc. Mathematical statistical models were developed using linear and binary logistic regression. The results demonstrated a strong correlation between over-speeding and driver harsh behavior, although the two dimensions are disproportionate, as well as the occurrence of higher driving speeds during risky hours (00:00-04:00).
The Road Safety Unit of DG Move of the European Commission has recently released a Report titled ‘Study on good practices for reducing road safety risks caused by road user distractions’ prepared by TRL, TNO and RAPPTrans. The study concluded that 10-30% of road accidents in the EU could have distraction as a contributory factor, although limitations of both data and their definitions mean that this figure requires further validation.
The Study identified a series of countermeasures that can be used to address driver distraction, including non-technology-based approaches
The Private Sector Global Coalition Together for Safer Roads (TSR) composed by 11 leading global companies has recently published a White Paper titled “Investing in Road Safety – A global imperative for the private sector“, setting the orientations and priorities of the TSR Coalition for advancing road safety in the world. This White Paper was prepared by the TSR’s Expert Panel composed by international road safety experts, with the active participation of NTUA Prof. George Yannis.
In this White Paper, TSR’s Expert Panel assesses progress since the United Nations General Assembly established theUnited Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety in 2010,identifies gaps, and discusses the role of the private sector in advancing road safety. The role of the Global private sector Coalition is seen under three perspectives: as collaborators with the public sector and NGOs in demonstration projects; as managers of vehicle fleets traversing the world’s roads; and as participants in specific industries that have unique opportunities to improve road safety. With the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety at its midpoint, business has an opportunity to drive a groundswell of meaningful cross-sector action and help save millions of lives.
Athanasios Theofilatos has successfully defended his PhD thesis titled: An advanced multi-faceted statistical analysis of accident probability and severity exploiting high resolution traffic and weather 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 objective of this PhD thesis is the investigation of accident probability and severity exploiting high resolution traffic and weather data from urban roads and motorways, collected on a real-time basis, with specific focus on Powered-Two-Wheelers. For that purpose, an advanced mesoscopic multi-faceted statistical analysis was conducted in order to expand previous road safety work and contribute to the further understanding of the complexity of accident probability and severity. Linear and non-linear models were developed on the basis of 6-year accident data from urban roads as well as an urban motorway in Greater Athens area (Attica Tollway). Empirical findings indicate that high resolution traffic and weather data are capable of opening new dimensions in accident analysis in urban roads and urban motorways. The multi-faceted statistical analysis conducted in the thesis has revealed a consistent and strong impact of traffic parameters on accident probability and severity. It is interesting that weather parameters were not found to influence accident probability and severity when linear relationships are considered, however, the application of cusp catastrophe models demonstrated that it is likely that even small traffic and weather changes may have a critical impact on road safety in urban roads as sudden transitions from safe to unsafe conditions (and vice versa) may occur, especially for PTW traffic.
The World Road Association (PIARC) has recently published the long waited second edition of the Road Safety Manual. The PIARC Road Safety Manual is aligned with key pillars of the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 (1: Road Safety Management, 2: Safer Roads and Mobility and 4: Safer Road Users) and isdesigned to assist countries at every stage of infrastructure development and to fulfill road safety objectives. This comprehensive resource builds on the broad range of knowledge and experience provided by PIARC in the first edition. It includes new thinking on road safety and offers a clear argument on why adopting a Safe System approach is crucial for each country. The Safe System approach aims for a more forgiving road system that takes human fallibility and vulnerability into account. Under the Safe System approach, everyone (public agencies, automobile manufacturers, road users, enforcement officials, and others) must share the responsibility for road safety outcomes.
The European Road Federation (ERF) launched recently its Position Paper towards improving Traffic Signs in European Roads: “Improved Signage for better Roads“. This Position Paper advocates for authorities to avoid or tackle the over-proliferation of traffic signs and to ensure that those installed display a clear message, in order to achieve better road safety and traffic flow, and good use of public resources. Road authorities need to set a multiannual maintenance action plan. The need to adapt to the needs of an ageing driver population, by introducing a minimum maintenance standards for safety critical signs under the Vienna Convention is highlighted. This position paper calls for all stakeholders involved to examine the benefits of greater harmonisation of signs within the Vienna Convention to maximise the safety benefits of new vehicle technologies as well as to provide for a more familiar environment for increasing cross-border traffic volumes.
The International Transport Forum (ITF) has recently released a Research Report on Improving Safety for Motorcycle, Scooter and Moped Riders. This Report summarises the findings of the work of the Working Group on the Safety of Powered Two Wheelers set up by ITF in 2010 aiming to review trends in powered two-wheeler crashes and examine the factors contributing to these crashes and their severity. In this Report are presented in a consolidated way, a set of countermeasures targeting user behaviour, the use of protective equipment, the vehicles and the infrastructure and discussion on motorcycle safety strategies in the context of a Safe System approach. NTUA has contributed actively to the preparation of this Report.
The International Road Traffic and Accident Database Group (IRTAD) of the International Transport Forum (ITF/OECD) published a Report on Why Does Road Safety Improve When Economic Times Are Hard?. In this Report previous studies were reviewed and new ones are presented demonstrating that there is clear evidence that when economic growth declines, and particularly when unemployment increases, road safety improves, particularly among young people.
Furthermore it was found that the economic downturn in 2009-10 may well have contributed to about two-thirds of the decrease in road fatalities since 2008. It is suggested that policy makers need to take careful account of these results when setting up road safety targets and when designing road safety strategies for the future. NTUA has contributed actively to the preparation of this Report.
The International Road Traffic and Accident Database (IRTAD) of the International Transport Forum (ITF/OECD) published a Report on Road Infrastructure Safety Management (RISM), that describes in a comprehensive way the most consolidated RISM procedures, analyses their use worldwide, identifies possible weaknesses and barriers to their implementation, provides example of good practices and aims to generally contribute to the scientific assessment of RISM procedures. The RISM procedures considered concern: Road Safety Impact Assessment, Road Safety Measures Efficiency Assessment Tools, Road Safety Audit, Network Operation, Road Safety Performance Indicators, Network Safety Ranking, Road Assessment Programme, Road Safety Inspection, High-Risk Sites and Road Accident In-Depth Investigation.
This report is considered of high interest for the decision makers, scientists and practicioners in the field of road infrastructure safety management. NTUA has contributed actively to the preparation of this Report.
The International Road Traffic and Accident Database (IRTAD) of the International Transport Forum (ITF/OECD) published recently the full version of the Annual Report 2015, which comprises a synthesis of the main trends and road safety indicators for the year 2013 and preliminary data for the year 2014. It presents longer-term trends in order to better understand the developments taking place in the different countries.
The number of road fatalities fell by 4.3% between 2013 and 2012 in the 32 IRTAD member countries with verified data. The long-term trend shows a very significant decrease of 42% between 2000 and 2013 in the IRTAD countries, however great disparities between countries persist. Detailed validated reports for each country are illustrated in the full version of the IRTAD Annual Report. NTUA has contributed to the detailed report for Greece.
A paper titled ‘Assessment of Driving Simulator Studies on Driver Distraction‘ co-authored by Panagiotis Papantoniou, Eleonora Papadimitriou and George Yannis is now published in Advances in Transportation Studies Journal. The objective of this research is the critical assessment of driving simulator studies on driver distraction. For this purpose 45 scientific papers have been examined with respect to the design of driving simulator experiments on the effects of various sources of driver distraction (in-vehicle or external). Through this analysis it appears that the most common distraction sources examined are visual distraction and cell phone use, while other sources of distraction have received notably less attention in existing studies. The simulated road environment of most experiments was rural, whereas far less is known on the effects of distraction in urban areas; furthermore, ambient traffic is not explicitly simulated and the effect of traffic flow on distracted driving may be a key question for further investigation. Finally, driver distraction is expressed by a number of measurements, in terms of its impact to driver attention (hands-off the wheel, eyes-off the road), driver behaviour (vehicle speed, headway, lateral position, driver reaction time) and driver accident risk. Although these different measurements describe different aspects of the distracted driving mechanism, it would be important to focus on the most sensitive ones, keeping in mind the entire chain of distracted driving causes and impacts, in order to significantly enhance the potential of exploitation of the results of existing studies.
Exploring the association between working memory and driving performance in Parkinson’s disease 2015
A paper titled ‘Exploring the association between working memory and driving performance in Parkinson’s disease‘ co-authored by Sofia Vardaki, Hannes Devos, Ion Beratis, George Yannis and Sokratis Papageorgiou is now published in Traffic Injury Prevention. The aim of this study was toexplore whether varying levels of operational and tactical driving task demand differentially affect drivers with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and control drivers in their sign recall. Drivers of the control group performed better than drivers with PD in a sign recall task, but this trend was not statistically significant (p = 0.43). Also, regardless of group membership, subjects’ performance differed according to varying levels of task demand. Performance in the sign recall task was more likely to drop with increasing task demand (p = 0.03).This difference was significant when the variation in task demand was associated with a cognitive task, i.e., when drivers were required to apply the instructions from working memory. Although the conclusions drawn from this study are tentative, the evidence presented here is encouraging with regard to the use of a driving simulator to examine isolated cognitive functions underlying driving performance in PD. With an understanding of its limitations, such driving simulation in combination with functional assessment batteries measuring physical, visual and cognitive abilities could comprise one component of a multi-tiered system to evaluate medical fitness to drive.
Road safety targets were agreed at the UN negotiations for the Global Sustainable Development Goals (to be formally approved in September). More precisely, aspecific stand-alone target (3.6) in the Health Goal (3) to reduce road traffic fatalities by 50% by 2020and a target on sustainable urban transport (11.2) in the Cities Goal (11) have been approved, in a landmark achievement for the global road safety community.
A new book titled ‘Why Young People Drink: An analysis of the determinants of youth drinking behaviour‘ authored by Dr. Jean-Pascal Assailly, Researcher at the French Institute of Sciences & Technology for Transport (IFSTTAR), is now available. Young people’s alcohol misuse has become an important concern in many countries as the consequences of this phenomenon are multiple, among which traffic accidents. This book is a comprehensive, encyclopaedic overview of the underpinnings of alcohol use in adolescents and state-of-the-art adapted prevention and treatment strategies.
A Diploma Thesis titled ‘Investigation of the impact of roadside advertising to driver behaviour and safety in cities with the use of driving simulator‘ was presented by Anastasia Gkouskou in July 2015. An experimental process on a driving simulator was carried out, in which all participants drove in specially selected driving scenarios. Regression statistical models were developed to investigate the impact of roadside advertising on the mean speed and the lateral position of the vehicle from the right borderline (lognormal) and on the mean reaction time (linear). The models’ application demonstrated thatroadside advertising leads to small increase of the mean reaction time and the mean lateral position of the vehicle from the right borderline. At the same time, it leads to small decrease of the mean speed, perhaps due to overloaded driving environment. Finally, roadside advertising appears to have no effect on the headway distance and the probability of getting involved in an accident.
A new Guide titled ‘Cities Safer by Design‘ has recently been published by the World Resources Institute. It is a is a Global Reference Guide to assist cities save lives from traffic fatalities through improved street design and smart urban development, that taps examples from cities worldwide and includes 34 different design elements to improve safety and quality of life.
The Road Safety Foundation has released a report titled ‘Engineering Safer Roads – Star Rating roads for in-built safety‘. Previous annual launches of Risk Mapping and Performance Tracking results have prompted the questions:
A paper titled ‘Assessing Selected Cognitive Impairments Using a Driving Simulator: A Focused Review‘ co-authored by Vardaki Sophia, George Yannis and Sokratis Papageorgiou is now published in Advances in Transportation Studies. The paper offers a focused review of studies investigating driving performance as assessed on simulators, targeting cognitive impairments which are age-related or caused by neuro-degenerative disorders, including mild cognitive impairment (MCI), Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD) and stroke. The paper references selected findings highlighting what they reveal about several key methodological issues: gauging task demands in relation to actual driving; how differences in cognitive ability affect performance, and how this varies for different driving tasks; issues related to scenario design, such as simulator limitations, scenario authoring and simulated driving tasks; the need to develop operational definitions and comparability; limitations that affect the generalizability of simulator studies; the simulator adaptation syndrome; the bias in performance assessment that can result when drivers have not adequately adapted to the simulator; and driving simulator validation. The issues covered would help readers recognize the many confounding variables and sources of measurement error that can flaw research of this type, and their implications for future investigations.
The Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) has recently released the report ‘Road Safety Campaigns – What the Research Tells Us‘. This report represents the first phase of a two-phase project that has been conducted by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) with funding from the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA). Road safety campaigns are one of the most popular and flexible tools to encourage behaviour change and improve road safety.
This very interesting report contains an overview of leading theories that provide the foundation for road safety campaigns. It is combined with a comprehensive summary of the research evidence related to the effectiveness of road safety campaigns generally, and examples of individual campaign evaluations from North America and Europe regarding drinking and driving, distracted driving, seatbelt use, speeding and vulnerable road users. It also highlights what is known about learning styles based on educational theories and shares recommendations to help communities develop effective road safety campaigns.
A paper titled ‘Good Practices on Cost – Effective Road Infrastructure Safety Investments‘ co-authored by Eleonora Papadimitriou, George Yannis and Petros Evgenikos is published in the International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion. The paper presents the findings of research aiming to quantify and subsequently classify several infrastructure-related road safety measures, based on the international experience attained through extensive and selected literature review and additionally on a full consultation process including questionnaire surveys addressed to experts and relevant workshops. The results suggest that the overall cost effectiveness of a road safety infrastructure investment is not always in direct correlation with the safety effect and is recommended that cost-benefit ratios and safety effects are always examined in conjunction with each other in order to identify the optimum solution for a specific road safety problem in specific conditions and with specific objectives.
A report on ‘Managing Young Drivers at Work‘ has recently been published by ETSC. Evidence shows that young people have the highest collision involvement of any road user group. Approximately one in four young people who die within Europe’s borders do so as a result of a road collision. This report looks into the direct and indirect factors associated with higher collision rates of young drivers at work and makes recommendations on how to assess and mitigate the specific risks associated with this group.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has just published the PIN Flash Report ‘Making walking and cycling on Europe’s Roads Safer‘, with the contribution of NTUA.Around 138,400 pedestrians and cyclists lost their lives on EU roads between 2001 and 2013. Deaths of unprotected road users have been decreasing at a slower rate than those of vehicle occupants. In the last ten years deaths among pedestrians decreased by 41%, those among cyclists by 37% and those among power two wheeler (PTW) users by 34% compared to a 53% decrease for vehicle occupants. Since 2010 the reduction in the number of pedestrian and cyclist deaths has slowed down markedly. The safety of unprotected road users should therefore receive special attention from policymakers at the national and European levels.
The European Commission has recently released a report titled ‘Benefit and feasibility of a range of new technologies and unregulated measures in the field of vehicle occupant safety and protection of vulnerable road users‘ prepared by Transport Research Laboratory (TRL). The report names technologies including Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA), Automated Emergency Braking (AEB) and seat belt reminder systems in passenger seats as ‘feasible in terms of the technology required’, already available on the market and offering a positive benefit-cost ratio.
The RIDERSCAN project, a project co-funded by theEuropean Commission and coordinated by the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations (FEMA), is now completed, gathering existing information on motorcycle safety in Europe, identifying needs for action and creating a crossborder knowledge-based network. All project Deliverables are now available , including comprehensive Country Facts Sheets andRecommendations for policy actions. NTUA contributed to the various activities of the RIDERSCAN project.
A NEW three-year strategic plan has recently been published by TISPOL. The plan sets out how TISPOL will play its part in reducing deaths, serious injuries and crimes on Europe’s roads, and in so doing will be the most effective police road safety network in the world. Four strategic objectives form the centrepiece of the plan:
– A safer road network for all users
– Detecting and preventing crime on the road network within Europe
– Engaging in effective partnership activity
– Ensuring an efficient organisational and financial plan
These objectives are underpinned by TISPOL’s values of service, professionalism, integrity, compassion, equality and fairness.
The European Commission has published the most recent statistics on road fatalities, based on provisional data for 2014 road deaths in Europe. The number of road fatalities has decreased by approximately only 1% compared to 2013; the decrease rate has slowed down in 2014 following on the 8% decrease in 2012 and 2013. The average EU fatality rate for 2014 is expected to be 51 road deaths per million inhabitants. Country by country statistics show that the number of road deaths still varies greatly across the EU, from less than 30 (Malta, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom) to above 90 (Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania) deaths per million inhabitants.
In the respective accompanying European Commission road safety statistics report, the basic safety trends, statistics and challenges in the EU 2010-2014 are highlighted, with focus on pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.
A Diploma Thesis titled ‘Feasibility analysis of installing pedestrian bridges in major road axes in Athens‘ was presented by Natalia Vraka in March 2015. Sixteen hazardous road locations for the five year period 2007 – 2011, were identified through the Quality Control method, assessing accident data concerning pedestrians and traffic volume data regarding eleven central road axes of Athens with a high pedestrian traffic. Then, a before-and-after accident analysis method with a large control group was applied , which demonstrated a strong dissimilarity between the six examined pedestrian bridges. As a result, no clear conclusions could be drawn about the impact of pedestrian bridges in accidents frequency and severity. However, based on in situ observations made at the 16 dangerous road sections, the conclusion drawn was that there is high potential for the construction of pedestrian bridges in four of them, whereas in four others specific additional interventions would be needed.
The Working Party on Road Traffic Safety of the United Nations – Economic Commission for Europe on the occasion of its 70th meeting has organised with great success in Geneva, on 23 March 2015 a Round Table on Power Two Wheeler Safety. Several international PTW safety experts contributed state of the art developments from around the world on traffic safety of motorcycles, scooters and mopeds, available at the UN/ECE website.
NTUA Professor George Yannis made an invited presentation on ‘Improved Safety of Motorcycles, Scooters and Mopeds‘
The Road Map for Safer Cars 2020 has recently been published by Global NCAP with ten key recommendations for safer cars. Millions of new cars sold in middle and low income countries fail to meet the UN’s basic safety standards for front and side impacts revealed international automotive safety watchdog Global NCAP. A package of minimum safety regulations for adoption by the end of the UN Decade, measures to promote a market for safety among car buyers in the rapidly motorising countries, policies to sustain the safety of the vehicles once in use, and a proposed industry voluntary commitment to implement minimum occupant safety standards to all new passenger cars are included in the Road Map. If this Road Map is followed by 2020, all new cars in the world would pass the minimum UN standards for crashworthiness and crash avoidance. This would spread the advances in automotive safety technology across all countries, mitigate the risks of rapid motorisation, and help achieve a world free from many avoidable and unnecessary road traffic fatalities.