Post impact care
Work related safety
A paper titled “Which factors affect accident probability at unexpected incidents? A structural equation model approach” authored by Panagiotis Papantoniou, Constantinos Antoniou, George Yannis and Dimosthenis Pavlou is now published in Journal of Transportation Safety & Security. A driving simulator experiment was carried out, in which 95 participants were asked to drive under different types of distraction (no distraction, conversation with passenger, cell phone use) in different road and traffic conditions. Then, in the framework of the statistical analysis, driving performance is estimated as a new unobserved (latent) variable based on several individual driving simulator parameters while a structural equation model is developed investigating which factors lead to increased accident probability at unexpected incidents. Regarding driver distraction, results indicate that cell phone use has a negative effect on accident risk confirming the initial hypothesis that when talking on the cell phone drivers find it difficult to handle an unexpected incident and as a result are more likely to commit an accident.
The International Traffic Safety Data and Analysis Group (IRTAD) of the International Transport Forum (ITF) organised a Meeting in Belgrade, Serbia, on 17-18 October 2018, in which the latest international road safety developments were discussed. NTUA contributed actively with 3 presentations:
The UN Road Safety Collaboration is organizing the global campaign for the Fifth UN Global Road Safety Week, 6-12 May 2019, under the theme “leadership for road safety”. Enlightened leaders are able to provide a vision of what the future might look like and to mobilize action to achieve this. The goal of the Week, which will be held from 6-12 May 2019, is to generate a demand from the public for stronger leadership for road safety worldwide. Its objectives are to provide an opportunity for civil society to generate demands for strong leadership for road safety, especially around concrete, evidence-based interventions which will save lives and to inspire leaders to take action by showcasing examples of strong leadership for road safety within governments, international agencies, NGOs, foundations, schools and universities, and private companies, among others.
Dimitris Tselentis has successfully defended his PhD dissertation titled: Benchmarking Driving Efficiency using Data Science Techniques applied on Large-Scale Smartphone Data. This PhD thesis was carried out at the Department of Transportation Planning and Engineering at the School of Civil Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens under the supervision of Prof. George Yannis. The main objective of this PhD is to provide a methodological approach for driving safety efficiency benchmarking on a trip and driver basis using data science techniques. It also investigates the way to achieve this by defining a safety efficiency index based on travel and driving behaviour metrics collected from smartphone devices. Furthermore, the present doctoral research proposes a methodological framework for identifying the least efficient trips in a database and for estimating the efficient level of metrics that each non-efficient trip should reach to become efficient. Finally, this dissertation’s objective is to study the temporal evolution of driving efficiency and identify the main driving patterns and profiles of the driver groups formed.
Since 54 years, the International Road Federation (IRF) World Road Statistics (WRS) continue to be the major comprehensive, universal source of statistical data on road networks, traffic and inland transport. Over the past years, the WRS have proved to be an invaluable and internationally accepted reference tool for governments, NGOs, investments banks, research institutes and anyone analyzing and reporting trends in key subject areas like traffic volumes and vehicle usage, road expenditure, road safety, energy consumption and emissions. This year, the WRS 2018 (data 2011-2016) features more than 205 countries, with data on over 45 road related topics, presented in nine substantive sections, with the active contribution of NTUA for the Greek data.
The Horizons 2020 research project InDev (In-depth Understanding of Accident Causation for Vulnerable Road Users) recently published a handbook with focus on vulnerable road users entitled: How to analyse accident causation? This handbook was developed to help road safety professionals diagnose road safety problems by gaining more insights into the mistakes by road users that lead to collision. It describes various road safety methods that can be applied for studying the safety of vulnerable (and other) road users, including: accident data analysis, conflict and behavioural observations, self-reporting and naturalistic studies and road safety audit and inspection.
The 2018 Polis Conference on “Transport innovation for sustainable cities and regions” will take place on 22 and 23 November 2018, in Manchester, UK, organised by POLIS, the European Cities Network. The conference will provide 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 is 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 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”. It stems from the European Commission’s proposals last May [insert reference] for a new common framework for road safety and a strategic road safety action plan for Europe. We felt we needed someone to promote and coordinate this work at the European level, to give the proposals a push with Member States, with NGOs, with industry – and with vital academic bodies such as the NTUA! Luckily for me, Commissioner Bulc asked me to do it as part of my responsibilities as Deputy Director General here at DG MOVE, and to focus in particular on how we can deliver the results, how we can get back on the downward curve for deaths. Your readers will probably know, but we managed to reduce deaths by more than 50% in the first 15 years of this decade, but in the last few years, this has flattened out and we are currently going to miss the targets for 2010-20.
MB: So we need, as Commissioner Bulc puts it, a paradigm shift. Connected, cooperative, automated, autonomous mobility will ultimately deliver huge benefits – but for many years to come, probably for most of the next two decades, we will need to rely on implementing the Safe System as humans will continue to make mistakes, and we need to do everything we can to stop people dying or being seriously injured by those mistakes.
MB: There’s certainly a lot going on at national, regional, city level, reflecting the diversity of road safety performance across the EU, and we certainly don’t want to try to push a top down, one size fits all, model. What we are proposing is to widen the scope beyond the classic TEN-T roads to include the next level down, the national or primary roads, and where around 40% of the deaths occur. We also want Member States to take the needs of Vulnerable Road Users systematically into account in their infrastructure planning. The other big piece of legislation where our friends in DG GROW have taken the lead would add 16 new features to EU wide vehicle safety standards, such as intelligent speed assistance, automated braking, for all EU vehicle categories and models. I can’t stress enough how important these proposals could be – our detailed assessment suggests that they could together reduce deaths by more than 10 000 over the next decade, and serious injuries by more than 60 000 – and this is on top of the thousands and thousands of lives that existing legislation has saved. That’s just an illustration – I hope your readers will have a look at our proposals and give us feedback on how we can best implement a new European Road Safety Strategy.
MB: And as to my own role, well I’m still in my first month in the new job, so I am talking to everyone about everything, but I intend to approach it with all the energy I can muster. I am still looking for new ideas, so please follow me on Twitter on @BaldwinMatthew_ and tell me what YOU think needs to be done.
NRSO: Let me ask you about another aspect of the Commission proposals – these Road Safety Key Performance Indicators – how will these work to deliver the EU road safety strategy?
MB: Good question. The need for Road Safety KPIs goes back to the targets. Once again, we are aiming to get to Vision Zero – no road deaths – by 2050. Road safety is an epidemic – and if we can eliminate other epidemics like cholera and smallpox from the EU, no reason not to do the same for road safety. Obviously, with such an ambitious goal, you need to tackle it in chunks and set intermediate targets. It sounds obvious but targets are really really important if we want to get results. Some people argue that targets are dangerous – that if we miss them, we decredibilise the ultimate goals, make people give up. I disagree – we must keep road safety in the public mind, keep our politicians focused on it, as only that way will we get the investment, the people, to work on it.
MB: That is why it is so important that we have at EU level targets to go once again for a 50% reduction target in deaths, and this time also for serious injuries. But – and this is the key point – targets on their own won’t deliver results. We need to apply what we know works, from the massive research that has been done for so many years into the cause of road deaths and injuries, and agree together with the Member States where to put our energies.
MB: And that’s where the Road Safety KPIs come in – to take different elements of the Safe System like seat belt use where we KNOW that improved performance will deliver better results and to eventually identify a subsidiary target. So I hope we will agree on KPIs for protective equipment like seat belts, for use of the safest vehicles, for safe infrastructure, for emergency care, and so on. It’s difficult work as of course the road safety landscape is not the same across Europe. Just take speed, for example, where we have very different limits in different parts of Europe, and different cultures of respect for those limits, enforcement and so on. So we would like to start simply by identifying how much respect there is for existing limits and then later try something more sophisticated that would enable us to measure, and target improvements in, safe speed that takes account of infrastructure, weather conditions and so on. But the bottom line is that we get agreed baselines, common measurement methodology, and link the indicators to the overall outcome targets. Getting the data together is hard, but really important.
NRSO: How you envisage to convince transport / mobility authorities and stakeholders to put road safety higher on their agenda?
MB: Well that’s a leading question ! it would be wrong to suggest that Member States, regions, cities, aren’t already doing their best. But it is also true that resources are so limited now in the public sector, and road safety doesn’t seem to be one of the glamorous topics ! There’s also the strange phenomonen which of course applies globally, namely that we appear to ACCEPT so many deaths – 1.3 million globally, 25,000 a year here in Europe, which of course makes us a success story, relatively speaking. So we need to “stop accepting” this, and I think Commissioner Bulc has done a great job in pushing transport ministers and others not to accept this silent killer. We wouldn’t accept anything like that number of fatalities in other forms of transport or indeed our daily lives, and we shouldn’t accept it for road safety either. Much more prosaically, I want to promote this important Safe System concept of shared responsibility, which applies at all sorts of different levels. We all share responsibility for road deaths and injuries – the road user and other road users, public authorities, the police, car companies, health care systems – and we need a very active, cooperative, holistic approach. We are certainly not into the blame game here, and while of course Member States must take responsibility for what goes on in their countries, there is so much more we can do than naming and shaming – we can learn from each other and promote best practice, such as in putting together national road safety action plans. Put simply, if we can make road safety more of a political priority, more of a collectively shared endeavour, we can develop a virtuous circle to promote change – and get us back on the downward curve of deaths and serious injuries.
MB: The other crucial thing is funding because that is a vital lever to support road safety. We will encourage the use of EU financial support from European structural and investment funds for infrastructure upgrades, for example. I am glad that there are a good number of applications in response to the Connecting Europe Facility’s latest call which expires[d] [this month] [in October] because as Slovakia for instance has shown, some cleverly deployed but even limited funds can go a long way in improving infrastructure. But what we are working towards, what we would most like to see is a flexible, one stop shop for access to different forms of EU funding, whether it is for infrastructure, training, enforcement, so watch this space !
NRSO: What is the link to sustainable mobility in your job title ?
MB: Two things. First and foremost, it is because the statistics show that Vulnerable Road Users (motorcyclists, cyclists, pedestrians) are taking a much bigger share of the casualties. I am told, for instance, that 90% of casualties in Sweden are now VRUs, i.e., those without the protection of a vehicle. We should be celebrating new forms of mobility, particularly active modes such as walkers and bikers, and it is unacceptable (to use that word again) that death and injury should be the result. So I want to work closely with cities in particular in existing forums such as CIVITAS to promote sustainable and safe mobility ! The other point of course is that connected, autonomous, driving etc is going to pose a lot of new challenges, especially in the course of the next two decades as new vehicles come onto our roads. Infrastructure performance requirements will change, eg for road signs. And very different levels of automated vehicle will have to co-exist with each other AND with fully human-driven vehicles for many years to come. As these new systems, such as Cooperative ITS which we are doing a lot to promote here in the EU, are introduced on our motorways, in our urban areas, I want to work with Member States and cities on how best to do this, and how to ensure safety is always to the forefront of decision making.
NRSO: What are your immediate plans for the promotion of the EU road safety strategy?
MB: Again, there is a lot of work going on in the Commission and across the EU, and I should stress that I am not doing all of it or planning to ! I first want to talk to all member states, focusing first perhaps on those where the problem is greatest (we have a wide divergence in death rates) and really hear from them how we can best work together on this. We have a very good established committee which I chair, called the High Level Group, made up of directors from all the Member States responsible for road safety, and I want this group really to be the steering committee for the new strategy (for example, agreeing on the new KPIs). Time is very short if we are to get the new strategy in place for the start of the next decade – I hope we can have initial agreement to what KPIs we are going to deploy by summer 2019. It is also absolutely essential that we get the revised infrastructure directive and car safety regulations agreed before the current European Parliament comes to an end in May of next year. So we will be pushing these issues hard, and also working with UNECE to make sure that we can as far as possible translate and apply globally the safe standards agreed in Europe, particularly as we start to establish standards for automated driving.
MB: Once again, it is a big honor to be asked to work on these vital questions. I want to be a useful resource for Member States, and to work effectively in partnership with them – and all other players in the field. Thanks a lot for this opportunity !
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 gives 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.
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.
European Commission – DG for Research and Innovation in their Success Stories Web-page recently published the SaferAfrica H2020 project, which has been taken place with the active contribution of NTUA. As a continent, Africa has some of the most lethal roads in the world. A lack of road safety protocols, wanting road conditions and poor post-crash emergency response systems make for alarmingly high fatality rates. To help turn this around, the EU-funded project SaferAfrica is driving policies aimed at improving road safety. “Europe can play an important role by supporting African countries in improving road safety and achieving the Action Plan targets [African Road Safety Action Plan 2011-2020],” says project coordinator Luca Persia. “In this view, the project aims at building favourable conditions and opportunities for the effective implementation of road safety actions in African countries by setting up a Dialogue Platform between Africa and Europe.”
A Diploma Thesis titled “Mobility and road safety in European cities” was presented by Dimitrios Giagkou in July 2018. The objective of this Diploma Thesis is to investigate the impact of mobility characteristics on road safety in European cities. For this analysis, various international databases were exploited with data on road accident fatalities, demographics and mobility characteristics of 25 European cities in 2012. Generalized Linear Models were developed for both the total number of fatalities and for specific subcategories too. The results led to the conclusion that more public transport capacity offered, more cycle trips and fewer motorcycles lead to a reduction in the number of fatalities in urban road accidents. Moreover, it was found that denser road network, higher population density and higher GDP per capita are correlated with fewer fatalities in urban road accidents.
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. Expecially after the economic crisis, the impact of the economy is even higher. Concerning passenger-kilometers there is an increase in their impact on the number of road fatalities after the economic crisis.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Relation of the performance of road safety to medical, economic and social indicators to countries in the European Union” was presented by Myrto Damianou in July 2018. The 27 European Union Member States are studied between 2008 and 2014. Linear regression and the linear mixed statistical model were developed.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Comparative investigation of road accidents cost in the European Union” was presented by Ypatia Mihou-Archimandritou in July 2018. The objective of this Diploma Thesis is the comparative investigation of road accidents cost in the European Union and its correlation with social, economic and transport indicators. For this analysis, data from various international sources were exploited and a common database was developed, containing data about the rate of passenger cars use, GDP per capita, population, road accidents fatalities, suicides, number of passenger cars, Misery Index and other for the year 2015. The results led to a conclusion that an increase of the rate of passenger cars use leads to a decrease of the accident cost, while an increase of Misery Index leads to an increase of the accident cost. Furthermore, in economically strong countries higher accident cost is observed in comparison to the other two groups.
In the framework of the European Survey of Road users’ safety Attitudes (ESRA), NTUA released 3 new infographics, regarding “Drivers’ self-declared behaviour” , “Drivers’ attitudes towards unsafe behaviour” and “Drivers personal and social acceptability” .
ESRA is a joint international initiative of 26 research centers and road safety institutes; the project has surveyed road users in 38 countries on 5 continents. The purpose of this network is to collect comparable data on the opinions, attitudes, and behaviour of road users concerning road safety and mobility, and to provide scientific evidence for policy making at the national and international levels. The Updated Main Report (2017 edition) of ESRA has been published containing the results from the survey in 38 countries, including 13 Latin America countries.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Investigation of Drivers’ Preferences Towards New Innovative Vehicle Insurance Schemes” was presented by Emmanouil Konstantinopoulos in July 2018. The objective of this Diploma Thesis is to investigate the most important factors that determine the demand of Greek drivers for vehicle insurance services comprising new innovative insurance schemes of Pay As You Drive and Pay How You Drive (PAYD & PHYD), taking into account critical characteristics of driving behaviour. The analysis demonstrated that the young and the female drivers show higher probability of selecting PAYD/PHYD schemes, while the Freelancers are more reluctant to such schemes.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Modelling the economic impact of road accidents in Greece” was presented by Eleftherios-Marios Kourtis in July 2018. The objective of this Diploma Thesis is the estimation of the human cost of road accidents based on the “Willingness-to-Pay” (WTP) methodology, and the identification of drivers attitudes towards the probability of getting involved in a road accident, using the “Stated Preference” method. The results demonstrate a positive correlation between the number of road accidents that a driver was involved so far and the annual amount that is willing to invest. Additionally, it was found that most of the drivers support the reduction of the probability to get involved in an accident. Lastly, based on the WTP methodology, the road accident fatality human cost was estimated at 1.761 million euros.
The new Forever Open Road website has been launched by FEHRL. The vision behind the Forever Open Road programme is to focuss on the best of existing technologies and the best of those to come. Many of the required solutions exist already from previous research, but are not (yet) implemented to their full potential; some innovations will be developed in the short-term, and others at an earlier stage of development with implementation in the longer term. Investigation on the untapped potential and the eventual barriers to their implementation will undoubtedly offer quick wins to the road operators.
Serious crashes on inter-urban roads may be slashed by a quarter over the next 30-40 years with the introduction of automated vehicles. However, the journey may be far from easy, with a mixed fleet transition and vital need for roads that cars can read, according to recent Report released by EuroRAP. The Report, the third in the “Roads that Cars Can Read” series, examines the relationship between road infrastructure and safety for conventional and increasingly-autonomous vehicles (AVs) and provides a framework for infrastructure safety investment. Other Reports in the series: “Roads that cars can read I: A consultation paper” – 2011 and “Roads that cars can read II: A quality standard for road markings and traffic signs on major rural roads” – 2013.
A paper titled “Public opinion on Usage-Based Motor Insurance Schemes: a stated preference approach” authored by Dimitris Tselentis, Akis Theofilatos, George Yannis and Manos Konstantinopoulos is now published in Travel Behaviour and Society scientific Journal. This paper aims to investigate which parameters affect users’ willingness to pay for alternative usage-based motor insurance pricing schemes such as Pay-as-you-drive (PAYD) and Pay-as-how-you-drive (PHYD). Results indicated that women and smartphone owners are more likely to choose a new insurance schemes. Kilometers and cost reduction were also found to affect similarly the choice for both Usage-Based-Motor Insurance (UBI). Moreover, the higher the speed reduction imposed to the driver, the lower the probability of the UBI scheme to choose it.
NTUA Professor George Yannis gave a Lecture at the European Commission – DG for Research and Innovation on 11 June 2018 in Brussels, titled “Road Safety in Africa and Beyond“. The Lecture focused on various aspects of road safety in Africa and worldwide, on the the SaferAfrica research project and on the respective EU international cooperation policies in the field, followed by a vivid discussion on key road safety problems and the EC role for potential policies, programmes and measures for the improvement of road safety in Africa and worldwide.
The Updated Main Report (2017 edition) of the European Survey of Road users’ safety Attitudes (ESRA) has been published containing the results from the survey in 38 countries, including 13 Latin America countries, with the active contribution of NTUA. The updated version of the ESRA webpage with Deliverables and Publications includes the 2017 Main Report in 3 languages (English, Spanish, French), six Thematic Reports on European drivers attitudes, and the country fact sheets.
The European Union Road Federation (ERF) and the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations (FEMA) have published a joint position paper, called ‘Improving infrastructure safety for powered two-wheelers’. Only in 2017 power two-wheelers fatalities (motorcycles and mopeds) counted for 17% of the total road victims, while accounting only for 1,8% of the total traffic flow. Both ERF and FEMA strongly believe that road safety for motorcyclists can be significantly improved by looking at the design of road infrastructure.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has published the 35th PIN Flash Report “An Overview of Road Death Data Collection in the EU“, with the active contribution of NTUA. The goal of this PIN Flash Report is to gather information on road death data collection in different PIN countries and to find out if and how countries cross-check or complement road death data recorded by the police with alternative sources. This Report provides very useful information to exchange good practice on how to improve road death data collection and recording.
The European Commission’s Directorate General for Mobility and Transport (DG Move) published a Report on the preparatory work for an EU road safety strategy 2020-2030. This Report was prepared by Jeanne Breen assisted by SWOV and Loughborough University’s Design School. The Commission set three objectives to be addressed: 1) assess the outcome of the road safety policy framework to 2017; 2) consider current and future changes in mobility and its consequences and challenges in relation to road safety; and 3) assist in the preparation of the EU road safety framework for 2020-2030.