Post impact care
Work related safety
A paper titled “Review and ranking of crash risk factors related to the road infrastructure” authored by Eleonora Papadimitriou, Ashleigh Filtness, Akis Theofilatos, Apostolis Ziakopoulos, Claire Quigley and George Yannis is now published in Accident Analysis and Prevention. This analysis was carried out within the SafetyCube project, which aimed to identify and quantify the effects of risk factors and measures related to behaviour, infrastructure or vehicles, and integrate the results in an innovative road safety Decision Support System (DSS). Synthesis of results was made through 39 ‘Synopses’ (including 4 original meta-analyses) on individual risk factors or groups of risk factors. This analysis allowed the ranking of infrastructure risk factors into three groups: risky (11 risk factors), probably risky (18 risk factors), and unclear (7 risk factors). For full text just ask us by replying to this email.
Basic characteristics of road fatalities in Greece for the period 1991-2017 are summarised in a comprehensive Table prepared by the NTUA Road Safety Observatory (data source: ELSTAT). Since 2007, there are approximately 900 less road fatalities per year in Greece. According to these time series data a spectacular decrease in road fatalities for children 0-14 years old (-71%), young drivers (-61%) and on motorways (-61%) is observed during the last decade. On the contrary, fatalities decrease during the last decade is quite limited for moped riders (-26%), older drivers (-28%) and at rural (36%) and urban (37%) junctions.
A paper titled “Investigation of the effect of tourism on road crashes” authored by Vasileios Bellos, Apostolos Ziakopoulos, and George Yannis is now published in Journal of Transportation Safety & Security. Based on police data on road crashes in Greece for the 5-year period of 2011 to 2015, negative binomial regression models were developed, which led to the conclusion that tourists are more often involved in road crashes in Greece. Furthermore, the increase of the relative rate ratio of road crash involvement for foreign tourists in touristic regions indicates a clear increased accident risk of foreign tourists compared to Greek drivers.
NTUA Professor George Yannis presented recently the Global Road Safety Landscape at the Governing Board Meeting of the Private Sector Global Coalition Together for Safer Roads (TSR) composed by 16 leading global companies, highlighting the key challenges, perspectives and opportunities of global road safety.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has published a report titled “7 SMART Ways of tackling Drink-Driving in Europe”. The report aims to present the wide-ranging approaches used to tackle drink driving in Europe, including legislation (BAC limits, rehabilitation programmes for drink driving offenders), enforcement, technology (alcohol interlocks) campaigns and education.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has published a Report titled “The Status of Traffic Safety and Mobility Education in Europe” with the active contribution of NTUA. Even though the overwhelming majority of European countries consider education as an essential part of the integrated approach to traffic safety, this first overview of traffic safety and mobility education in Europe demonstrates that in practice road safety education in schools at all levels is not sufficient. Only in the Czech Republic, Ireland and Germany is road safety education provided at all levels.
NTUA Road Safety Research is ranked 2nd in Europe and 6th worldwide according to a recent study titled: “Visualization and analysis of mapping knowledge domain of road safety studies“, published at the leading safety Scientific Journal Accident Analysis and Prevention. Moreover, NTUA Prof. George Yannis appears to be among the most productive scientific authors worldwide in the field of road safety. This ranking is based on a systematic analysis of all road safety studies published on Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE) and Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI) between 2000 and 2018, containing several interesting performance indicators on road safety research worldwide (topics, trends, papers, journals, universities).
A paper titled “Road safety behavior of drivers with neurological diseases affecting cognitive functions: an interdisciplinary Structural Equation Model analysis approach” authored by Dimosthenis Pavlou and George Yannis is now published in Advances in Transportation Studies. This research suggests the evaluation of driving behavior by using multiple driving indexes in a combined integrated manner, through a large-scale driving simulator experiment, comprising medical/neurological and neuropsychological assessments of 225 active drivers, and a set of driving tasks for different traffic volumes, different driving environments, including in-vehicle distraction conditions. The statistical analysis methodology developed and implemented was based on Principal Component Analysis and Structural Equation Models (SEMs). SEM results indicated that the impact of neurological diseases affecting cognitive functions is significantly detrimental on the latent variables “driving performance” and on the observed variables “reaction time” and “accident probability”. The AD group had the worse driving behavior profile among the examined groups with neurological diseases affecting cognitive functions.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has published a briefing synthesis titled “EU Strategy for Automated Mobility”. ETSC warmly welcomes and fully agree with the Commission’s acknowledgement that when it comes to automated mobility, “only the highest safety and security standards will suffice”. This must remain the guiding principle in the years to come. Automated driving has the potential to significantly improve road safety. However, recent collisions involving vehicles with automated technology on board demonstrate that automated driving may also pose new risks to road safety, and that the technology is not yet mature.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) published an Interactive Map on Global Road Safety, based on the recently published Global Status Report on Road Safety 2018. This Interactive Map is a highly useful tool allowing to visualize a wealth of information and several road safety parameters per country as well as to highlight the shocking fact that every 23 seconds a road user looses their life.
The Global Status Report on Road safety 2018 has been published by World Health Organisation (WHO) with the active contribution of NTUA, in December 2018, highlighting insufficient progress as the number of annual road traffic deaths has reached 1.35 million. Road traffic injuries are now the leading killer of people aged 5-29 years. The report suggests that the price paid for mobility is too high, especially because proven measures exist. These include strategies to address speed and drinking and driving, among other behaviours; safer infrastructure like dedicated lanes for cyclists and motorcyclists; improved vehicle standards such as those that mandate electronic stability control; and enhanced post-crash care. Drastic action is needed to put these measures in place to meet any future global target that might be set and save lives.
The African Road Safety Observatory is now on line constituting a space for interaction to highlight the road safety needs in African countries, developed with the active contribution of NTUA. It is one of the main results of the SaferAfrica project funded by the European Commission Horizons 2020 Programme and includes various knowledge and tools, such as statistics, reports, fact sheets, knowledge resources and links and it is integrated with crowd-sourcing functions to facilitate the participation of experts and end-users, through an interactive Dialogue Platform.A video presenting the African Road Safety Observatory is now “on air”:
A paper titled “Identification of patterns of driver speeding behaviour and safety margins from tangent to curve” authored by Eleonora Papadimitriou, Stergios Mavromatis, Dimosthenis Pavlou and George Yannis is now published in Advances in Transportation Studies. This paper presents a novel definition of drivers’ safety margins reflected in speed profiles on a tangent to curved road design. These safety margins are based on a vehicle dynamics model, which is implemented to assess the speed variation at impending skid conditions from tangent to curve on the basis of several parameters. Data from a driving simulator experiment are used to test the proposed methodology, explore driver’s speed profiles and the parameters affecting drivers’ safety margins. The results suggest that drivers’ safety margins towards the examined curve are considerable, with the majority of the drivers using less than 55% of the available vehicle engine power.
The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation published a Report titled “Analysis of the state of the art, barriers, needs and opportunities for setting up a Transport Research Cloud”, with the active contribution of NTUA Professor George Yannis. This Report focuses on the requirements for data sharing within the transport research community. In particular, the Report examines the potential of a Transport Research Cloud (TRC) as a subset of the European Union’s European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) initiative. Six domain experts collected data based on their personal experiences, contacts, prior research and a survey sent out to other researchers in the transport domain to enable a preliminary analysis concerning the needs, barriers and potential benefits for the domain should a TRC be realized. Road Safety constitutes a major component of this Transport Research Cloud.
The European Commission’s Directorate General for Mobility and Transport (DG Move) published the Final Report of the “Study on powered two-wheeler and bicycle accidents in the EU, SaferWheels”, with the active contribution of NTUA. The SaferWheels study was conducted to investigate accident causation for traffic accidents involving powered two-wheelers and bicycles in the European Union. The objective of the study was to gather PTW and bicycle accident data from in-depth crash investigations, obtain accident causation and medical data for those crashes, and to store the information according to an appropriate and efficient protocol enabling a causation-oriented analysis.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has launched a new campaign “Last Night the EU Saved My Life”. The EU has the exclusive authority to set minimum safety standards for all new vehicles sold on the EU market. EU crash safety tests, and mandatory inclusion of technologies such as seat belt reminders and Electronic Stability Control have saved thousands of lives. The revision of the “General Safety Regulation”, published on 17 May 2018, includes a set of new vehicle safety measures, including mandatory installation of new driver assistance technologies, as well as revised minimum crash testing standards and measures to protect pedestrians and cyclists. But the new legislation now needs the support of Members of the European Parliament and the Member States of the European Union in order to be passed into law, and that’s why ETSC has launched this new campaign with the active support of NTUA.
UNECE celebrates the 50th anniversary of Vienna Conventions on Road Traffic and on Road Signs and Signals, 1968-2018. At the turn of their 50th anniversary, the Vienna Conventions on Road Traffic and on Road Signs and Signals from 1968 are more relevant than ever. Whether helping to address the most critical road safety needs, or facilitating the development of automated driving functionalities, reference to these legal texts, which are evolving with technological developments, is a necessity for countries around the world. The two Conventions have a global scope and are important frameworks facilitating international road traffic through uniform traffic rules and harmonized road signs, signals, symbols and markings.
The 2018 Polis Conference on “Transport innovation for sustainable cities and regions” took place with great success on 22 and 23 November 2018, in Manchester, UK, organised by POLIS, the European Cities Network. The conference provided an opportunity for cities, metropolitan areas and regions to showcase their transport achievements to a large audience, and for the wider transport community to engage with representatives of local and regional authorities on innovative transport solutions. Road Safety was one of the key areas of the Conference, as is also the subject of the special joint POLIS–ITF workshop titled: From Safety Data to Safer City Streets. The 2018 Polis Conference was the most successful edition ever, with a record number of 550 participants. In 2019, the annual event will return to Brussels, and will celebrate the network’s 30th anniversary.
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, with the support and data from OSeven Telematics. The main objective of this PhD is to provide a methodological approach for driving safety efficiency benchmarking on a trip and driver basis using data science techniques. It also investigates the way to achieve this by defining a safety efficiency index based on travel and driving behaviour metrics collected from smartphone devices. Furthermore, the present doctoral research proposes a methodological framework for identifying the least efficient trips in a database and for estimating the efficient level of metrics that each non-efficient trip should reach to become efficient. Finally, this dissertation’s objective is to study the temporal evolution of driving efficiency and identify the main driving patterns and profiles of the driver groups formed.
Since 54 years, the International Road Federation (IRF) World Road Statistics (WRS) continue to be the major comprehensive, universal source of statistical data on road networks, traffic and inland transport. Over the past years, the WRS have proved to be an invaluable and internationally accepted reference tool for governments, NGOs, investments banks, research institutes and anyone analyzing and reporting trends in key subject areas like traffic volumes and vehicle usage, road expenditure, road safety, energy consumption and emissions. This year, the WRS 2018 (data 2011-2016) features more than 205 countries, with data on over 45 road related topics, presented in nine substantive sections, with the active contribution of NTUA for the Greek data.
The Horizons 2020 research project InDev (In-depth Understanding of Accident Causation for Vulnerable Road Users) recently published a handbook with focus on vulnerable road users entitled: How to analyse accident causation? This handbook was developed to help road safety professionals diagnose road safety problems by gaining more insights into the mistakes by road users that lead to collision. It describes various road safety methods that can be applied for studying the safety of vulnerable (and other) road users, including: accident data analysis, conflict and behavioural observations, self-reporting and naturalistic studies and road safety audit and inspection.
The United Nations Road Safety Trust Fund which launched in April 2018, took an important step towards becoming operational, with the first meetings of its Advisory Board and Steering Committee taking place in Geneva. The Trust Fund aims to catalyze efforts to address the critical global road safety situation by bridging the gaps in the mobilization of resources and ensuring the effective coordination of action at all levels.
EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc recently announced the appointment of Matthew Baldwin as European Coordinator for Road Safety to help drive forward the new road safety strategy as set out under the key actions in the Commission’s third Mobility Package to modernise Europe’s transport system in May 2018. The role will involve the coordination of road safety efforts with Member States, the European Parliament, cities, regions and all stakeholders in the road safety community. Matthew Baldwin gave an exclusive interview to the NTUA Road Safety Observatory:
NRSO: Matthew, tell me a bit about this new role of the European Coordinator for the promotion of road safety in Europe and what will be your specific areas of focus?
MB: First, thanks for this opportunity to set out what this role is all about and how I see it as fitting into our road safety “architecture”. It stems from the European Commission’s proposals last May 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 provides a detailed picture relating to a broad range of statistical topics across the Regions of the EU Member States, as well as the Regions of the EFTA and candidate countries, including the European Regions with the lowest and highest road accident rates. Each chapter presents statistical information in maps, tables, figures and infographics, accompanied by a descriptive analysis highlighting the main findings.
A Diploma Thesis titled “The effect of anger on driver behavior and safety” was presented by Orestis Gavalas in July 2018. In order to achieve this goal, a driving simulator experiment was conducted and a questionnaire including the DAX scale was filled in a sample of 125 drivers. The collected data were grouped into anger components using the factor analysis method. Subsequently, both linear and logarithmic regression models were developed. Valuable conclusions were reached including men demonstrating higher levels of driving anger as well as that anger decreases with increasing age. The presence of anger is related to the increase in average speed, the reduction of headway (measured in time) and the increase in the probability of being involved in an accident and a road traffic infringement. On the other hand, forgiveness and noble mindedness lead to fundamentally opposite effects.