Road Safety Knowledge
Road Safety Knowledge concerns published scientific papers, conference presentations, research results, technical reports, as well as syntheses, manuals and guidelines attempting to shed light into several contemporary road safety issues.
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A Diploma Thesis titled “Analysis of the effect of economic recession on road safety in Greece” was presented by Christos Batsos in September 2017. The objective of this Diploma Thesis is to investigate the effect of the economic recession on road fatalities and severe injuries in Greece. For this analysis, suitably processed road accident data during the period 2003-2014 have been exploited. It appears that the economic recession has led to a significant reduction in fatalities and serious injuries. The principal mechanisms bringing this decline about are the reduction of accidents with involvement of passenger cars, of young drivers and outside traffic junctions. These results indicate that apart from the decline of vehicle kilometers of travel, the change in road user behavior might have contributed to the total improvement of road safety during the economic crisis.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Modelling mobile phone use impact on driver behaviour through the exploitation of data from smartphone sensors” was presented by Anastasia Argyropoulou in July 2017. The aim of this Diploma Thesis was to examine and model the impact of mobile phone use on driver behaviour through the exploitation of data from smartphone sensors. To achieve this objective, data collected from 100 drivers who participated at a naturalistic driving experiment for four months were analysed through statistical modelling. The application of the models revealed that the factors affecting the harsh events are five, with the average driving speed being the main one, while the factors affecting the possibility of using the mobile phone while driving are six, with the average angular speed being the main one.
A paper titled “Meta-analysis of the effect of road work zones on crash occurrence” authored by Athanasios Theofilatos, Apostolos Ziakopoulos, Eleonora Papadimitriou, George Yannis, and Konstandinos Diamandouros is now published in Accident Analysis and Prevention. This paper presents formal meta-analyses of studies that have estimated the relationship between the number of crashes and work zone duration and length, in order to provide overall estimates of those effects on crash frequencies. All studies presented in this paper are crash prediction models with similar specifications. Meta-regression findings indicate that the main factors influencing the overall estimates of the beta coefficients are study year and region for work zone duration and study year and model specification for work zone length.
SafeFITS, the Global Road Safety Model developed by NTUA for the United Nations – Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) with the support of the International Road Transport Union (IRU) has been presented and discussed at the respective RoundTable in Geneva, on June 30th, 2017. SafeFITS Model is a global macroscopic road safety decision making tool aiming to assist governments and decision makers, both in developed and developing countries, to explore and choose the most appropriate road safety policies and measures in order to achieve tangible results. The SafeFITS Model is based on the related scientific knowledge available worldwide, with emphasis on recent academic research and project results.
NTUA Professor George Yannis presentation concerned:
The International Transport Forum (ITF) together with IRU, ITWF and ACEA launched a report titled: “Managing the Transition to Driverless Road Freight Transport”. This report considers how a transition to driverless road freight transport could happen. Today’s technology already makes it possible to operate automated trucks. Reduced reliance on humans to move road freight in the future could offer large cost savings for businesses and consumers. It could also disrupt the careers and lives of millions of professional truck drivers. Based on different scenarios for the large-scale introduction of automated road freight transport, this study makes recommendations to assist governments manage potential disruption and ensure a just transition for affected drivers.
A paper titled “Mild Cognitive Impairment and driving: Does in-vehicle distraction affect driving performance?” authored by Ion N. Beratis, Dimosthenis Pavlou, Eleonora Papadimitriou, Dionysia Kontaxopoulou, Stella Fragkiadaki, George Yannis, and Sokratis G. Papageorgiou, is now published in Accident Analysis and Prevention. In-vehicle distraction is considered to be an important cause of road accidents. Drivers with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), because of their attenuated cognitive resources, may be vulnerable to the effects of distraction; however, previous relevant research is lacking. The main objective of the current study was to explore the effect of in-vehicle distraction on the driving performance of MCI patients, by assessing their reaction time at unexpected incidents and accident probability, through a driving simulator experiment. Overall, the current findings indicate, for the first time, that a common driving practice, such as the use of mobile phone, may have a detrimental impact on the driving performance of individuals with MCI.
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:
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.
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.
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. 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.