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.
__– Impairment – Strategy
___________________ _ _ – Audit & inspection
A paper titled “Modelling the effect of traffic regimes on safety of urban arterials: the case study of Athens” authored by Athanasios Theofilatos, George Yannis, John Golias and Eleni Vlahogianni is now published in Journal of Traffic and Transportation Engineering. To achieve the aims of the study, traffic and accident data during the period 2006–2011 from two major arterials in Athens were collected and processed. Firstly, a finite mixture cluster analysis was implemented to classify traffic into clusters. Afterwards, discriminant analysis was carried out in order to correctly assign new cases to the existing regimes by using a training and a testing set. Lastly, Bayesian logistic regression models were developed to investigate the impact of traffic regimes on accident likelihood and severity. The findings of this study suggest that urban traffic can be divided into different regimes by using average traffic occupancy and its standard deviation, measured by nearby upstream and downstream loop detectors. The results revealed potential specific hazardous traffic conditions. In general, high occupancy values increase accident likelihood, but tend to lead slight accidents, while PTWs are more likely to be involved in an accident, when traffic occupancy is high. Transitions from high to low occupancy also increase accident likelihood.
The Directorate General for Mobility and Transport (DG Move) of the European Commission released the Statistical Pocketbook 2017 ‘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.
The new online manual on road asset management announced by the World Road Association (PIARC) aims to help countries, whatever their stage of development, maintain their infrastructures and implement strategies to manage their road assets. This tool is intended for national and international decision-makers in fields concerning road safety, road network and ITS operation, and tunnels. Road infrastructures represent a key public asset in most countries, and traditional methods of managing the asset must progress to meet the requirements and constraints of the 21st century.
The International Road Traffic and Accident Database (IRTAD) of the International Transport Forum (ITF/OECD) published the full version of the Annual Report 2017, which provides an overview of road safety performance for 2015 in 40 countries, with preliminary data for 2016, and detailed reports for each country. It includes tables with cross country comparisons on key safety indicators and puts special emphasis on road safety for an ageing population, which represents a growing concern in many countries. The positive trend over the last few years of reduced road fatalities did not continue in 2015 and 2016. The 31 IRTAD member countries registered a 3.3% increase in road fatalities in 2015 compared to 2014. Finally, in 2016, the number of fatalities increased in 14 countries.
The SafetyCube European Road Safety Decision Support System (DSS) was recently launched, developed within EU Horizons 2020 research project SafetyCube with the active contribution of NTUA. SafetyCube DSS is a long waited powerful tool offering for the first time worldwide, scientific evidence on the effects of a large number of road safety risks and related countermeasures on behaviour, infrastructure, vehicle and post-crash care, providing a wealth of scientific evidence to support road safety decision making.
NTUA presentation in the launch event concerned: SafetyCube – the European Road Safety Decision Support System
European Commission launched a report following the C-ITS Platform Phase I report from January 2016 and addresses the common technical and legal framework necessary for the deployment of C-ITS and also takes the needs and possibilities of higher levels of automation into consideration. Following an invitation of the European Commission, industry representatives and public authorities have agreed on a further developed shared vision on the inter-operable deployment of Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) towards cooperative, connected and automated mobility (CCAM) in the European Union.
FIA Region I and its member Clubs are launching #ParkYourPhone, a campaign to encourage responsible smartphone use in traffic. For drivers, pedestrians and cyclists, only a few seconds of distraction can make a difference between life and death. FIA President and UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, Jean Todt, said “Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians need to understand the dangers of using smartphones in traffic. To combat the 3,500 lives lost every day in road accidents, I urge all road users to park their phones when they are in traffic.”
FIA Region I published “Policy position on road infrastructure and tunnel safety”. Many of the problems that road users face today are linked with poor maintenance of road infrastructure. Therefore, FIA Region I welcomes the European Commission’s plan to revise and merge the road infrastructure safety management Directive and the Directive on minimum safety requirements for tunnels.
FIA Region I published “Policy position on event data recorders”. Conducting road accident research and subsequent establishment of liability, in some instances, requires use of event data recorders (EDR) and data storage systems for automated driving (DSSA). The European Commission is evaluating whether EDRs should become standard equipment under the revision of the General Safety Regulation. FIA Region I sees no compelling case to mandate EDRs in all new vehicles.
A paper titled “Comparative assessment of the behaviour of drivers with Mild Cognitive Impairment or Alzheimer’s disease in different road and traffic conditions” authored by Dimosthenis Pavlou, Eleonora Papadimitriou, Costas Antoniou, Panagiotis Papantoniou, George Yannis, John Golias and Sokratis G. Papageorgiou, is now published in Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, Volume 47, May 2017, pp. 122-131. The objective of this research was the analysis of the driving performance of drivers with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) or Alzheimer’s disease (AD), in different road and traffic conditions, on the basis of a driving simulator experiment. The results of this research suggest that compensatory behaviours developed by impaired drivers are not adequate to counterbalance the direct effects of these cerebral diseases on driving skills. They also demonstrate that driving impairments increase as cognitive impairments become more severe (from MCI to AD).
NTUA Professor George Yannis has given an invited lecture at the School of Architecture, Building & Civil Engineering of Loughborough University on “Traffic and safety data analysis: from correlation to causation and policy support“. The Lecture focused on the various facets of road safety data, starting from the need for evidence based road safety policies, followed by key road safety analysis methods, the challenges of road safety measures’ assessment and the role of road user behaviour and concluding with an integrated road safety approach from data monitoring and analysis to policy support. A vivid discussion followed under the coordination of Loughborough University ITS Professor M.Quddus.
Safe Future Inland Transport Systems (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) was presented by NTUA Professor George Yannis, at the Global Forum for Road Traffic Safety (WP.1) as part of its Seventy-fifth session in 19 September 2017, in order to showcase current developments and obtain feedback from national representatives. The SafeFITS tool is built around a statistical model based on historical road safety data and the relations between different road safety indicators. SafeFITS will enable Governments to identify the most appropriate road safety measures and policies to save even more lives.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Development of driver speed models based on detailed driving data from smartphone sensors” was presented by Christina Gonidi in July 2017. A large data set recorded per second was used, containing information about the exact position of the vehicle, its acceleration and deceleration and the point where 100 drivers performed harsh manoeuvers or speed changes or when they used their mobile phone, etc. In order to analyze the available data, six statistical linear regression models forecasting driver average speed were developed: one general model, two models for the periods inside or outside risky hours and three models for each road type (urban, rural and highways). The results demonstrated a strong correlation between the average speed and the distance covered by the driver as well as driver accelerations and harsh changes.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has published two position papers on regulations on general safety and on pedestrians.
Position Paper: “Revision of the General Safety Regulation“: Within the context of the EU target to halve road deaths between 2010 and 2020, the forthcoming revision of the General Safety Regulation will require bold action to ensure that road deaths continue to fall, and that vehicle safety improvements are not limited to the wealthiest consumers or member states.
Position Paper: “Review of the Pedestrian Protection Regulation 78/2009“. ETSC welcomes the initiative of the European Commission to review the legislation on the protection of pedestrians and other vulnerable road users (VRUs). It is of paramount importance that the EU takes steps to improve the safety of this often neglected category of road users.
A Diploma Thesis titled “Analysis of the effect of economic recession on road safety in Greece” was presented by Christos Batsos in September 2017. 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, changes in road user behaviour might have contributed significantly to the overall 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.