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.
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. The current Diploma Thesis focuses on the comparative analysis of the behavior of young drivers in normal and simulated driving conditions in urban roads. In order to achieve this objective , 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 methods, it was investigated the impact of the driving environment, the specific characteristics of each driver as well as the driving style to the average vehicle speed change. 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 the same at the two driving environments, as is also speed difference the same at the two driving environments between drivers talking and not talking to the co-driver.
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 entitled: “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.
A draft proposal for the constitution of a Road Safety Trust Fund was launched for consultations at the first Global Sustainable Transport Conference in Ashgabat. The proposed UN Road Safety Fund will aim at bridging the gaps in the mobilization of adequate resources to fund road safety projects at local, national and global levels. The total additional grant funding for road safety needed to achieve the SDG road safety targets is estimated at $770 million annually over the next decade. The proposed UN Road Safety Fund will serve as a vehicle to leverage additional funding. It is estimated that every $100 million contributed to the Fund would support:
- the leveraging of $3.4 billion of country and city road safety investment;
- the saving of 64,000 lives; and
- the averting of 640,000 serious injuries.
With $770 million of grant funding per year over the coming decade, the proposed UN Road Safety Fund could save 5 million lives and avert 50 million serious injuries in low and middle-income countries.
The European Commission adopted recently a European Strategy on Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS), a milestone initiative towards cooperative, connected and automated mobility. The Strategy will make it possible to deploy vehicles that can “talk” to each other and to the transport infrastructure as of 2019, aiming also to enhancing road safety on EU roads. The main components of the C-ITS Strategy are:
- Avoid a fragmented internal market
- Define and support common priorities
- Use a mix of communication technologies
- Address security and data protection issues
- Develop the right legal framework
- Cooperate at international level
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has recently published a Position Paper titled “The European Union’s Role in Promoting the Safety of Cycling” containing proposals for a safety component in a future EU Cycling Strategy, authored by Ellen Townsend. This paper builds on recent calls for the European Commission to come forward with a cycling strategy for the European Union and ETSC supports the need for co-ordinated European action on cycling and welcomes a pan-European strategy. This Position Paper is designed to serve as inspiration for the safety component of such a strategy and will look at initiatives within these different areas of action of relevance to cyclist safety.
The World Health Organization has released a new Report titled: “Post-crash response: Supporting those affected by road traffic crashes” outlining policies for improving health care and other systems to provide the key elements of post-crash support, addressing the fifth pillar of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. A broad and integrated approach to support survivors and families can mitigate the short- and long-term effects of experiencing a road traffic crash and can help those affected return to function and independence at home and at work. An effective post-crash response requires integration of injury care, mental health services, legal support and legislation, and data on road traffic crashes and injuries.
The Conference of European Directors of Roads (CEDR) has recently released a Position Paper titled “Main Road Safety Challenges for European Road Directors the next 5-10 years – Towards the Vision Zero“. The objective of this paper is to highlight the key challenges for the National Road Administrations and to emphasise the need to maintain an ongoing open and creative discussion across the National Road Administrations; to demonstrate the need to work together to advance Road Safety. The key challenges concern: a) the improvement of safety of the existing road infrastructure, b) speeds in harmony with road infrastructure, c) the improvement of safety of vulnerable road users, d) the evaluation and deployment of intelligent transport systems.
The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has launched a new Report on Managing Grey Fleet Safety: A Short Guide for Companies Whose Staff Drive Their Own Cars For Work. When a driver uses their own vehicle for work, they are still under the responsibility of the employer, and this presents a real challenge for managing associated work related road safety risk. Employers may think that it is easier to manage employees using their own cars for work, instead of a company car fleet. However once all of the considerations are taken into account this may not be the case. This guide has been produced to assist organisations review and improve grey fleet management, with a specific focus on safety concerns. It will explain the legal responsibilities as well as the business benefits of an effective grey fleet management policy. It will also explain how grey fleet road risks can be reduced through risk assessment, and stress the importance of integrating grey fleet policy in company procedures and management responsibility.
The Road Safety Unit of DG Move of the European Commission has recently released a Report titled “Study on Serious Road Traffic Injuries in the EU” prepared by SWOV, Loughborough University and BAST. According to the European Commission, 135,000 people are seriously injured on European roads every year and while the number of deaths has fallen dramatically over the last decade, serious injuries have declined at a much slower rate. It is therefore recommended in this study that the EU should set a target to reduce the number of people seriously injured in road collisions.
The new study examined real world collision data and investigation outcomes from across Europe in an attempt to boost understanding of the most common collision situations that result in serious injuries. The data reveal many of the key risk factors and victim profiles which could help member states identify the best measures to reduce such collisions.
e-Drive Academy is an Innovative Educational e-platform for Safe, Smart, Ecological Transport and Driving, developed and operated by the General Directorate of Road Safety of the Hellenic Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks. e-Drive Academy provides all necessary educational services in order to develop an improved road safety culture and safe travelling for all road users, regardless of age, education or economic level. The objective of e-Drive Academy is to raise awareness of road users to adapt their behaviour to safer everyday travelling, with particular emphasis on consolidation of road safety issues and traffic safety education of children and preparing them as the responsible drivers of tomorrow.
A Diploma Thesis titled ‘Correlation of road safety performance with social and economic indicators in the European Union’ was presented by Ioannis Zantiris in November 2016. For this correlation a database was developed containing the most recent data regarding population, road fatalities, gross domestic product per capita, human development index, unemployment rate and several other economic and social indicators for the twenty eight countries of the European Union. Subsequently, multiple linear regression models were developed and applied for all countries and for groups of countries (northwestern, eastern, southern). The analysis demonstrated that the Human Development Index has the most important impact than any other parameter and its increase leads to road fatalities decrease.