Highway Safety Research Papers

 

And Related Publications

 

From Around The World

 

All contents copyright ©, Drive and Stay Alive, Inc., 2003 onwards, unless specified otherwise. All rights reserved.

 IMPORTANT: click here to read the DISCLAIMER 


 

 

Please note that links to some papers may be listed more than once, in the body of this page, in order that they may be cross-referenced to all relevant headings in the index.

 

In addition, you may wish to try the Scirus scientific search engine (right).

 

Cross-Referenced Index

Age and Driving

Electronic Stability Control

Road Rage

Airbags

Emergency Personnel

Road Construction for Safety

Alcohol and Driving

Foreign Drivers  

Road Lighting

Animals, Crashes involving

General (mixed topics)

Roadside Safety Hardware  

Attention and Awareness  

Grade Crossings

Rural Road Safety

Backing-Up Accidents

Guard Rails

Safety Barriers

Behaviour

Head Restraints & Safety

Safety Education in Schools

Bus Safety and Crashes

Highway Construction for Safety

Scene Protection

Casualty Trends

Highway Safety Hardware

Seat Belts

Cell Phones -- see DSA page

Inattention

Skid Pan / Skid Pad Training

Child Seats & Related Issues

Learning to Drive

Snow Tires/Tyres  

Coach Safety and Crashes

Legislation in Various Countries

Speed

Contributory Factors in Crashes

Level Crossings

Street Furniture

Crash Barriers

Lights

Street Lighting

Crash Causation Factors  

Low Visibility  

Student Drivers

Crash Scenes -- Protection of

Medicinal Drugs and Driving

Technical Reports -- General

Crash Trends

Mobile Phones -- see DSA page

Tires

Crashes involving Animals  

Motorcycles  

Tires -- Snow

Crashworthiness

Multiple Topics  

Tourists -- Foreign

Dangerous Driving

Night Vision  

Traffic Calming Measures

Data Analysis Policy

Older Drivers

Traffic Laws  

Debris

Overseas -- drivers from  

Tyres

Developing Countries

Pedestrian Crossings

Tyres -- Snow

Distraction

Pedestrian Safety

Utility Poles -- Collisions with

Driver Training

Poles -- Collisions with  

Visibility - Low

Drivers -- Foreign

Police Involvement

Young Drivers

Driveway Accidents

Psychology (Drivers)

AAA Foundation Research Index USA

Driving Instructors & Standards

Railroad Crossings

Monash Research Site Map, Australia

Drowsy Driving

Reversing Accidents

NHTSA Traffic Safety Digest, USA

Drugs and Driving

Risk-Taking

TRL Latest Publications (UK/global)

Drunk Driving

Road Debris  

 

 

We would be very grateful if you were able to send us the titles/URLs, etc., of other reports that should be listed here. Please Contact Us if you are able to assist. 

 

 

 

 

Airbags and Seat Belts

 

 

The Relationship Between Seat Belt Usage Among Drivers of Automobiles With and Without Airbags    This is a 2004 report by the Danish Transport Research Institute (DTF). It is in Danish but has an important English summary, on pages 10-12, and the preceding abstract includes the following two key points:

  • Drivers know little about airbag side-effects. Only about 25% know that an airbag can kill an unbelted driver. 

  • Less than half of the drivers are aware that they can protect themselves against a deploying airbag by positioning their seat as far away from the steering wheel as possible.

A Guide for Increasing Seatbelt Use,  USA, July 2004

TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 500 -- Guidance for Implementation of the AASHTO Strategic Highway Safety Plan; Volume 11: A Guide for Increasing Seatbelt Use provides strategies that can be employed to increase the use of seatbelts.

 

 

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Alcohol and Driving

 

IMPORTANT:  See also

1.  Drive And Stay Alive page on:  Drunk Driving

2. The MADD web page on Drunk Driving research

 

 

Depth Perception in Drunk Driving  (DSA page, with links)

Research article: “Disruption of Eye Movements by Ethanol Intoxication Affects Perception of Depth from Motion Parallax,” by Mark Nawrot, Benita Nordenstrom, and Amy Olson, Psychological Science, Vol. 15, No. 12, December 2004.

 

Alcohol-Related Road Accidents in the Federal Republic of Germany - Status till 1993.  Kroj, G. and Friedel, B. (from the Schaffer Library of Drug Policy)

 

Enhanced Sanctions for Higher BACs -- an evaluation of Minnesota's high BAC laws

 

 

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Animal-Related Road Crashes

 

Nonfatal Motor-Vehicle Animal Crash-Related Injuries  ---  United States, 2001--2002

Reported by: JM Conn, MS, JL Annest, PhD, Office of Statistics and Programming; A Dellinger, PhD, Div of Unintentional Injury Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, CDC.

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, August 5, 2004.

 

 

 

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Attention and Awareness

 

 

Attention and Driving by Andrew Howard, MBE, MCIT, and Dominic Connell, BSc. (AA Road Safety Unit)

 

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Bus and Coach Safety

 

 

Tiredness and sleepiness in bus drivers and road accidents in Peru: a quantitative study  by Jorge Rey de Castro, Jorge Gallo y Hugo Loureiro

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Child Seats & Related Issues

 

 

Children up to eleven years of age still need child seats. Research from the United Kingdom's Department for Transport (DfT) indicates that not all parents use appropriate child seats in their cars. As part of the THINK! road safety campaign, the DfT is urging parents to use child car seats or boosters for their children until they are at least 11 years old or 150 centimeters tall -- about 5 feet. By May 2006, European Community member states will be required to ensure that children up to age 11 or 150 centimeters tall use an appropriate restraint system. (April 14, 2004)

 

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Crash Barriers

(see also roadside safety hardware)

 

A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Safety Recommendation, dated April 21, 2004 (H-04-15), highlights dangerous barrier design, particularly in relation to backslopes. A photograph is included in the .pdf file, showing a section of barrier that contributed to the deaths of a driver and four children, in Memphis, Tennessee, in April 2002. Click here to view the file.

 

Roadside Crash Barrier Testing, Monash University, Australia; February 2002

 

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Crash and Casualty Trends 

 

Road Safety Trends in OECD Countries -- 1990-2001

 

 

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Crash Causation

 

 

Contributory factors to road accidents  Jonathan Mosedale, Andrew Purdy and Eddie Clarkson, Transport Statistics: Road Safety, Department for Transport (UK).

     Despite the fact that the collection of statistical crash data is to be significantly upgraded as of January 1, 2005, this report gives an extremely important insight into causative factors.

     Of particular interest is the fact that "five of the fifteen precipitating factors listed collectively account for over 80 pre cent of accidents..."

 

 

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Crashworthiness

 

 

Crashworthy systems -- a paradigm shift in road safety design, Part I  George Rechnitzer & Raphael Grzebieta, Monash University, Australia

See also Part II.  These reports won the IEAust Warren Medal.

 

 

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Dangerous Driving, and Road Rage

 

 

Consultation on Review of Road Traffic Offences involving Bad Driving  UK, February 2005  (pdf - file size:351kb)

 

 

Dangerous Driving and the Law  (UK, Department for Transport)

This report describes research carried out as part of a study commissioned by the Road Safety Division of the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effect of the 1991 Road Traffic Act on the prosecution of dangerous drivers.

 

 

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Data Analysis Policy

 

 

A Re-assessment of Road Accident Data Analysis Policy, by Eitan Naveh (Israel) and Alfred Marcus (Minnesota), for the University of Minnesota Center for Transportation Studies (CTS-UMN).

 

 

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Developing Nations

 

 

Speed control in developing countries: issues, challenges and opportunities in reducing road traffic injuries, by Francis K. Afukaar, Building and Road Research Institute, Kumasi, Ghana.

 

 

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Driver Distraction

 

Billboards

 

Driving Performance in the Presence and Absence of Billboards; December 2003, pdf.

The overall conclusion from this study (undertaken for the Foundation for Outdoor Advertising Research and Education) was that the presence of billboards does not cause a change in driver behavior, in terms of visual behavior, speed maintenance, or lane keeping...

 

 

Cell Phones

 

(See the Drive and Stay Alive web page on this topic)

 

 

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Driver Training

 

 

Survey of Existing Training Methodologies and Driving Instructors’ Needs from the Commission of European Communities -- Competitive and Sustainable Growth Programme.

 

 

The EU 'ADVANCED' Project -- Description and Analysis of Post-licence Driver and Rider Training  (pdf; 231 pp; 2002)

 

 

GADGET -- Driver Education, Training and Testing

 

 

The Effects of Hazard Perception on Training.  (UK, Department for Transport)

Executive Summary:  Young drivers have been the focus of much of the research on accident liability, since it is well established that this group are over represented in the accident statistics. It is still unclear precisely why there is this improvement in the accident rate as experience increases and furthermore, how this improvement could be accelerated (Maycock et al., 1991). The need is to identify which driver skills acquired through experience would help to accelerate improvements in new drivers, and in turn, could be incorporated into pre-test training. One area which shows consistent promise is hazard perception.

     The objective of this research, which was undertaken at the University of Southampton by the Transportation Research Group, was to investigate the effects that two different forms of hazard perception training, on-road and classroom, had on the acquisition of hazard perception skills and subsequent improvement in safety and general driving skills for a sample of new (young) drivers. Findings are likely to be highly applicable to improving driver training techniques.

 

 

Evaluation of an insight driver-training program for young drivers,  T. M. Senserrick & G. C. Swinburne; 2001.

"Traditional driver-training programs that aim to improve vehicle-handling skills, including manoeuvring exercises and skid training, have tended to be relatively ineffective in reducing crashes. In fact, the introduction of skid training into driver-training programs has been found to increase certain crash types for young drivers. This has been attributed to associated increases in confidence that resulted in greater risk-taking...."

 

 

The Effectiveness of Skid-car Training for Teenage Novice Drivers in Oregon  Barnie Jones, Ph.D., Oregon Department of Transportation (published in The Chronicle of ADTSEA, Vol. 43, No. 1; Winter Issue, 1995)

 

 

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Driveway Accidents -- "Back-Over" Accidents -- Reversing Accidents

 

No matter what name we give it, this type of accident is particularly heart-rending. It involves a child being run over and either killed or dreadfully injured, by a reversing ("backing") vehicle on a private driveway, and the driver is commonly one of the child's parents, another close relative or a family friend.

 

 

The following three reports are all from the Motor Accidents Authority of New South Wales, Australia.

Child Deaths and Injuries in Driveways -- Response to the Recommendations of the Child Death Review Team This report is a response to the recommendations to the MAA by the Child Death Review Team (CDRT).In its annual report, the review team drew attention to the deaths of 17 children, run over and killed by reversing vehicles in private driveways between January 1996 and June 1999.  October 2000 (pdf)

Devices to Reduce the Risk to Young Pedestrians from Reversing Motor Vehicles  (large pdf)

This report describes possible technical solutions to reducing the risk of young children being run over by reversing motor vehicles. It includes the results of preliminary investigations into the rearward field of view of typical vehicles and the effectiveness of several potential countermeasures.

Driveway Accident Prevention -- Tips for Improving Safety While Reversing (pdf)  

Provides a 10 step guide for parents considering fitting vehicle reversing aids.

 

 

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Driving Instructors and the Standard Of Instruction

 

 

Raising the Standards of Approved Driving Instructors,  UK Department for Transport

Currently, in the UK, only Approved Driving Instructors (ADIs) are permitted to charge for providing car driving instruction (with the exception of partially qualified, would-be ADIs who hold a Trainee Licence). The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) maintain a Register of ADIs. There were approximately 29,000 names on the Register in April 1999, with a further 10,000 or so people at various stages in the qualification process. In recent years approximately 2,500 new ADIs have qualified each year, with some 4,000 leaving the Register in each of the past two years. The great majority of these leave of their own accord; around 500 p.a. are removed for failing to attend a periodical Check Test of their continued ability and fitness to give instruction or for unsatisfactory performance or conduct.

 

 

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Drowsy Driving

 

 

Driver Fatigue and Falling Asleep -- Experience, Knowledge and Conduct among Private Drivers and Professional Drivers by Susanne Nordbakke.  This is a summary, in English, of a 2004 Norwegian study.

 

The three following reports are all form the UK Department for Transport:

Driver Sleepiness (with information from ten countries) ...driver education, linked to greater public awareness of the potential dangers of sleepiness, together with greater employer responsibility with regard to their employees' fitness to drive, present the best approaches for reducing sleep related crashes.

Sleep-Related Vehicle Accidents (SRVAs) To assess the incidence of Sleep-Related Vehicle Accidents (SRVAs) on different roads and road types, we undertook detailed analyses (Road Audits) of road traffic accidents (RTAs) in various areas of the UK.

     Between 16% and 30% of all Road Traffic Accidents (RTAs) researched -- depending upon location -- were "possible or probable SRVAs".

Over-the-Counter (i.e. non-prescription) Medicines and the Potential for Unwanted Sleepiness  (UK, DfT)

This report identifies those medicines available over the counter (OTC) that have the potential to cause drowsiness, and therefore the potential to be hazardous to drivers and other road users. We identified a total of 102 medicines for the treatment of coughs and colds, allergies, pain, nausea and gastrointestinal upsets, all with the potential to cause sedation.

 

 

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Drugs and Driving

(See also:  Medicinal Drugs and Driving)

 

 

Cannabis and Driving:  a review of the literature and commentary  (UK, Department for Transport)

The report summarises current knowledge about the effects of cannabis on driving and accident risk based on a review of available literature published since 1994.

 

 

Anti-depresants and Road Safety:  a literature review and commentary  (UK, Dept. for Transport)  

It has been estimated that the cost of traffic accidents in Europe attributable to impairment from medications is 6.3 billion Euros each year. Thus, there is growing concern in the UK and the rest of Europe about the role of drugs and medicines in traffic accidents.

 

 

Over-the-Counter (i.e. non-prescription) Medicines and the Potential for Unwanted Sleepiness  (UK, DfT)

This report identifies those medicines available over the counter (OTC) that have the potential to cause drowsiness, and therefore the potential to be hazardous to drivers and other road users. We identified a total of 102 medicines for the treatment of coughs and colds, allergies, pain, nausea and gastrointestinal upsets, all with the potential to cause sedation.

 

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Electronic Stability Control

 

Study of ESC-Assisted Driver Performance Using a Driving Simulator -- University of Iowa (2003?)

 

The Effectiveness of ESP in Reducing Real World Accidents -- Sweden, 2003

 

Electronic Stability Program -- Mercedes, 2002

 

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Foreign Drivers

 

Tourist Road Safety in New Zealand

The Land Transport Safety Authority have commissioned research that should be of great interest to road authorities in any regions which see an influx of overseas drivers, and also to anyone intending to visit New Zealand or other countries.

 

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Head Restraints and Safety

 

 

A Comparison Study of Active Hear Restraints for Neck Protection in Rear-End Collisions  

Dante Bigi and Alexander Heilig, TRW Occupant Restraint Systems, Germany

Hermann Steffan and Arno Eichberger, University of Technology, Graz, Austria

 

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Legislation in Various Countries

 

 

Comparative Study of Road Traffic Rules and Corresponding Enforcement Actions in the Member States of the European Union  -- Final Report, 2004.

This report, released by the European Commission, compares road traffic rules and corresponding enforcement among European Union states.

 

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Lights

 

 

Drivers’ vision and light conditions in road traffic at night

Go to www.bast.de/htdocs_engl/index.htm and click on 'New BASt Reports' then on M158 (title as above)

(English translations of certain BASt reports are below the German original, so scroll down)

 

UMTRI (Michigan) Published Technical Reports (much on lights)

 

 

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Medicinal Drugs and Driving

(See also:  Drugs and Driving)

 

 

Antihistamines and Driving-Related Behavior: A Review of the Evidence for Impairment

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released a report that examines the effects of first- and second-generation antihistamines on impairment.

 

 

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Motorcycles

 

 

Trends in Motorcycle Fatalities Associated With Alcohol-Impaired Driving—United States, 1983-2003

Motorcycles are the most dangerous type of motor vehicle to drive. These vehicles are involved in fatal crashes at a rate of 35.0 per 100 million miles of travel, compared with a rate of 1.7 per 100 million miles of travel for passenger cars. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reported increasing numbers of motorcycle deaths associated with alcohol-impaired driving in recent years, especially among persons aged ≥40 years....

JAMA. 2005;293:287-288.  MMWR. 2004;53:1103-1106

 

 

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Multiple Topics

 

 

Presentations from the 2004 Lifesavers Conference (USA)

 

 

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Night Vision

 

 

Drivers’ vision and light conditions in road traffic at night

Go to www.bast.de/htdocs_engl/index.htm and click on 'New BASt Reports' then on M158 (title as above)

(English translations of certain BASt reports are below the German original, so scroll down)

 

 

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Older Drivers -- The Effects of Aging

 

 

A Guide for Reducing Collisions Involving Older Drivers is a June 2004 book from the TRB.

National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 500 -- Guidance for Implementation of the AASHTO Strategic Highway Safety Plan Volume 9: A Guide for Reducing Collisions Involving Older Drivers provides strategies that can be employed to reduce the number of collisions involving older drivers.

Available for purchase from the TRB here.

 

Older Drivers -- A Review  The Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute has released a report that reviews the safety and mobility needs of older drivers. The report describes road, vehicular, and intelligent transportation system measures designed to improve the safety of older drivers [in English]. (April 2004) 

 

Older Drivers, Illness and Medication is a November 2003 report from the UK Department for Transport (Road Safety Research Report No. 39).

 

The following three reports are all from the UK Department for Transport:

Forecasting Older-Driver Accidents and Casualties  In terms of accidents, the evidence submitted in this report suggests that accident liabilities of older drivers (accidents per year per 1,000 drivers) whether fatal and serious (KSI) or slight, increase for drivers over 70 despite the fact that the annual mileages driven by these older drivers is lower than those driven by the younger age groups. It follows, therefore, that the increasing numbers of older drivers, in combination with their higher accident liabilities, are a cause of concern for road safety.

Older Drivers: a literature review  This research indicates several very important points that must be borne in mind when designing, legislating, assessing and attempting to improve risk factors for this sector of the population.

The Ageing Driver: a programme of research

Between 1997 and 2001, a study was conducted by the University of Manchester of 1,993 drivers aged 50 and over, with the following objectives:

  • to identify simple cognitive tests which could be used to predict an individual's current level of driving competence, and to examine the value of changes in cognitive ability for predicting driving competence; and
  • to assess the usefulness of measures of personality, depression, and stress in predicting driving performance. To collect information on individuals' self-reported driving difficulties, and the way in which they are dealt with, together with their perceptions of their driving competence and of confidence while driving.

 

 

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Pedestrian Crossings

 

 

Analysis of Road Accidents on Pedestrian Crossings Caused by Speeding, by Jitka Rokytova and Michal Sklenar, of the Centrum dopravniho vyzkumu (CDV) -- Transport Research Centre -- Brno, Czech Republic.

 

The Effects of Crosswalk Markings on Vehicle Speeds in Maryland, Virginia, and Arizona.  U.S. Department of Transport, Federal Highway Division. (pdf) 

 

The Effect of Reconstruction and Code Changes at Pedestrian Crossings to Traffic Safety for Children, Grownups and Elderly -- Results from a Case Study in Borås, by Charlotta Johansson and Lars Leden, Luleå University of Technology, Sweden.

 

 

 

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Pedestrian Safety

 

 

Alcohol and Pedestrians  (UK, Department for Transport)

As countermeasures against drink driving become more successful, so the relative importance of the problem of alcohol and the pedestrian tends to increase. This report presents the results from three separate, but linked studies, on various aspects of alcohol and adult pedestrians.

 

 

Becoming a Responsible Pedestrian  (UK, Department for Transport)

Children suffer proportionately more pedestrian road traffic accidents than adults. In part this reflects developmental changes in the basic skills needed in interacting with traffic, such as the ability to identify safe places to cross the road (Thomson et al, 1996). Training to remedy such deficits must be prominent in road safety education. But will such skills training be enough to reduce children's accident involvement?

 

 

Pedestrian Safety through a Raised Median and Redesigned Intersections  

(USA, TRB 2003 Paper 03-3135)

This paper documents the effect of a raised median, signalized and redesigned intersections, curbs, and sidewalks on vehicle speed, pedestrian exposure risk, driver predictability, and vehicle volume along a four lane suburban roadway in central New Jersey....

 

 

A Guide for Reducing Collisions Involving Pedestrians,  USA, July 2004

TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 500: Guidance for Implementation of the AASHTO Strategic Highway Safety Plan Volume 10: A Guide for Reducing Collisions Involving Pedestrians provides strategies that can be employed to reduce the number of collisions involving pedestrians.

 

 

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Police Involvement

(Note: For data on police vehicle accidents and the related fatality rates, click here)

 

 

Roads Policing and Road Safety -- a Position Paper  (a 32-page pdf)  

Published by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), January 2004.

     This document contains interesting summaries on the status quo in the UK, as well as conclusions and recommendations for the British Government.

 

 

Protecting Emergency Responders on the Highways (pdf

The Cumberland Valley Volunteer Firemen’s Association (CVVFA) released a White Paper identifying strategies to reduce deaths and injuries to emergency service personnel on the roadways. The paper was written under a grant from the United States Fire Administration. It recommends broad initiatives to reduce these tragic incidents. (2000)

 

 

Road Policing and Road Safety -- a Position Paper;  Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), UK; January 2004

Almost all road crashes are caused by, or involve, human error. Therefore, to reduce this appalling toll of loss and injury, it is necessary to influence the way drivers, riders and walkers behave when using the road. There are many ways of influencing behaviour and it is well recognised that the most effective approach is a co-ordinated strategy of:

-- Education

-- Engineering

-- Enforcement

     Road policing is a vital component of... road safety strategy, and plays a key role in saving lives and minimising injury on the roads. It must be given its rightful priority by governments and Police Services, and be adequately resourced.

     The police have many priorities (including violent crime, burglaries and the prevention of terrorism) all of which are extremely important issues that concern the public. However, more people are killed on the roads than by any form of crime...

     The purpose of this paper is to:

-- outline the role and effectiveness of roads policing;

-- explore issues related to the level and provision of roads policing;

-- develop RoSPA's policy positions in regard to roads policing.

 

 

Safety Directions -- an International Comparison of Road Safety Enforcement 

(New Zealand & Australia, 1998, pdf)

A study undertaken to compare road safety enforcement in New Zealand with that in the Australian State of Victoria.  Victoria provides an example of international best practice in road safety enforcement... 

 

 

In Israel a study took place which should interest us all. It looked at the effect of traffic policing on non-urban road accidents. The main findings were: (1) only large-scale enforcement has any measurable effect on road accidents while small-scale enforcement has no apparent effect. (2) The enforcement effect is slightly larger in the long run than it is in the short-run. (3) The effect of enforcement tends to dissipate rapidly after the dosage of enforcement is reduced. (4) Enforcement has no effect on fatal road accidents. (5) The evidence that the effect of policing in one road section spills over onto other road sections is weak. The full article is only available for a fee, payable to Science Direct.

 

 

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Driver Behaviour and Psychology

 

 

Consultation on Review of Road Traffic Offences involving Bad Driving  UK, February 2005  (pdf - file size:351kb)

 

 

British drivers are defying traffic calming initiatives by speeding up elsewhere and taking risks to make up for ‘lost’ time  according to a study by Autoglass®  -- July 2004

 

 

Publications about Driving Behavior, from the ACT-R Research Group, Carnegie Mellon University, USA

 

 

'Risky Driving Behavior: A Consequence of Motion Adaptation for Visually Guided Motor Action;' by Rob Gray (Nissan Cambridge Basic Research, Cambridge, MA) and David Regan, (Department of Psychology, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada). In the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance

 

 

Influencing Driver Attitudes and Behaviour  (UK, Department for Transport)

Since 1988 the Driver Behaviour Research Group (DBRG), based at the University of Manchester, has been involved in an extensive programme of road safety research, much of which has been funded by the DETR. The purpose of this paper is to summarise our main findings, in ways which will be useful to the road safety community.

 

 

Psychology and Road Safety  by Ricardo D. Blasco, University of Barcelona.

 

 

 

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Railroad Crossings -- Grade Crossings -- Level Crossings

 

 

Audit of the Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Safety Program  The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General has released a report (June 2004) on the DOT’s Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Safety Program.  The report found that the Department came close to meeting its highway-rail grade crossing goals; however, it also found that six states continued to have a large number of public grade crossing accidents; accidents continued to occur at public grade crossings equipped with automated warning devices; some public grade crossings with warning signs and pavement markings continued to have accidents; motorists caused most public grade crossing accidents; and grade crossing closures continued to occur, but at a slower pace.

 

Safety at Level Crossings  The European Commission has released this December 2003 report of the High Level Group on Road Safety's Working Group on Safety at Rail/Road Level Crossings. The report includes a series of recommendations for improving railroad-highway grade crossing safety and provides data on railroad-highway grade crossing safety in Europe.

     As an average of the five-year period 1996 to 2000, the annual number of fatalities [for all of Europe] is 330, not including Greece and Spain. 

     Sixteen recommendations are included, for the enhancement of safety at all crossings.

 

 

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Risk-Taking

 

 

Dying to Drive: the results of a British survey, published by the RAC Foundation, July 2004.

 

 

Gap-Acceptance and Risk-Taking by Young and Mature Drivers, Both Sober and Under the Influence of Alcohol, in a Simulated Driving Task (pdf)  Motor Accidents Authority of New South Wales, Australia.  December, 2003.

 

 

 

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Road Construction for Safety

 

 

Building Safe Roads, an article by John R. Baxter, in the May 2004 edition of 'Public Roads'

U.S. Department of Transportation -- Federal Highway Administration

 

 

 

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Road Debris

 

 

The Safety Impact of Vehicle-Related Road Debris   AAA Foundation, June 2004; 2MB, pdf.

This peer-reviewed report documents the magnitude and characteristics of the safety issues presented by vehicle-related road debris.

 

 

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Roadside Safety Hardware 

(see also safety barriers and utility poles)

 

Roadway Safety Hardware Management Systems:  Save Lives, Time, and Money  (pdf)

The U.S. Federal Highway Administration has produced an informational guide that describes the benefits of a roadway safety hardware management system, reviews asset management, includes a Road Feature Inventory case study, and highlights the activities some states are taking in the area of roadway safety hardware management systems.

 

 

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Rural Road Safety

 

 

Rural Road Safety in Queensland  Australia, May 2002; pdf.

Saving lives on rural roads is perhaps the greatest road safety challenge facing governments. And it is a demanding challenge. Rural road safety is fundamentally different to urban road safety. Many of the programs that work well in urban areas do not transfer well to rural settings. The roads are different, the culture and attitudes of the people are different and there is less assistance for motorists when something goes wrong.

 

 

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Safety Education in Schools

 

 

Road Safety Education in Schools -- What to Do, What Not to Do;  John Catchpole, Gayle DiPietro, ARRB Transport Research, GDP Consultancy. (pdf)

 

 

Child Development and the Aims of Road Safety Education  (UK, Department for Transport)

Executive Summary:  Pedestrian accidents are one of the most prominent causes of premature injury, handicap and death in the modern world. In children, the problem is so severe that pedestrian accidents are widely regarded as the most serious of all health risks facing children in developed countries. Not surprisingly, educational measures have long been advocated as a means of teaching children how to cope with traffic and substantial resources have been devoted to their development and provision. Unfortunately, there seems to be a widespread view at the present time that education has not achieved as much as had been hoped and that there may even be quite strict limits to what can be achieved through education. This would, of course, shift the emphasis away from education altogether towards engineering or urban planning measures aimed at creating an intrinsically safer environment in which the need for education might be reduced or even eliminated. However, whilst engineering measures undoubtedly have a major role to play in the effort to reduce accidents, this outlook is both overly optimistic about the benefits of engineering and overly pessimistic about the limitations of education. At the same time, a fresh analysis is clearly required both of the aims and methods of contemporary road safety education. The present report is designed to provide such an analysis and to establish a framework within which further debate and research can take place.

 

 

Community Approach to Road Safety Education  (UK, Department for Transport)

Research shows that practical training methods, in which children receive guided experience of solving traffic problems in realistic traffic situations, are amongst the most effective in improving children's pedestrian competence. However, practical training is both time consuming and labour intensive, making it difficult to capitalise on the strengths of the method. The report describes a solution to this problem by adopting a community participation approach in which local volunteers carried out all roadside training, working in co-operation with schools and project staff. The project took place in an area of Glasgow known for its exceptionally high child pedestrian accident rate.

 

 

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Incident Scene Protection

 

 

Protecting Emergency Responders on the Highways (pdf

The Cumberland Valley Volunteer Firemen’s Association (CVVFA) released a White Paper identifying strategies to reduce deaths and injuries to emergency service personnel on the roadways. The paper was written under a grant from the United States Fire Administration. It recommends broad initiatives to reduce these tragic incidents. (2000)

 

 

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Speed

 

Analysis of Speeding-Related Fatal Motor Vehicle Traffic Crashes  NHTSA report -- June 2005

 

 

The Safety Impacts of Differential Speed Limits on Rural Interstate Highways  This study was performed by the Virginia Transportation Research Council -- 2004.

 

 

Average traffic speeds on trunk roads in England, 2003  This brief press release gives average speeds for 2003 as well as outlining statistical changes over a period of years.

 

 

Nottingham University -- ST06. TRANSPORT / ROAD SAFETY, SPEEDING & TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS (A-K)

 

 

The Central Research Unit of The Scottish Office (i.e. Government) commissioned some far-reaching research into speeding. A summary may be viewed here.

 

 

The Effects of Speed Cameras:  how drivers respond  (UK, Department for Transport)

This study set out to examine the effects and effectiveness of various strategies related to the deployment of speed cameras, and to explore how different types of driver responded to cameras and perceived their operation. Recommendations for best deployment were to be considered. It was carried out between 1993 and 1996 after the Road Traffic Act 1991 authorised the use of automatic speed devices for the detection of offences. A series of 12 surveys arranged in five sets and having some cross-sectional and some longitudinal elements was undertaken together with some depth interviews, and self-report measures predominated. Five police forces helped to set up the research. In total 6879 drivers took part. The particular interventions focused upon comprised camera signing alone; two kinds of publicity campaign linked with speed camera deployment; prosecution following detection by speed camera; and the effects of cameras when first installed and over time.

 

 

Speed control in developing countries: issues, challenges and opportunities in reducing road traffic injuries, by Francis K. Afukaar, Building and Road Research Institute, Kumasi, Ghana.

 

 

Analysis of Road Accidents on Pedestrian Crossings Caused by Speeding, by Jitka Rokytova and Michal Sklenar, of the Centrum dopravniho vyzkumu (CDV) -- Transport Research Centre -- Brno, Czech Republic.

 

 

 

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Snow Tires

 

 

The Performance of Snow Tires   (June 2004)  The Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute has released a report that examines performance of snow tires, both studded and unstudded, in terms of age, tread depth, tread rubber hardness, stud protrusion, and stud force.  The report is in Swedish with an English summary.

 

 

 

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Street Lighting

 

 

The Safety Impacts of Street Lighting at Isolated Rural Intersections  

     The Center for Transportation Research and Education at Iowa State University has released a report that evaluates the effectiveness of rural street lighting in reducing nighttime crashes at isolated rural intersections.

     The conclusions show that lighting such junctions does have "a statistically significant positive safety benefit."

 

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Student Drivers -- Learning to Drive

 

 

The two following reports are both form the UK Department for Transport:

Practice and Instruction when Learning to Drive

This report describes and analyses the driving instruction actually given to 20 young learner drivers by one of four top-grade Approved Driving Instructors. These pupils did not drive between lessons and so this report represents a unique and very comprehensive insight into driver training and learning during the pre-test period for fully formally trained drivers.

Trial of the Learner-Driver Logbook

The Trial has not indicated any reason why the Logbook, fundamentally in its present form but subject to some alterations, should not be introduced more formally at the national level... it was found that the higher first time pass rate of logbook users was significantly different from the national rate for 17 year olds.

 

 

 

 

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Technical Reports -- General

 

 

UMTRI (Michigan) Published Technical Reports (much on lights)

 

 

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Traffic Calming Measures

 

 

British drivers are defying traffic calming initiatives by speeding up elsewhere and taking risks to make up for ‘lost’ time  according to a study by Autoglass®  -- July 2004

 

 

 

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Utility Poles, etc.

(See also:  Roadside Safety Hardware)

 

Reducing Collisions Involving Utility Poles

TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 500 -- Guidance for Implementation of the AASHTO Strategic Highway Safety Plan; Volume 8: A Guide for Reducing Collisions Involving Utility Poles provides strategies that can be employed to improve highway safety.

 

 

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Visibility -- Low

 

High-tech help for low-visibility conditions

     Minnesota's brutal blizzards were the motivation for researchers at the University of Minnesota's Intelligent Transportation Systems Institute to develop a driver-assistive system to help drivers operate safely in low-visibility conditions. A new four-part research report details the results of field operational testing carried out over the course of two winters to evaluate the new technology.

     The research team, led by ITS Institute director Max Donath, included specialists in human factors engineering from the HumanFIRST Program and vehicle control systems experts from the Institute's Intelligent Vehicles Program. The research was carried out as part of the Intelligent Vehicle Initiative, a USDOT program aimed at developing innovative in-vehicle technologies that improve driving safety. more

 

 

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Young Drivers

 

 

Young driver research: Where are we now? What do we still need to know? (pdf)  Dr Teresa Senserrick & Dr Narelle Haworth; Monash University Accident Research Centre.  2005.

 

Why Are Young Drivers Over-Represented in Crashes?  A Summary of the Issues (pdf)  Motor Accidents Authority of New South Wales, Australia.  April, 2003.  (Also here)

 

Evaluation of an insight driver-training program for young drivers,  T. M. Senserrick & G. C. Swinburne; 2001.

"Traditional driver-training programs that aim to improve vehicle-handling skills, including manoeuvring exercises and skid training, have tended to be relatively ineffective in reducing crashes. In fact, the introduction of skid training into driver-training programs has been found to increase certain crash types for young drivers. This has been attributed to associated increases in confidence that resulted in greater risk-taking...."

 

 

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This page last updated on June 17, 2004