Work package 4: Development of road safety measures

This work package contains three projects, investigating the usefulness of education and engineering strategies that might intrinsically motivate drivers to behave safely. More specifically three different approaches with respect to behaviour influencing will be investigated, namely simulator-based training, in-vehicle technology and road design & infrastructure. Important from the methodological point of view is that the three projects in this work package will each foresee a driving simulator component in there design. Furthermore throughout the work package the notion ‘ex-ante evaluation’ will be the focal point since it is important for policy makers to know in time if investments will or will not have an effect, so available budgets can be used efficiently.
 

Contact person: dr. Kris Brijs 
 

Project 4.1: Cognitive-perceptual training for young novice drivers

Cognitive-perceptual programs focus on higher-order skills, and more in particular on information processing, hazard perception, situational awareness, attentional control, time sharing and self-calibration. These programs are aimed more specifically at young novice drivers, since these have been found to be significantly poorer in this sort of higher-order cognitive-perceptual skills, compared to more experienced drivers. Most existing training programs have used pictures, video clips and on-road commentaries as training materials and were found to have positive yet only limited effect on hazard perception among novice drivers due to the fact that the material is less interactive. In this project a simulator-based self-commentary training is implemented to improve hazard perception skills of novice drivers. This is combined with a follow-up survey on driving history to assess training transfer and retention.
 

Contact person: dr. Ellen Jongen 
 

Project 4.2: Effect of additional traffic control devices on promoting alertness and appropriate behaviour

Additional traffic control devices can take many forms, going from all sorts of road pavement markings such as transverse rumble strips, to more traditional traffic signs such as advisory speed limits, (chevron) alignment signs and delineators, etcetera. More and more popular are the so-called digital information displays. These can be particularly useful in situations where a dynamic management of speed limits is warranted, such as for instance, in case of highway work zones. The project proposes an experiment that will take place in the driving simulator. Depending on the technical feasibility, the very precise devices or adaptations, as well as the specific traffic situations and the target population(s) to be tested, will be determined. In terms of traffic situations to be selected, one potentially interesting candidate to be investigated, could be highway work zones. In terms of samples to be tested, different motorist profiles can be an option, ranging from younger to adult or older drivers as well as professional drivers such as truck drivers.
 

Contact person: dr. Kris Brijs 
 

Project 4.3: Road design and infrastructure

This project relates to the engineering pillar, only here the focus is more specifically on road design and infrastructure. The Flemish, Federal and European government formulated policy intentions proposing a variety of infrastructural measures to achieve the stated road safety objectives. Possible measures are the improvement and extension of pedestrian and bicycle facilities, the implementation of dynamic traffic management, the optimization of signalization in work zones and tunnels, the development of self-explaining and forgiving roads in order to categorize the road network correctly, etcetera.
 

Together with the Roads and Traffic Agency it will be decided which measures are to be evaluated. In this project, we propose a double approach for the ex-ante evaluation of a measure: a driving simulator experiment and a before and after field study of the test setting.
 

Contact person: dr. Kris Brijs 

Lijn

Mission

The Policy Research Centre for Traffic Safety carries out policy relevant scientific research under the authority of the Flemish Government. The Centre is the result of a

cooperation between Hasselt University, KU Leuven and VITO, the Flemish Institute for Technological Research.

Partners

Leuven vito