A great deal of traffic safety research has focused on the problems that are specific to motorway or urban environments. The aim of the proposed project is to identify and quantify safety critical factors and processes specific to the rural environment fro m a traffic systems perspective (human, vehicle, and roadway environment). The area of study is primarily suburban and rural intersections where traffic accidents are most frequent and where accidents tend to be of high severity, because of high man-road speeds. Following an initial literature inventory and review of current accident data, the methodology will entail detailed site observation and measurement (traffic safety and performance).
The information from these studies will form a suitable foundation for investigative driving simulator studies and high-fidelity microsimulation, where identified variables and processes can be manipulated in a safe and controllable environment. Besides gaining a wealth of new safety relevant information, it is planned t o develop adaptive statistical models and standardised indexes for accident prediction. These models are aimed at the field of transportation planning and proactive safety countermeasure engineering. This research will be conducted in close cooperation wit h the highway and police authorities.
Furthermore, close international contact will be maintained and established with other research groups working in related areas. A major goal of this work is to contribute to the European Road Safety Action Program and the Commission's proposal to halve the number of people killed on the roads by 2010 and promote a sustainable traffic safety development for the future.
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