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Effects of traffic infrastructure and road design on safe driving

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Author: Horst, A.R.A. van der
Publisher: Kirschbaum Verlag
Place: Bonn
Source:Risser, R., Fit to Drive : 8th International Traffic Expert Congress ; Warsaw - May 8-9, 2014, 49-55
Identifier: 520611
Keywords: Traffic · Human Performances · PCS - Perceptual and Cognitive Systems · ELSS - Earth, Life and Social Sciences


One of the building blocks of the Dutch success in road safety is the Sustainable Safety approach. This philosophy specifies that road safety should be a design requirement in road traffic with a focus on the use of human characteristics as a starting point, considering both humans’ physical vulnerability and cognitive capabilities and limitations. Roads are to be categorized according to their function and should be self-explaining as much as possible. Human factors should be included in the design process right from the beginning to ensure that the design meets fundamental human factors requirements. Following a brief general description of the driving task, of the cycle of human information processing, and of the levels of task performance, this paper will focus on some human factors rules to take the human as the measure of things in highway design and operation. An integrated road systems design should anticipate the potential occurrence of inadvertent aberrations. Situational awareness, workload, attention, road users’ perception and collection of relevant information from the environment, and the role of road users’ expectancy, are major human factors aspects to take into account for a safe road design. The effects of traffic infrastructure and road design on safe driving behaviour are illustrated by some examples (bad and good) to make road systems more resilient and robust against human error, and to make information carriers mutually consistent and uniform within their context.