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Road safety design and human factor interaction

Keywords: Road Safety, Human Factor, Driver psychology, Self-Explaining Roads, Workload management
Fig. 1. Mobile Eye-XG glasses for examination of human eye movement and pupil dynamics- installation (Author: Andrea Simone).
Fig. 2. Mobile Eye-XG glasses for examination of human eye movement and pupil dynamics- output (Author: Andrea Simone).

Road safety depends on the integrated and com-plex relationship between various components: the driver’s psychology, the traffic, the vehicle, the environment and the road infrastructure. The human element is certainly the most vulnerable, but also the most flexible, in any decision-making process. Road users try to drive in a safe way but the task is complex and the environment is not designed to prevent errors occurring. This research starts from a different perspective. We believe that in many cases the design of the road environment can be further adjusted to human capabilities. The central theme of this study is to estimate how design principles can reduce the probability of errors while driving. In order to study the driver-road interaction we assess the looking behavior using a mobile eye tracker.

Specifically, the ongoing studies in collaboration with Psychology Department of the University of Bologna focus on:

(a) the role of vertical traffic signs in influencing driving and the study of new engineering solutions to make traffic signs more conspicuous;
(b) the transition zones between rural and urban areas and the study of the most common safety measures such as “town gate”, constituted by a restriction of the carriageway with appropriate vertical and horizontal signs;
(c) the understanding of the risks associated with roadside advertising in its various guises so that informed guidelines for the regulation of such advertising can be formulated;
(d) before-after analysis for road maintenance interventions to evaluate the impact on the users‘ safety, matching visual behavior and speed data;
(e) user behavior analysis through the use of driv-ing simulators in collaboration with IFSTTAR Paris.

The existing road design regulations are mainly related to motorized traffic and the main aim of this research is the integration of existing regulations and standards with “human behavior” findings for a safer infrastructure design. Car drivers, bike riders, unprotected users as cyclists and pe-destrians are carried into the focus of concern.

Main publications

Pieroni A., Lantieri C., Imine H. & Simone A. 2016. Light vehicle model for dynamic car simu-lator. Transport, Special Issue on the Impact of Vehicle Movement on Exploitation Parameters of Roads and Runways, Taylor and Francis, Volume 31, Issue 2, pages 242-249. ISSN: 16484142.

Lantieri C., Lamperti R., Simone A., Costa M., Vignali V., Sangiorgi C., Dondi G. 2015. Gate-way design assessment in the transition from high to low speed areas. Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour. Volume 34, Article number 843, Pages 41-53.ISSN: 13698478

Costa M., Dondi G., Bucchi A., Simone A., Vi-gnali V., Lantieri C. 2014. "Looking behavior for vertical road signs". Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, Volume 23, Pages 147-155. ISSN: 13698478.

Dondi G., Lantieri C., Vignali V., Manganelli G. 2012. Effects of Flickering Seizures on Road Drivers and Passengers, 5th International Con-gress Sustainability of Road Infrastructures, Rome, Italy 29-31 October 2012, Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences Volume 53, Pages 712–721. ISSN: 1877-0428.

Bucchi A., Sangiorgi C., Vignali V. 2012. Traffic psychology and driver behaviour, 5th International Congress Sustainability of Road Infrastructures, Rome, Italy 29-31 October 2012, Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences Volume 53, 3 October 2012, Pages 973–980 - ISSN 1877-0428.

Dondi G., Simone A., Lantieri C., Vignali V. 2011. Bike lane design: the context sensitive ap-proach, International Conference on Green Build-ings and Sustainable Cities, GBSC 2011; Bologna; Italy; 15 - 16 September 2011; Volume 21, 2011, Pages 897-906 Code 87887. ISSN: 18777058.

Dondi G., Simone A., Lantieri C. & Vignali V. 2010. “Bike lane design: the context sensitive approach”, 16th IRF world road meeting, 25-28 Maggio 2010, Lisbona.

Bonivento C., Dondi G., Paoli A., Sartini M., Si-mone A. (2011). Modular model building for ve-hicular traffic systems with macroscopic dynamics, 18th IFAC World Congress, August 2011, Milano, Italy. IFAC Papers OnLine, World Con-gress, Vol 18 | Part 1, ISSN 1474-6670.

Simone A., Vignali V., Marinelli M. 2007. Inter-section design and powered two wheelers interac-tion: experimental investigation of an accident prediction model, Proceedings 4th International SIIV Congress – Palermo (ITALY), 12-14 Sep-tember 2007 – ISBN 13-978-88-8207-260-5.

Bucchi A., Biasuzzi K., Simone A. 2004. Evalua-tion of Design consistency: a new operating speed model for rural roads with different grades, Proceedings 2nd International SIIV Congress – Firenze, 27 - 29 October 2004 – ISBN 888-4532-698.

Simone A. Road Design and Human Factor Inter-action. 2002. Human Factors in Transportation, Communication, Health and the Workplace, D. de Waard, K.A. Brookhuis, C.M. Weikert, and A. Toffetti Editors, Maastricht, the Netherlands; Shaker Publishing, pp. 205-208, ISBN 90-423-0206-2.

Research projects

Research Project Agreement between DICAM and Provincia di Forli Cesena. Road Safety analysis in Pilot Project for the development and safety of San Lorenzo in Noceto in the Municipality of Forlì. 2016.

Research Project Agreement between DICAM and Provincia di Bologna Road Administration. Road safety analysis of the Province Road N.610 “Selice Montanara”. 2013.