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Roadway human factors and behavioral safety in Europe


In: U.S. Department of Transportation

Authors: Kevin Keith, T. Wilson, W. Lum, Barry H. Kantowitz, B. Ibarguen, E. Huckaby, Thomas M. Granda, Leanna Depue, Michael F. Trentacoste

Human factors issues associated with roadway design and operations are critical components of improving highway safety. The Federal Highway Administration, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and National Cooperative Highway Research Program sponsored a scanning study of European countries to identify how they incorporate human factors issues in the research, design, and operation of highways.

The U.S. delegation observed seven concepts in Denmark, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden that it recommends for possible implementation in the United States. They include self-organizing roads, use of driving simulators in roadway design, multidisciplinary teams to investigate crashes, speed management techniques such as speed cameras, human-centered roadway analysis and design, cognitive models of drivers, and top-down leadership on safety goals.

The team’s recommendations for U.S. action include evaluating the 2+1 roadway design, promoting the use of driving simulators among the road-design community, assessing opportunities for coordinating long-term research on human factors and cognitive models, and encouraging top leadership commitment to road safety improvement.