Increasing safety margins
The MeBeSafe project will develop and test solutions that direct road users (drivers and cyclists) towards safer behaviour in common traffic situations, which carry an elevated risk. The purpose of the MeBeSafe project is to reduce the number of “almost-crashes“, also known as risky situations. By increasing the safety margins, and thereby avoiding risky situations, the effect will be fewer crashes in general.
However daily traffic users usually receive none or little feedback on whether their behaviour is risky or is within the adequate safety margins. MeBeSafe intends to change habitual traffic behaviour using different ways of nudging and coaching.
Traffic behaviour is mainly habitual
Navigating in traffic is a very common activity for most people and the behaviour is almost automatic.
Many traffic safety measures fail to reach their potential, because the presentation of the situational information or choices appeal to the deliberating, consciously decision-making user, instead of the average real road user, for whom traffic is primarily a habitual task requiring little thought.
By using the nudging concept from behavioural economics (Thaler and Sunstein 2008), the driver will instead be encouraged to make a safer choice without thinking about it. However, other options are not banned out and nudging measures can therefore feel less intrusive.
Road accident statistics clearly show a number of high-level causation factors:
- Failure to look properly
- Excessive speed for the circumstance
- Impeded mental and/or physical condition of the driver (distraction, fatigue)
MeBeSafe intends to address these risk factors through eight selected objectives:
|•||Improve timely attention to a forecasted hazard|
|•||Reduce average vehicle speed at a certain location|
|•||Get fewer drivers deviating from a preferred trajectory at a certain location|
|•||Get more cyclists to reduce their speed below a threshold speed when approaching urban intersections|
|•||Get drowsy drivers to take a break after receiving an in-vehicle feedback signal|
|•||Increase objective harsh braking safety performance of Professional Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV) drivers by a combination of online and offline coaching|
|•||Reduce close following by getting drivers to use Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) more often|
|•||Increase the effectiveness of the measures taken to realize the Adaptive Cruise Control objective by giving drivers non-immediate feedback (probably using coaching delivered through an app)|
The research and implementation will be conducted within the MeBeSafe project work packages.
This project (MeBeSafe) has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No. 723430.