Road safety

Universiteit Hasselt - Knowledge in action


Within this research domain, we study road safety of individuals and systems in various conditions. We focus on causes and mechanisms of road crashes and possible countermeasures. Our projects deal with epidemiological, economic, behavioural, theoretical and empirical aspects of road crashes.

Sample activities include research on:

  • Drivers’ behavioural responses to various road designs
  • Observation of direct and indirect safety indicators
  • Developing personal road safety scores based on naturalistic data
  • Evaluation of intervention programmes
  • Ex ante and ex post assessment of changes in road design
  • Assessment of possible system changes related to advances in vehicle technology (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, Intelligent Transport Systems, increased autonomy levels) 

Projects and realisations

Policy Research Centre Road Safety

Within the policy research centres structural financing for policy-relevant research is foreseen in fields and/or subjects which are a priority for the Flemish government. The principal assignment of a policy research centre is to carry out research assignments aimed at problems relevant to policy. By means of the policy research centres one whishes to collect and/or build a critical mass in a number of carefully chosen sectors in order to create a certain degree of stability within a clearly fixed contractual framework.

For the third time in a row financing is foreseen for a policy research centre in the field of Road Safety'. And for the third time in a row, IMOB of Hasselt University coördinates this centre. This policy research centre is carried by a consortium of partners where besides UHasselt (IMOB), also the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (research groups SADL, ETE and CIB) and the Flemish Institution for Technological Research (VITO) are part of. IMOB coordinates the project and is involved in all the work packages.

More information:

Project ID

  • Period: 01/01/2012 - 31/12/2015
  • Client: Flemish Government - Department of Economics, Science and Innovation (EWI)
  • Project partners: KU Leuven, VITO, UHasselt- IMOB
  • Project coordinator: UHasselt-IMOB

INTRAS - Inequalities in traffic safety

In health research extensive evidence is found on socio-economic and cultural differences on health outcomes. One of these health concerns are traffic injuries which impact is expected to increase worldwide. As in other health domains inequalities are found in accident involvement.

Again underprivileged groups are the most vulnerable. Injury research however still lacks explanatory models on how contextual and individual factors contribute to injury causation.  The main objective for this study is therefore to reveal some of these mechanisms that explain the differences that occur in road accident involvement in Belgium. Since no studies have been conducted on the differences in road accident involvement in Belgium by different socioeconomically and culturally defined groups, this will also be part of this research proposal.

Three work packages in the project have a primary research focus: WP1 - Conceptualization and dimensions, WP2 - Mechanisms, including survey and WP3 - Data-integration. IMOB coordinates the project and is mainly involved in work packages one and two.

Project ID

  • Period: 01/10/2013 - 31/12/2017
  • Client: Belspo, BRAIN-be, axis 5
  • Project partners: University of Liège – Local Environment Management and Analysis (LEMA), Belgian Road Safety Institute (BIVV), UHasselt-IMOB
  • Project coordinator: UHasselt-IMOB

InDeV - In-Depth understanding of accident causation for Vulnerable road users

InDeV is a EU-financed Horizon 2020-project. The main objective of the InDeV project is to contribute to the improvement of Vulnerable Road Users’ (VRU) safety in Europe, by developing an integrated methodology (compiled in a toolbox) for understanding accident causes for VRUs and a framework for good practice for a comprehensive assessment of socio-economic costs related to road-accidents involving VRUs.

Apart from the project management and dissemination activities, the project consists of 5 work packages. IMOB is coordinating WP6  on the development of a Vulnerable road user safety analysis toolbox and is taking part in work packages 2 (Review of study methods and identification of critical sites and situations for VRU Safety) and 3 (Observational Studies).

More information:

Project ID

  • Period: 01/05/2015 - 31/04/2015
  • Client: European Commission (Horizon 2020)
  • Project partners: UniNA - University of Naples Federico II (IT), LU - Lund University (SE), AAU - Alborg University (DK), BASt - The Federal Highway Research Institute (DE), HU - Hasselt University (BE), TNO - Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (NL), WUT - Warsaw University of Technology (PL), INTRA - Traffic Engineering (ES), PU - Purdue University (USA), PM - Polytechnique Montréal (CA), UHasselt-IMOB (BE)
  • Project coordinator: UniNA - University of Naples Federico II (IT)

About the validity of road user behaviour and near accidents as predictors of the number and the nature of road accidents

The main objective of this research is to improve the understanding of crash occurrence by defining relations of these crashes with crash-preceding events and higher-order conditions that influence the occurrence of these preceding events. An improved knowledge hereof would contribute to the establishment of conceptual, law-like relationships between variables describing features of the traffic system (roadway, vehicles and human (inter)actions) and the level of road safety.

The project consists of four parts, each of them related to particular research questions on (1) the validation of traffic conflicts as safety indicators, (2) error recovery strategies, (3) validating relationships between near-crash events and more common behaviour and (4) assessing the ‘self-explaining’ nature of road environments. The project is funded by the Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO) and is entirely executed within IMOB.

Project ID

  • Period: 01/10/2014 - 30/09/2017
  • Client: FWO (post doc scholarship)
  • Project partners: -
  • Project coordinator: UHasselt-IMOB

Evaluation of the effectiviness of speed cameras in the field of road safety

This study evaluated the effects of two different automated speeding enforcement on motorways: fixed speed cameras and automated section speed control. Effects on both speed behaviour and on the resulting number of crashes were assessed.

The contract was issued by the Flemish Government, Ministry of Mobility and Public Works. IMOB was responsible for the research setup, for all the analyses and for the reporting of the results. A subcontractor was hired for data-collection.

Project ID

  • Period: 01/06/2009 - 31/05/2013
  • Client: Flemish Government, Mobility and Public Works, Department Policy Mobility and Road Safety
  • Project partners: TEC Traffic Systems, UHasselt-IMOB
  • Project coordinator: UHasselt-IMOB