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PhD Defence Tim De Ceunynck

PhD Defence Tim De Ceunynck

Sep 29, 2017 16.00 uur - 00.00 uur

Universiteit Hasselt

campus Diepenbeek

Agoralaan Gebouw D

3590 Diepenbeek

Lokaal Auditorium H3

On Friday, September 29, 2017, Tim De Ceunynck defends his PhD entitled ‘Defining and applying surrogate safety measures and behavioural indicators through site-based observations’. In his PhD, he developed and tested among others the ‘Extended Delta-V’, a surrogate road safety measure that can measure the severity of traffic situations in an improved way.

Please confirm your attendance at the defence and/or reception via tim.deceunynck@uhasselt.be before the 20th of September.


Drivers just managed to avoid a motorist driving against the traffic on the motorway. A pedestrian unexpectedly crossed the street, but the driver managed to stop the car in time. Such “near accidents” – accidents who nearly did not take place and thus didn’t result in corporal or material damage – often occur. Contrary to accident data, near accidents aren’t systematically registered in a database. However, they can offer many benefits. Therefore, for his doctoral thesis, Tim De Ceunynck analyzed videos of near-accidents and payed specific attention in his analysis to surrogate safety indicators and behavioural indicators. “With surrogate safety indicators, we can objectively measure the severity of a traffic situation. It indicates for example how close two road users came to an accident. Behavioural indicators are rather indicators such as speed, lane position and priority giving”, said Tim De Ceunynck.

After mapping the currently used indicators, their strengths and weaknesses in his literature study, he developed a new surrogate safety indicator: ‘Extended Delta-V’. “This indicator gains a better insight to the severity of traffic situations, as it calculates how close two road users came to an accident and examines how severe the outcome could have been in case of a collision. Thus, we combine the existing techniques with the know-how of accident reconstruction. This offers interesting insights for policy makers, as road safety policy should focus on the problem areas where most severe accidents take place.” The new developed indicator and the acquired experiences are currently being further applied and explored in depth within the European project InDeV that aims to improve the Vulnerable Road Users’ (VRU) road safety in Europe.

Besides the development of the ‘Extended Delta-V’, Tim De Ceunynck used diverse surrogate safety indicators and behavioural indicators in the analysis of three case studies: 1) road safety of cyclists who are allowed on bus lanes, 2) behavioural adaptions of drivers to wind turbines standing close to the edge of the road and 3) differences in interactions between drivers at intersections with a priority to the right rule and intersections with priority regulation indicated. PhD-student Tim De Ceunynck elaborates on his research at his defence on Friday, September 29, 2017.

More information

PhD-student Tim De Ceunynck
Promoter Prof. Dr Tom Brijs (UHasselt)
Prof. Dr Åse Svensson (Lund University)
Co-promoters Prof. Dr Stijn Daniels (UHasselt)
Dr Aliaksei Laureshyn (Lund University)
Date Friday, September 29, 2017, at 4.00 p.m.
Location UHasselt (campus Diepenbeek)
Agoralaan Building D
Auditorium H3
3590 Diepenbeek