Road safety

Our main goal is to contribute to reducing traffic accidents. Indirectly, we thereby also address part of the congestion problem, as traffic jams are often caused by accidents. Our road safety research focuses on three major research themes.

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Human factors

The human factors theme investigates the complex interaction between road user, vehicle technology and the road environment within a context of increasing vehicle automation. In addition, this theme focuses on the underlying mechanisms of (risky) driving behaviour in different target groups such as young novice drivers, older drivers and drivers with specific clinical backgrounds (e.g. autism, depression). We mainly focus on the development of procedures and methodologies for the assessment (fitness-to-drive) and training of driving behaviour.

Principle investigators: Tom Brijs, Kris Brijs, Ariane Cuenen, Evelien Polders, Veerle Ross

Research topics:

  • Development and evaluation of advanced driving assistance systems;
  • Coaching and post-trip gamification as a method to influence knowledge, attitudes and driving style;
  • E-learning tools and methodologies to improve the driving skills of professional drivers;
  • The potentially distracting effects of (touch-sensitive) in-vehicle information displays (IVIDS);
  • Procedures and methodologies to assess and train drivers with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
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Risk and Policy evaluation

The 'risk and policy evaluation' theme focuses on the relationship between infrastructure, environment and behaviour and their influence on road safety, but also includes more general evaluation studies of road safety policies. Traditionally, this is done by applying various quantitative techniques (before-and-after evaluations, risk models), mostly based on crash and traffic data, but also through observation of human behaviour and traffic conflict techniques in real-life situations through technologies such as intelligent cameras and drones.

Principle investigators: Tom Brijs, Kris Brijs, Ali Pirdavani, Elke Hermans, Ariane Cuenen

Research topics:

  • Outcome and process evaluation studies to measure the impact of implemented policy or legislative initiatives;
  • Identification of conflicts and near misses via drones and cameras;
  • Analysis of road accidents based on road geometric features and traffic flow characteristics;
  • Analysis of risk behaviour of motorcyclists and measures to improve road safety;
  • Gamified E-learning platform for improving (motor)bike knowledge and skills;
  • Evaluation and testing of spatial accident prediction models;
  • Development and calibration of safety performance functions for Flanders-Belgium.
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Geometric design

The 'geometric design' theme evaluates the safety, comprehensibility, functionality and reliability of road design elements in an environment that is as close as possible to the real world and highly suitable for validation, verification and visualisation purposes. This approach allows road authorities to carry out user tests before the actual road elements are implemented. This is done based on scientific principles and objective parameters and in a cost-effective manner. We conduct research in this theme by using a virtual reality driving simulator and microsimulation models.

Principle investigators: Tom Brijs, Ali Pirdavani, Evelien Polders

Research topics:

  • Environmental design, intersection design, cycle path design, etc;
  • Application of AR in road infrastructure construction with specific use cases;
  • Evaluation of infrastructure measures to increase self-explaining character of roads;
  • Investigation of road infrastructure readiness for connected and autonomous vehicles;
  • Implications of higher levels of vehicle automation for safety and traffic performance in urban areas;
  • Analysis of viewing and driving behaviour in a driving simulator to evaluate the impact of infrastructural changes;
  • Assessment of geometric design changes to accommodate connected and autonomous vehicles.

We are looking for participants for scientific studies

Apply to participate in scientific studies on transportation & road safety!

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Do you have a question or would you like to collaborate with IMOB?

Then don't hesitate to contact us. We are available every weekday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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