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Road User Behaviour and Mobility

Possible uses of VR glasses in experimental road safety and mobility research (82.0748)
Despite considerable successes in road safety research, participation in road traffic is still associated with risks. Traffic and mobility behaviour can be studied using various methods from the field of behavioural sciences. Due to the rapidly developing technology in the field of virtual reality (VR), VR goggles and associated software and hardware (VR systems) are increasingly being used to conduct behavioural science experiments. Currently, however, only rudimentary research has been conducted into the requirements that VR systems must fulfil in order to be able to generate or depict human behaviour validly and reliably in scientific studies. The aim of the research project is to compile an overview of the VR systems that are currently available and/or under development. The suitability of different VR systems and system combinations for use in road safety research will be described and evaluated.

Transport culture and transport marketing (70.0965)
The project addresses the question of how urban space with its limited traffic areas can be made more bicycle-friendly in terms of the mobility turnaround. The aim is to analyse both established and innovative infrastructure measures – also in combination with accompanying campaigns – how they can contribute to an increase in cycling. On the one hand it should be elaborated how areas shared with cyclists and motorised traffic could be designed for a better coexistence between the two traffic modes. On the other hand, options that aim at a separation of traffic in favour of cycling, are also of interest. The results of the study will be used to derive possible areas of application and implementation recommendations drawing up in form of publishable guidance for policy-makers and urban planners.

Analysis of the level of performance of the emergency services for the years 2020/21 (87.0015)
The quality of care for emergency patients and other patients depends, among other things, on the level of service provided by the emergency medical services. This performance level can be quantified by means of selected parameters and presented as annual averages. The aim of the study is to produce representative data on the performance of the public emergency rescue service in the Federal Republic of Germany for the years 2020 and 2021 and for the period 2020/21 as a whole.

Influence of psychological consequences of road traffic crashes (RTC) on the driving performance of car drivers involved in RTC (82.0734)
As a result of serious RTC, the victims often suffer from psychological impairment. Whether and in what way these complaints affect the road safety related driving skills of car drivers has hardly been investigated so far. The project will for the first time systematically investigate whether car drivers who suffer from psychological consequences of an RTC differ from those without psychological complaints with regard to their road-safety-relevant driving performance. The driving performance will be investigated in a driving simulator or in real traffic. The knowledge gained in the project should enable the derivation of target-oriented measures to reduce driving deficits.

In-depth analysis of accidents involving older drivers (82.0711)
Although from the age of about 75, an increased accident risk is determined in research, the mere knowledge of the chronological age of a person does not allow a reliable prediction of his performance. The common characteristics of accident statistics such as accident type and accident causes are not sufficient to make statements about which accident constellations are favoured by older drivers and to what extent by situation- and person-related characteristics. Since 2011, the accident research department of the MHH has been collecting the detailed accident cause of the drivers and pedestrians involved in the accident according to the detailed classification scheme ACAS developed by traffic psychologists. The ACAS data are generated in the context of the "accident surveys at the scene of the accident", which makes it possible to link the causes with the other socio-demographic and accident statistics data collected during the accident. The aim of the project is to derive specific statements on the cause of traffic accidents of older drivers on the basis of the in-depth accident data collected. The question of possible performance restrictions for older people is also addressed.

Older pedestrians - Requirements for problem-free and safe participation in traffic from a psychological point of view (SENIORWALK) (4318005)
Due to the demographic development and the associated increased participation of older people in traffic, an increase in the number of pedestrians involved in accidents is to be expected. The support of older road users in questions of safe mobility as pedestrians has not yet been the focus of research and measures. A central prerequisite for the implementation of supporting measures for senior citizens is knowledge of their expectations with regard to safety, their own competencies, the benefits of advice, information or practice. These, in turn, are linked to life circumstances and certain personal characteristics. The aim of this project is to investigate these interrelationships in detail, guided by theory, in order to derive supporting measures for this group of road users. The results of the study can be used, for example, to find answers to the following questions: Which traffic situations are particularly dangerous for senior citizens as pedestrians? How can the demand for advice for senior citizens to participate in traffic as pedestrians be increased? What can such advice look like? How can older people be made more aware of dangers that are particularly relevant for pedestrians? How can the chances of success of a target group-specific approach be guaranteed? The data are collected within the framework of a nationwide representative survey. It is based on a theoretical concept developed by BASt and applied in the SENIORLIFE project (4315008).

The Influence of Highly Automated Vehicles on the Driving Behaviour and Attitudes of Manual Drivers in Mixed Traffic (4318007)
Experts anticipate that highly automated vehicles (SAE level 3) will have reached market maturity by the early 2020s. Initially, these vehicles will operate together with manually operated vehicles in a so-called “mixed traffic” environment. This is likely to present new challenges for manual drivers and other vulnerable road users. Current indications suggest that the way highly automated vehicles operate in mixed traffic will result in new and potentially unexpected situations for other road users. The literature has already documented situations in which interactions between highly automated vehicles and manual drivers can lead to safety-critical situations and inappropriate reactions on the part of the manual drivers. As it stands, it remains unclear how other road users will respond to the particular challenges posed by the way highly automated vehicles behave on the road, and whether repeated interactions with these vehicles will alter road users’ attitudes and their acceptance of them. This project aims to study the influence of highly automated vehicles in mixed traffic on the driving behaviour of manual drivers and their attitudes towards highly automated vehicles

Atlas of Traffic Accidents Involving Children: 2013 to 2017 (4318004)
This project aims to compile an atlas of traffic accidents involving children, categorising according to frequency the number of child accidents which took place in German administrative districts between 2013 and 2017 To this end, child accident statistics in these districts (divided according to whether the children were pedestrians, cyclists or passengers) will be cross-referenced with population data. Further parameters will be developed over the course of the study. The study will then present the regional distribution of child accidents in the atlas according to frequency. Furthermore, municipalities and administrative districts will be grouped together in categories of various sizes to enable comparisons between the administrative districts within each given category. There will also be an evaluation for the Land as a whole. This is the third edition of the atlas of traffic accidents involving children; the project already received a broad welcome in 2005 and 2012.

ESRA2 (4318006)
The Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt) is one of 26 research institutes participating in the E-Survey of Road Users' Attitudes (ESRA). This network of institutes – brought together by the Belgian research institute Vias – has collected comparable data on the attitudes and behaviour of road users, generating a broad range of information from several countries on speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol, distractions/fatigue and safety systems. By using the same pool of questions as the first survey in 2015, it has been possible to analyse the way in which attitudes to road safety have changed over time.

Elderly Pedestrians – Conditions for Problem-Free and Safe Participation in Road Traffic from a Psychological Perspective (SENIORWALK) (4318005)
In 2014, the number of seniors involved in road traffic accidents was nearly 15% in the 65+ age-group. In the 75+ age-group, the number was as high as 59%. For the elderly, participating in road traffic as a pedestrian is not necessarily any safer than driving a car; nevertheless, the elderly are still more likely to undertake a journey on foot. Furthermore, elderly pedestrians are particularly susceptible to injury, for example as the result of falls which might result in broken bones or morbidity. Demographic change is likely to bring about an increase in the number of accidents involving pedestrians. But research and policy measures have yet to focus on providing elderly pedestrians with support in questions of safe mobility. This kind of support can be provided by issuing targeted public safety communications, improved route guidance and by adapting infrastructure. But improved vehicle construction and technology can also contribute to preventing accidents with pedestrians or – in the case of a collision – alleviating their consequences. One core condition for making support mechanisms available for elderly pedestrians is knowing their expectations regarding safety and accessibility, their own perceived skills, and their readiness to use advice and information services. This project aims to study these correlations in detail, in order to identify any measures which might be implemented to assist elderly pedestrians.

Prevalence, User Characteristics and Potential Dangers of Using Mobile Telephones whilst Cycling (4317015)
In a survey conducted in the Netherlands, 55 percent of the cyclists questioned stated that they used their mobile telephones at least occasionally while cycling. To date, there remains no equivalent information in Germany on user characteristics or the prevalence of mobile telephone use among cyclists. This project seeks to add to the existing knowledge base regarding the degree to which mobile telephones influence the road traffic safety of cyclists. The project will use a survey to find out more about the nature and frequency of mobile telephone use among cyclists, about user characteristics and motivations, and safety-critical traffic situations. These subjective statements will be supplemented by objective data taken from behavioural observations of cyclists participating in road traffic. This approach aims to provide an insight into the frequency with which cyclists use their mobile telephones while cycling and to what degree this increases the likelihood of them being involved in an accident. Furthermore, the study seeks to collect information about the users and their motivations in order to assess how certain user characteristics influence mobile telephone use. The knowledge gleaned from the surveys and observations will contribute to making recommendations for the target- group-specific design of road safety measures for cyclists.

The Development of Human Factors affecting the Road Traffic Safety of Elderly Motorists and their Impact on Driving Ability: A Longitudinal Study over Five Years (82.0649)
To date, all data on road traffic safety relating to the risk of elderly drivers being involved in a road accident have been based on cross-sectional analyses. These have served as the basis for national and international publications to identify an increased risk of accident based on driving ability for drivers above the age of 75. However, as yet no research has been conducted on individual developments in factors related to mobility and road traffic safety among elderly car drivers. As a consequence, there is a noticeable lack of insight into the dynamics of change processes. This also affects the question regarding the point at which age-related conditions which are relevant for road traffic safety begin, how long it takes before people adapt their behaviour to their new circumstances, and which internal or external factors tend to trigger changes in behaviour. This project seeks to follow the development of factors relating to the mobility and road traffic safety of the elderly using a longitudinal study covering a time frame of six years. The study will identify relevant changes in people’s personal lives, such as illness, medication, expectations and attitudes, together with changes in their life situation and the traffic environment, and examine how and when these exert an influence on the mobility behaviour of the elderly and the risk of them being involved in an accident. In conducting this study, an age window should also be defined marking the period within which the risk of accident among the elderly is likely to increase.