Federal Highway Research Institute

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Safety Concepts, Safety Communication

VAHRMOMENT: Development of an AI-supported virtual reality learning application (81.0021)
In addition to e-learning formats that are already common in some cases - such as virtual classrooms, explanatory videos on social media platforms or the classic "click"-based e-learning - the use of virtual reality (VR) is entering many classrooms today. For road safety education, however, such VR applications are still rare, as the potential of VR technology for road safety education has not yet been tapped. This research project aims to develop a VR application that can be used in target group programmes to help improve the safety of cyclists. Furthermore, the essential characteristics that must be fulfilled by VR applications to achieve a high level of user acceptance should be derived from the work. Thus, the project will make an important contribution to road safety.

EU-Baseline (4520004)
BASELINE aims to increase the number and availability of Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for road safety in Europe. For this purpose, a consortium was formed in which 19 EU Member States are involved, represented by national authorities and/or research institutions from the transport sector. For Germany BASt is participating. The consortium is led by the Belgian VIAS Institute. VIAS will be supported in its coordination activities by experts from other participating countries, in particular from the Netherlands and Greece. The consortium will develop methodological guidelines for collecting, processing and analyzing the data needed for the KPIs, provide KPIs for the 19 Member States, and will create a database with national KPIs for the European Commission.

Road safety communication in social networks (4520001)
In road safety work social marketing is primarily carried out via traditional mass media or focuses on direct communication, for example in the context of target group programmes. Apart from information and agenda setting functions, the main aim of the communication measures is to avoid risky behaviour. Evaluations show, however, that the messages partly fail to reach the addressed target groups or that the formats do not achieve any effect. Against the background of changing media usage patterns and in particular the increasing importance of social networks among all age groups and social strata, successful social marketing strategies via social networks have to be investigated for road safety communication. In this context, influencer communication has become an important topic, as it has the potential not only to inform followers, but also to influence their opinions, attitudes and behaviour. The project aims at identifying factors of road safety messages which raise problem awareness in social networks while increasing knowledge among recipients and thus also increase acceptance of the message.

Safety Performance Indicators in Road Traffic - Overview and Experience from International Practice (82.0715)
The degree of road safety in road traffic in Germany is usually determined on the basis of objective accident parameters. In many cases, however, problem areas that can be the cause of accidents are not adequately represented by the accident statistics. Safety Performance Indicators (SPI) are one way of completing the assessment of road safety. The SPI basically comprises all parameters which, in addition to the established accident and casualty figures, make it possible to measure a change in the level of safety in the traffic system. The aim of this project is the systematic identification, analysis and evaluation of road safety indicators in the context of road safety work in other nations and regions. Based on experiences with SPI or similar indicators from the international context, insights for the design, implementation and embedding of SPI in comprehensive road safety work will be gained. The results of the project should provide a sound basis for the development of a suitable SPI concept and corresponding indicators in Germany.

Safety Performance Indicators for Road Traffic (4218003)
The degree of road traffic safety on German roads is usually assessed using objective criteria for measuring the underlying factors behind road accidents, such as their frequency and severity. However, accidents are only the most serious manifestation of an unsafe road traffic system. Road safety also encompasses – in addition to the above parameters – other issues such as disruptions to the flow of traffic. In addition, certain problematic issues which might contribute to road traffic accidents – such as driver distractions -- are not adequately captured in the accident statistics. One possibility for delivering a more complete overview of road traffic safety is by using Safety Performance Indicators (SPIs). SPIs include all parameters which, in addition to the traditional accident and casualty statistics, make it possible to measure changes in the degree of safety in the road system. SPIs are already being used in some European countries and in Australia and New Zealand. Some international organisations (WHO, EU Commission) are seeking to introduce common standards for measuring SPIs. This project seeks to develop methodological principles and a conceptual base for introducing SPIs into work on road traffic safety in Germany.

Updating Research on Road Accident Costs (4288006)
The ability to conduct efficient road safety research rests on the existence of an up-to-date and detailed assessment of road accident costs which is comparable across Europe. With this in mind, the Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt) makes an annual calculation of the costs arising from road traffic accidents. The assessment of road accident costs in Germany is based on a number of different cost components covering the costs arising from an accident. Personal injuries include damage that occurs as the result of people being hurt or killed in road traffic accidents, whereas material damage describes the effect on material goods when they are damaged or destroyed in road traffic accidents.