Psychological road audits: background, development and intitial findings

Horberry, Tim, García-Fernández, Pedro, Ventsislavova-Petrova, Petya and Castro, Candida (2014) Psychological road audits: background, development and intitial findings. Ergonomics Australia, .

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Author Horberry, Tim
García-Fernández, Pedro
Ventsislavova-Petrova, Petya
Castro, Candida
Title Psychological road audits: background, development and intitial findings
Journal name Ergonomics Australia
ISSN 1033-1875
Publication date 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Total pages 6
Place of publication Baulkham Hills, NSW, Australia
Publisher Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: Road safety audits are becoming increasingly important around the world. They are often used to assess a new road before it is opened to the public, or to audit an existing highway.

Aims: Whilst traditional road audits are of critical importance, it is hypothesized that a driver-centred approach by means of "psychological road audits" could be beneficial for the safe road design process. The aim of this ongoing research is to develop a psychological road auditing process.

Method: The methodology being developed currently consists of three main components. Firstly, a naturalistic driving study, in which participants drive along the road being audited. Secondly, experimenters perform an analysis of the main driving tasks: these are decomposed into sub-tasks. Finally, a driver-centred design workshop based on the tasks decomposed in component 2; this identifies risks for each sub-tasks by means of a participatory ergonomics process, current controls employed are noted, road design deficiencies are identified and user-centred design improvements are developed.

Results: The project is a new Australian-Spanish-UK collaboration. For the naturalistic driving study component, initial data have been collected using a newly-opened highway in Granada, Spain. This road had a mixture of driving tasks, such as intersections and multi-lanes, plus has a comparatively high accident rate. To date, a range of experienced and novice drivers have driven the 10km route and had their verbal responses recorded. For the task analysis and driver-centred design workshop components, the driving task of "approaching an intersection" was first decomposed into sub-tasks and then used as the subject matter for the safe design workshop. This revealed many potential road design deficiencies and suggestions for improvement.

Conclusions: This research is still in its early stages. However, the approach used here, of providing a structured means of driver-centred safe highway design, is producing potentially valuable results.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article 6:1.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Minerals Industry Safety and Health Centre Publications
Official 2015 Collection
Sustainable Minerals Institute Publications
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Created: Wed, 09 Jul 2014, 18:39:45 EST by Dr Tim Horberry on behalf of Minerals Industry Safety and Health Centre