International Cooperation and Mobility
Međunarodni projekt/International project
Program/Programme: Croatian Science Foundation – Unity Through Knowledge Fund
Trajanje/Duration: 01/09/2019 – 30/11/2019
Iznos financiranja/Funding: 56,300 HRK
Ukupna vrijednost projekta/Project value: 56,300 HRK
Uloga fakulteta/Faculty role: Partner
Voditelj/ica projekta na Fakultetu/Faculty coordinator: Dario Babić
Web stranice projekta/Project website:
Traffic accidents are a significant social problem and the World Health Organization estimates that losses related to them amount from 1% up to 3% of gross domestic product, depending on the state. For this reason, in 2010 the European Commission adopted the fourth European Road Safety Action Program, aimed at reducing the number of fatalities on EU roads in the ten-year period by 50%. The program focuses on several key factors, one of which is transport infrastructure, where traffic signaling, i.e. road markings and traffic signs form an important part. Since drivers collect more than 90% of traffic information visually, inadequate, poorly designed and poorly maintained road markings and traffic signs may have a negative impact on the driver’s behavior and thus contribute to the occurrence of traffic accidents. This is particularly evident during low-visibility conditions in which drivers show much less visual adaptation, have shorter visual field, reduced peripheral vision, lower contrast sensitivity and vision clarity, and poorer perception of motion, color and hue. Precisely due to the above reasons, the aim of the project is to investigate how different and innovative solutions related to traffic signaling impact the driver’s behavior in low-visibility conditions. The study will be conducted using a driving simulator in which most common risky situations in road traffic, according to the scientific literature, will be simulated in order to evaluate the impact of each potential improvement related to the road markings and traffic signs. This will enable gaining deeper knowledge about the potential solutions, which represent the basis for future practical recommendations aimed at reducing the risk of accidents and thus increasing the overall road safety.
Results: The first part of the research project (preliminary phase) included a review of the scientific literature and road accidents data. In this way, we identified the most common situations hazardous to road safety and analysed used measures related to traffic signalling and their effect on driver behaviour. Based on the first part, i. e. identification of common hazardous situations to road safety and most used countermeasures, a detailed research plan was defined. The agreed research plan consisted of two scenarios on a driving simulator. The goal of the first scenario was to analyse the effect of different visibilities of road markings on driver behaviour in night-time conditions. Using different luminance options in the driving simulator software and a different contrast ratio between the colour of the marking and the road, the visibility of markings was set to: “poor marking visibility”, “moderate marking visibility” and “good marking visibility”. The driving scenario consisted of a run on a two-way rural road in the length of 12 km in night-time conditions. The goal of the second scenario was to test how different road marking measures effect driver behaviour in curves. For this purpose, we conducted an analysis of accidents occurred in curves on the two-way rural road DC1 in Croatia in the period from 2014 to 2017. The selected road connects the north continental part of Croatia with the southern Mediterranean part and represents the primary alternative to the highway. The most dangerous curves were identified based on mapping the accidents by using Geographical Information Systems (GIS). The geometry of the identified dangerous curves was then replicated in the driving simulator scenario. The total length of the scenario was 20.300 km and it included in total 14 identical curves. The used road marking measures have not been tested in the current academic literature. Each of the 14 curves had a different combination of vertical and horizontal signalling in order to test the effect of each measure. In both scenarios, driver behaviour was described using several key variables: driving speed, lateral position of the vehicle and relationship between acceleration and deceleration. Both scenarios developed during the second phase of the project were implemented in the driving simulator. The dissemination of project results is planned through publication in high index journals and presentation in international scientific conferences.