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Roadway Human Factors and Behavioral Safety in Europe

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Report cover


  1. Scan team in Helsinki preparing for first site visit.
  2. Map of sites visited.
  3. Team cochairs presenting an overview of the scan study goals in Helsinki.
  4. Topography can create self-organizing roads.
  5. A roundabout is a self-organizing road.
  6. Scan team members examining 2+1 road in Sweden.
  7. 2+1 roadway. Note the cable barrier and sign indicating the length of the passing lane.
  8. 2+1 cable barrier. The post is easily removed for maintenance.
  9. Proposed standard 2+1-cable barrier cross section within existing 13-m (14.2-yd) roadway.
  10. Example of road narrowing in the Netherlands.
  11. The Laerdal Tunnel project.
  12. Alternate lighting models for the Laerdal Tunnel.
  13. Improved design of rock cavern and roundabout increased safety and comfort.
  14. Rock caverns.
  15. Ernest Huckaby, Tore Knudsen, and Barry Kantowitz discuss SINTEF's mission.
  16. Gunnar Jenssen explains self-organizing roads.
  17. Scan team members Tom Granda and Leanna Depue ride in the SINTEF driving simulator.
  18. The Stockholm Ring Road-25 km (15.5 mi) tunnels with underground junctions.
  19. VTI's driving simulator hall.
  20. The virtual tunnel defined by combining data from several data sources: drawings, photographs, models, and discussions.
  21. Researcher Selma de Ridder explains driver behavior.
  22. Researcher Viola Cavallo presents fog simulation results.
  23. Barry Kantowitz, report facilitator, participates in meeting on driving simulators.
  24. VTI Driving Simulator III.
  25. Roundabout entry in Sweden.
  26. Sign indicating speed camera in Sweden.
  27. Project Manager Bente Nielsen presents intelligent speed adaptation overview.
  28. The COSMODRIVE cognitive model.
  29. Driver behavior model used at TNO.
  30. The driver task-cube model.


  1. Team members.
  2. Sites visited.
  3. Examples of simulator studies.
  4. Benefit and cost considerations when selecting a driving simulator.


The Federal Highway Administration provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.

Technical Report Documentation Page

  1. Report No. FHWA-PL-05-005
  2. Government Accession No.
  3. Recipient's Catalog No.
  4. Title and Subtitle Roadway Human Factors and Behavioral Safety in Europe
  5. Report Date May 2005
  6. Performing Organization Code
  7. Author(s) Kevin Keith, Michael Trentacoste, Leanna Depue, Thomas Granda, Ernest Huckaby, Bruce Ibarguen, Barry Kantowitz, Wesley Lum, Terecia Wilson
  8. Performing Organization Report No.
  9. Performing Organization Name and Address
    American Trade Initiatives
    P.O. Box 8228
    Alexandria, VA 22306-8228
  10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)
  11. Contract or Grant No. DTFH61-99-C-005
  12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address
    Office of International Programs
    Office of Policy
    Federal Highway Administration
    U.S. Department of Transportation
    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
  13. Type of Report and Period Covered
  14. Sponsoring Agency Code
  15. Supplementary Notes
    FHWA COTR: Hana Maier, Office of International Programs
  16. Abstract

    Human factors issues associated with roadway design and operations are critical components of improving highway safety. The Federal Highway Administration, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and National Cooperative Highway Research Program sponsored a scanning study of European countries to identify how they incorporate human factors issues in the research, design, and operation of highways.

    The U.S. delegation observed seven concepts in Denmark, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden that it recommends for possible implementation in the United States. They include self-organizing roads, use of driving simulators in roadway design, multidisciplinary teams to investigate crashes, speed management techniques such as speed cameras, human-centered roadway analysis and design, cognitive models of drivers, and top-down leadership on safety goals.

    The team's recommendations for U.S. action include evaluating the 2+1 roadway design, promoting the use of driving simulators among the road-design community, assessing opportunities for coordinating longterm research on human factors and cognitive models, and encouraging top leadership commitment to road safety improvement.

  17. Key Words
    2+1 roadway, cognitive model, driving simulator, human factors, multidisciplinary crash investigation team, safety, self-organizing road, speed management
  18. Distribution Statement

    No restrictions. This document is available to the public from the: Office of International Programs, FHWA-HPIP, Room 3325, U.S. Department of Transportation, Washington, DC 20590

  19. Security Classify. (of this report) Unclassified
  20. Security Classify. (of this page) Unclassified
  21. No. of Pagesc 52
  22. Price Free

Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72) Reproduction of completed page authorized

Prepared by the International Scanning Study Team

Kevin Keith
Missouri DOT

Michael Trentacoste

Leanna DePue
Central Missouri State University

Thomas Granda

Ernest Huckaby

Bruce Ibarguen
Maine DOT

Barry Kantowitz
University of Michigan
Report Facilitator

Wesley Lum
California DOT

Terecia Wilson
South Carolina DOT

American Trade Initiatives, Inc.
LGB & Associates, Inc.
Federal Highway Administration
U.S. Department of Transportation
American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
National Cooperative Highway Research Program

(Panel 20-36)
of the Transportation Research Board

May 2005
FHWA International Technology Exchange Program

The Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Technology Exchange Program accesses and evaluates innovative foreign technologies and practices that could significantly benefit U.S. highway transportation systems. This approach allows for advanced technology to be adapted and put into practice much more efficiently without spending scarce research funds to recreate advances already developed by other countries.

The main channel for accessing foreign innovations is the International Technology Scanning Program. The program is undertaken jointly with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and its Special Committee on International Activity Coordination in cooperation with the Transportation Research Board's National Cooperative Highway Research Program Project 20-36 on "Highway Research and Technology-International Information Sharing," the private sector, and academia.

FHWA and AASHTO jointly determine priority topics for teams of U.S. experts to study. Teams in the specific areas being investigated are formed and sent to countries where significant advances and innovations have been made in technology, management practices, organizational structure, program delivery, and financing. Scanning teams usually include representatives from FHWA, State departments of transportation, local governments, transportation trade and research groups, the private sector, and academia.  

After a scan is completed, team members evaluate findings and develop comprehensive reports, including recommendations for further research and pilot projects to verify the value of adapting innovations for U.S. use. Scan reports, as well as the results of pilot programs and research, are circulated throughout the country to State and local transportation officials and the private sector. Since 1990, FHWA has organized more than 60 international scans and disseminated findings nationwide on topics such as pavements, bridge construction and maintenance, contracting, intermodal transport, organizational management, winter road maintenance, safety, intelligent transportation systems, planning, and policy.

The International Technology Scanning Program has resulted in significant improvements and savings in road program technologies and practices throughout the United States. In some cases, scan studies have facilitated joint research and technology-sharing projects with international counterparts, further conserving resources and advancing the state of the art. Scan studies have also exposed transportation professionals to remarkable advancements and inspired implementation of hundreds of innovations. The result: large savings of research dollars and time, as well as significant improvements in the Nation's transportation system.

For a complete list of International Technology Scanning Program topics and to order free copies of the reports, please see the list contained in this publication and at www.international.fhwa.dot.gov, or e-mail international@fhwa.dot.gov.

FHWA International Technology Exchange Reports

International Technology Scanning Program

Bringing Global Innovations to U.S. Highways

Planning and Environment
Policy and Information

All publications are available on the Internet at www.international.fhwa.dot.gov

Acronym and Abbreviations
AASHTO American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
COSMODRIVE Cognitive Simulation Model of the Driver
DOT Department of Transportation
DTF Danish Transport Research Institute
EC European Community
EU European Union
FHWA Federal Highway Administration
GPS Global positioning system
HF Human factors
HUMANIST HUMAN-centered design for Information Society Technologies
IHSDM Interactive Highway Safety Design Model
ITS Intelligent transportation system
NCHRP National Cooperative Highway Research Program
INRETS French National Institute for Transport and Safety
SINTEF Foundation of Scientific and Industrial Research at the Norwegian Institute of Technology
SWOV Netherlands Institute of Road Safety Research
TNO Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research
VALT Finnish Motor Insurers' Centre
VTI Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

Office of International Programs
400 Seventh Street, SW Washington, DC 20590
Tel: 202-366-9636
Fax: 202-366-9626

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