Ways to Improve Road Safety

There are many ways to develop, test and evaluate measures to improve road safety, including accident statistics and investigations, checklists, simulations, simulator tests and driving tests on a test site or in real traffic, observation of behavior in traffic, and naturalistic driving studies. There is no single ideal method that meets all requirements equally. Every method has its place in the development process and comes with advantages and disadvantages. The reliability and validity of findings are the central criteria for all methods.

Checklists require little effort and can provide valuable information at an early stage of development. One example is the NICE system, which was developed here at the Institute as an interactive system for evaluating control concepts (Färber, Berthold; Müller, Matthias, 2000).

The challenge associated with all experimental methods is that, on the one hand, realistic scenarios are required to obtain reliable and valid information but, on the other hand, test participants must not be exposed to any risk.