Learn how to improve road safety from experts in engineering and the human factors.
Road traffic accidents currently result in about 1.35 million deaths each year and cause up to 50 million injuries. In addition to the impact on safety and human life this also results in significant economic losses.
By linking road engineering concepts and human behavior theories, this course will enable the design of safer roads, develop better road safety plans and policies and ensure the presence of the human factor in both policy and design.
The course uses real-life examples that show how these theories and models can be applied to your actual situation. The course will also demonstrate the importance of the underlying factors behind traffic accidents. The course covers some of the most important topics in road safety, such as road infrastructure design, the safety of vulnerable road users, the role of education, training and enforcement, and the implications of automated vehicles on road safety. These are all crucial topics that will be discussed from human, road, vehicle and policy perspectives.
What You'll Learn
After taking this course you will be able to:
- Explain the main road engineering concepts and human behavior theories
- Apply the latest theories and models to identify the causes of accidents and develop strategies for improving road safety
- Assess the effectiveness of different road safety solutions and interventions both current and those under development
- Apply strategies and interventions that have proven effective in this field
- Integrate human capabilities and characteristics into the process of designing safer roads
- Discuss the effects of automated driving on various aspects of road safety
- Ultimately, improve road safety and reduce the number of fatalities and injuries on the road.
As part of TU Delft’s efforts to make online education more accessible for all, this course offers financial assistance to residents of selected countries. Read the requirements and apply here.
This course has been designed by the traffic safety experts of the Transport and Planning Department of the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). It is aimed at professionals interested in learning how to improve road safety and consequently reduce the number of fatalities and injuries on the road.
This course is ideal for:
- Road safety professionals working for governments, the private sector, universities, NGOs or international organizations eager to learn new skills and tools to analyze and improve road safety.
- Professionals dealing with the design and implementation of road safety strategies interested in how to apply the latest models and theories in this field.
- Decision and policy makers, researchers or advisors who want to deepen their understanding of the key underlying factors affecting road safety.
- Anyone interested in road safety with at least a Bachelor level qualification.
Each week will cover one module, with one graded assignment.
Week 1: Fundamentals of road safety
Handles the fundamentals of road safety, such as the multiple facets that influence safety, the ways to express road safety and measure it, the history of road safety initiatives, how to evaluate them and the relation of vehicle automation to road safety.
Week 2: Human behavior and road safety
You will learn how to identify the basics of human behavior in relation to road safety. You will dive deep into the complexity of the general driving task; learn about some of the main risk factors as distraction and inattention, identify human behavior in and with automated vehicles, and determine how human behavior needs to be adapted to such vehicles.
Week 3: How to design safe roads?
Discusses the main principles of the Safe Systems Approaches and Self Explaining Roads and teaches you how to apply these principles in different traffic situations. You will learn to explain what workload is, how it can be measured, to assess it in relation to road safety and consider relevant factors for automated vehicles.
Week 4: Safety of Vulnerable Road Users (VRUs)
Vulnerable road users are often involved in road accidents, increasingly so in many countries. Their safety requires a dedicated approach. In this module you will learn about their characteristics and special needs, the reasons for encouraging walking and cycling, and how to create an improved road design to increase the vulnerable road users’ safety.
Week 5: Training and education
Engineering is not the only way to solve road safety problems. Education, training and enforcement all have a critical role as well. In this module you will learn strategies, tools and interventions that have proved effective in promoting road safety.
Week 6 (optional): Lower- and Middle-Income Countries
Four experts on road safety in lower- and middle-income countries will inform you about specific factors relevant to their context. Here, you will become familiar with the evidence-based approach, how lead agencies are important to VRUs, the relationship between the systems approach and partnerships, and how vehicle safety is dealt with in these countries.
Certificates and CEUs
The TU Delft Extension School offers Continuing Education Units for this course. Participants who successfully complete the course requirements will earn a Certificate of Completion and are eligible to receive 3.0 Continuing Education Units (3.0 CEUs).
This is a graduate/postgraduate course for participants with at least Bachelor level in any field, and who are competent in the English language.
If you have any questions about this course or the TU Delft online learning environment, please visit our Help & Support page.