The influence of the design of the road and roadside environment on road user behaviour

The road system comprises road users, the vehicles they operate, and the roads and roadsides they operate within. Making the system safer requires a detailed understanding of how road users interact with each other and their environment. There are many studies of driver behaviour (behavioural science/traffic psychology/human factors) and many studies of the characteristics of the road and roadside that increase the risk of a crash occurring (engineering/statistics), yet there are surprisingly few studies that rigorously investigate how the road and surrounding environment shape driver behaviour, and influence safety. There are even fewer studies of how the environment shapes the behaviour of other road users, e.g. cyclists and pedestrians. This project will investigate the influence of the design of the road and roadside on road user behaviour (e.g. drivers, cyclists) using methods for measuring human behaviour (e.g. driving simulation, observational studies, etc.).

This thesis would be supervised by Dr Karen Stephan and Dr Steve O’Hern.

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