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Observing the observation of (vulnerable) road user behaviour and traffic safety: a scoping review

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Behavioural observation studies in road safety research collect naturalistic data of road users that are not informed (beforehand) of their participation in a research project. It enables the observation of behavioural and situational processes that contribute to unsafe traffic events, while possible behavioural adaptations due to the road users’ recognition of being observed are minimized. The literature in this field is vast and diverse, with studies dating back to the 1930s. The aim of this paper is to summarize the research efforts in the domain of road user behavioural observation research to examine trends and developments of this type of research, using a scoping review. After the definition of certain selection criteria, 600 journal articles found in three major online databases were retrieved and included in this review. The number of publications regarding road user behavioural observation studies has increased rapidly during recent years, indicating the importance of behavioural observation studies to study traffic safety. Most studies collected data on car drivers (81%), while vulnerable road users have been observed in 32% of all studies, with pedestrians and (motor)cyclists as the most common road user types. The results showed that the main goal of behavioural observation is to monitor (51%), followed by the evaluation of a specific safety improving measure (38%) and the development of behavioural models (10%). Most topics relate to traffic events where interactions with other road users are necessary, indicating that the examination of behavioural processes underlying single-vehicle crashes has received little attention. The ongoing developments of automated video analysis software tools can be the next methodological step forward in video-based behavioural observation studies, since it enables a more objective data collection and data analysis process.
ISSN: 0001-4575
Volume: 123
Pagina's: 211 - 221
Jaar van publicatie:2019
Trefwoorden:Behavioural observation, Behavioural indicators, Scoping review, Traffic safety, Vulnerable road users