Development of the visionary research model application to the car-pedestrian conflict
Submission Date: 2005
This paper describes a study undertaken to improve road safety through a fundamentally different approach. The study draws on Sweden?s Vision Zero road safety philosophy, the foundation of which is that it is ethically unacceptable to trade lives and health for other benefits in society. The research?s main purpose was to develop a model to identify the research needs and priorities required to enable a ?quantum step? towards safe traffic environments. The Visionary Research Model adopts an ambitious goal of eliminating death and serious injury within the road-transport system and is believed generic in form. The car/pedestrian conflict was chosen because of its relative simplicity and to demonstrate the model?s potential. The model?s conceptual structure has a pedestrian at the centre of five concentric layers of protection that target various threats to the pedestrian, by managing crash and injury risk, so as to avoid death or serious injury. The model challenges researchers and practitioners, encourages innovation and evidence-based risk assessment, and forces consideration of the full sequence of events in a car-pedestrian conflict. Though well-developed in its conceptual form, further research and development of the model?s mathematical capability are required to enable changes in risk to be quantified.