78595 - Road Safety Engineering

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Docente: Andrea Simone
  • Credits: 6
  • SSD: ICAR/04
  • Language: English
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Civil Engineering (cod. 8895)

Learning outcomes

The objectives of the unit are to gain a clear understanding of: - why road safety is important, how we can achieve improvements and who is doing the work; - the multidisciplinary nature of road safety and why we need to use a combination of engineering, education and enforcement to be successful; - the behaviour of road users and ways in which the road environment can be designed/improved to cater for their needs; - the complexity of the human/vehicle/road system and how the interrelationships work to influence the level of safety; - what are the legal responsibilities of road authorities and decision makers and how they can fulfil them; - how to undertake accident investigations; - how to collect accident data and what to look for in quality data; - how to analyse accident data, turn it into information and develop cost effective, practical counter measures; - what needs to be done after treating a site and how to do it; - how to be proactive in preventing accidents before they occur. Specific skill sets developed in the class are: - Analysis of traffic collision and injury data; - Analysis of collision risk in a road network (network screening); - Identifying crash causal factors; - Identifying and evaluating countermeasures; - Principles of Road Safety Management. - What is the Road safety Audit procedure, and what are aims and objectives, roles and responsibility; history of road safety audit, road safety audit and design standards, road safety audit tasks, various stages of safety audits; common identifiable problems. - How to structure a road safety audit report, identify common problems. - Case studies and site visit; what to look for on site visits.

Course contents

The unit will explore the fundamentals and role of road safety engineering theory and practice. An appreciation of the design of traffic elements on the road network and a rigorous detective approach to investigating road crash data will be developed. Participants will learn applied skills to find road crash data and analyse it to determine the nature and extent of road crash problems at any given site. An ability to translate road crash data into meaningful information, determine counter measure options from thorough analysis of information and prioritize and evaluate counter measure implementation programs will be cultivated. Students will become aware of key issues in road safety policy, techniques for accident analysis and prevention and road safety audit procedures.

Starting with the Haddon Matrix-the "Map" of Traffic Safety, this course takes students through the many aspects of traffic safety engineering, including issues specific to Italy. Topics include where to find traffic safety data and how to use it; the various components of data (numbers, exposure, risk); aspects of traffic safety analysis (human factors, naturalistic driving studies, vehicle factors, occupant protection and risk compensation).

There will also be five sessions on issues related to global road safety, including the dimensions of the problem, the conflicts inherent in multi-modal transportation systems in rapidly motorizing societies, the risks posed to vulnerable road users, and international comparisons and programs.

Other topics include the Highway Safety Manual, screening methods for identifying high collection concentrations and proactive improvements to traffic safety.

The course will examine principles of engineering and behavioral science relevant to preventing traffic collisions and subsequent injury. Human behavior, vehicle design, and roadway design will be considered as interacting approaches to preventing traffic crashes and injuries. Safety of vulnerable road users (primarily pedestrians and bicyclists) will be covered extensively.


Highway Design and Traffic Safety Engineering Handbook (1999)
Ruediger Lamm , Basil Psarianos , Theodor Mailaender
ISBN-10: 0070382956
ISBN-13: 978-0070382954

Teaching methods

The lectures will be supplemented by practical group exercises.
The exercises consist in the design and road safety analysis of an intersection

Assessment methods

The final written exam will consist in 3 open question and 2 exercises on:
- Road safety analysis of urban roads

- Road data accident analysis


Teaching tools

Will be provided all the presentations of lectures and practical examples

Office hours

See the website of Andrea Simone


Good health and well-being Sustainable cities

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.