using knowledge to determine major safety issues

Dans le document Transportation safety in urban areas (Page 21-24)

Following the example of descriptive epidemiology4, the basis of medical research, the field of transport safety relies on an initial knowledge-gathering phase. This is essential : before we are able to understand accident-related malfunctions, we need to identify those categories of users that are particularly involved in accidents (using BAAC files), locations most prone to accidents, local specificities, etc.

BAAC accident files are a precious source of information for acquiring this

knowledge, provided that data is of a high enough quality and that accident reportsare correctly completed. The use of the statistical tests, methods and indicators presented in this guide make it easier to adopt a pragmatic study procedure.

The safety issue study represents an analysis of the accidentstatus report, which helps to determine and prioritise the major safety issues. This study relies heavily on the accidents file, which must therefore be as reliable as possible (see Appendix A). Although it enables the identification of targets upon which safety diagnoses will be conducted, it does not enable us to understand the malfunctions that led to the accident.

From the accident status reportto prioritised safety issues : 4 key steps : establish the accident status report ; analyse this status reportand determine the safety issues ; study the safety issues in greater detail ; prioritise the safety issues

– these 4 main steps structure the creation of a safety issue study.

Establishing the accident status report (step 1) is an indispensable first stage, but is not enough. We need to go further than producing digital dashboardsby conducting spatial, chronological and thematic analyses, which provide essential information, particularly in terms of comparisons and prioritisation.

Data analysis over a period of five years enables safety issues to be determined (step 2).

Complementary analyses help us to become more familiar with the phenomena concerned and study the safety issues in greater detail (step 3).

4 "Descriptive epidemiology studies the distribution of morbidity phenomena in human populations and their variation over time by quantifying them using statistical methods (presenting numbers of cases in tables, histograms and graphs)" – Encyclopaedia Universalis.

What constitutes a safety issue ?

Apart from providing statistics, the accidentstatus report reveals overrepresented accident categories (elderly pedestrians, motorcycles, intersections at the end of motorway slip roads, etc.). Following analysis of thestatus report, certain categories may become safety issues.

For each safety issue, there are absolute or relative values for the mortality or morbidity of a target population (location, type of users, etc.). It is therefore a number of accidents or victims, weighted according to severity and associated with a target. The target may concern a place (e.g. an intersection, a street), a group of users (e.g. young people), a period (e.g. night-time) or a means of transport (e.g. motorcycle). The number of accidents or victims may be given as an absolute value (number of accidents involving a motorcycle, for example) and/or a relative value (deviation from a number or reference figure for a particular aspect such as distribution by age of population). It is necessary to evaluate the weighting of the accidents for the target identified in the overallstatus report.

Safety issue

the safety issue Recognising and understanding safety problems : wich method ? the safety issue



During steps 2 and 3, which call upon quantitative methods, it is important to retain a knowledge-gathering mindset at all times, without trying to understand how the accidents came about. This precaution avoids "slipping" towards a diagnosis-type approach.

Particular attention should be paid to cartography, as maps can provide an instant and attractive overview of the phenomena at play in the territory concerned. Most of the time, they are able to play an important educational role, which is very useful when explaining the analysis of accident status reportsand seeking to validate this step.

Conducting a safety issue study : 4 main steps

Step 4: Prioritisation of safety issues Step 3: In-depth study of

safety issues Step 1:

Accident status report

Step 2: Analysing the status report

Issue Issue

Targeted issue

Targeted issue Better



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the safety issue Recognising and understanding safety problems : wich method ? the safety issue


Step 1 - The accident status report

Producing an accident status reportmakes it possible to determine the frequency and distribution of accidents in a given territory. It helps to identify risk factors in terms of time, people and places. It is the first step before embarking on a more analytic study procedure.


•Present the data used in the form of maps, graphs and statistics.

•Answer questions about accidents : who is involved ? How many parties ? Where ? When ? How ?


As accident files are information-rich, software such as Concerto makes it easier to process data automatically and producedigital dashboards. To complement the accidentstatus report, it is possible – using the three dimensions of accidents shown in the table below – to produce figures by theme (tables), showtheir spatial distribution in map form, and monitor their progression over time in graph form, since each accident involves users, characterised by age, number, etc., in a given location (street, intersection, etc.) at a given moment (time, day, month, etc.).

Users and vehicles Spatial Temporal

Types of user, Age, sex,

Light vehicles, two-wheelers, etc.


Precautions: where possible, the data analysis period should be five years (see Appendix : Chronological Analysis). Statistical validity must also be ensured and the limits of the analysis sample determined.

Identity Sheet


Compilation of operational results from BAAC file data, in the form of tables, maps, charts and graphs.

Gr aphs and trends

Wh o ?

the safety issue Recognising and understanding safety problems : wich method ? the safety issue



Dans le document Transportation safety in urban areas (Page 21-24)