Behavior, Technology and Traffic Safety

David Shinar, Ben Gurion

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The importance of highway traffic safety has increased significantly in the 90 ’s. This has been reflected in changes in driver behavior, governmental action, and utilization of new research and advance technology in the vehicles and road system. The interaction between these areas is complex, but it appears that the changes are initiated not by the technology but rather by the road users norms and beliefs concerning the importance of safety over other values. This paper deals with the impact of five specific issues that are important to the interaction between behavior and technology and its effects on safety.
Technology changes faster than people’s adaptation to it, and there is a need to consider the behavioral impacts and prepare for them, before the safety benefits can be realized.
Increased congestion on the streets and highways changes driver behavior in two ways. First, driving becomes more aggressive as people become frustrated by lost time. Second, people incorporate more and more non-driving — mostly work — tasks into the time behind the wheel, thereby raising further concerns about safety.
Behavioral safety guidelines are lagging behind emerging technologies of safety and convenience. This implies the need for a new approach to safety assurance, one that would include human factors considerations throughout the design process.
The driving population is aging and the older drivers need special accommodation. License revocation based on medical impairments has not proven successful for either safety or mobility, and more positive approaches are offered.
The vehicle-roadway-user system has become part of the global village, and this is a strong impetus for global standardization that should include vehicle displays and controls, roadway guidance systems, and minimum driver licensing requirements.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTransportation, Traffic Safety and Health—Human Behavior
Number of pages32
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-642-57266-1
ISBN (Print)978-3-642-63163-4
StatePublished - 2000


  • International Standard Organization
  • Traffic Safety
  • Intelligent Transportation System
  • Steering Wheel
  • Safety belts


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