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The need for a systems theory approach to road safety

Larsson, Peter; Dekker, Sidney LU and Tingvall, Claes (2010) In Safety Science 48(9). p.1167-1174
Abstract
In other hazardous complex socio-technical systems in society, e.g. nuclear power and aviation, systems-theoretical assumptions are considered a promising way to better understand and manage safety. In this paper, two fundamental approaches to road safety were assessed in the light of a systems theory approach. One approach, is based on a premise where individual road-users are solely responsible when crashes occur. In that case countermeasures are aimed at altering the behavior of the road-user in order to adapt him/her to the road transport system. The other approach, the so-called zero-tolerance position, or Vision Zero approach, to road safety is built around two axioms; the system must be adapted to the psychological and physical... (More)
In other hazardous complex socio-technical systems in society, e.g. nuclear power and aviation, systems-theoretical assumptions are considered a promising way to better understand and manage safety. In this paper, two fundamental approaches to road safety were assessed in the light of a systems theory approach. One approach, is based on a premise where individual road-users are solely responsible when crashes occur. In that case countermeasures are aimed at altering the behavior of the road-user in order to adapt him/her to the road transport system. The other approach, the so-called zero-tolerance position, or Vision Zero approach, to road safety is built around two axioms; the system must be adapted to the psychological and physical conditions and limitations of the human being and the responsibility for road safety must be shared between the road-users and the designers and professional operators of the system. It was found that the most important determinants of systems theory are basically not present in the road-user approach. However, even if the Vision Zero approach clearly takes step towards systems theory, it does leave room for articulating even more features of systems theory. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Human factors, Systems theory, Vision Zero, Road safety, Traffic safety
in
Safety Science
volume
48
issue
9
pages
1167 - 1174
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • wos:000281369600011
  • scopus:77955092365
ISSN
0925-7535
DOI
10.1016/j.ssci.2009.10.006
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
49eeaf04-5bd1-42dc-89c4-a9ad5da4fc31 (old id 1672163)
date added to LUP
2010-09-23 14:56:55
date last changed
2018-08-05 03:57:48
@article{49eeaf04-5bd1-42dc-89c4-a9ad5da4fc31,
  abstract     = {In other hazardous complex socio-technical systems in society, e.g. nuclear power and aviation, systems-theoretical assumptions are considered a promising way to better understand and manage safety. In this paper, two fundamental approaches to road safety were assessed in the light of a systems theory approach. One approach, is based on a premise where individual road-users are solely responsible when crashes occur. In that case countermeasures are aimed at altering the behavior of the road-user in order to adapt him/her to the road transport system. The other approach, the so-called zero-tolerance position, or Vision Zero approach, to road safety is built around two axioms; the system must be adapted to the psychological and physical conditions and limitations of the human being and the responsibility for road safety must be shared between the road-users and the designers and professional operators of the system. It was found that the most important determinants of systems theory are basically not present in the road-user approach. However, even if the Vision Zero approach clearly takes step towards systems theory, it does leave room for articulating even more features of systems theory. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.},
  author       = {Larsson, Peter and Dekker, Sidney and Tingvall, Claes},
  issn         = {0925-7535},
  keyword      = {Human factors,Systems theory,Vision Zero,Road safety,Traffic safety},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {9},
  pages        = {1167--1174},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Safety Science},
  title        = {The need for a systems theory approach to road safety},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2009.10.006},
  volume       = {48},
  year         = {2010},
}