Analyzing human factors in road accidents: TRACE WP5 Summary Report

The main objectives of TRACE WP5 'Human factors' deliverables are: i) To support a better standardization of accident analysis in Europe on a scientific background, ii) To provide operational models and methodological classification grids dealing with 'human factors' aspects involved in road accidents, iii) To promote a comprehensive analysis of the involvement of human beings, going further than the usual 'user-orientated causal analysis' often limited at establishing the driver 'at fault' and without searching for the background reasons of the problems met par road users. Such objectives involve analyzing accidents as the symptom of the difficulties met by drivers in certain driving situations, and as a revelatory of their needs in help. Two questions have to be asked in order to progress in the understanding of accident causation: 1) What are precisely and operationally the human failures in accidents? But also: 2) What are the reasons for these human failures? Keeping in mind that these reasons are of multiple natures and combine most of the time to produce the final event. By so doing, the definition of typical scenarios of 'human error' production can open to the definition of more appropriate countermeasures, well fitted to human needs.