Revealing the Complexity of Road Transport with Accimaps

  • Rich C. McIlroyEmail author
  • Katherine L. Plant
  • Neville A. Stanton
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 823)


The UK has one of the safest road systems of any country, yet road traffic accidents still represent the 12th leading cause of death. Although casualty and fatality rates have dropped dramatically since the 1980s, there has been little change in the past five years or so, suggesting that roads safety initiatives have plateaued in their effectiveness. Following calls for a new approach to the challenge we adopt a sociotechnical systems viewpoint. Traditionally, road safety has been addressed through the three ‘E’s of engineering, education, and enforcement; we have added to these with an additional four ‘E’s, namely economics, emergency response, enablement, and ergonomics. We use the Actor Map representation, the first step in the Accimap approach to accident analysis, to model the road transport system, with the resulting diagram giving an indication of the level of complexity we must face when designing road safety interventions. The research presented in this article represents the first step in a broader project that takes a sociotechnical approach to global road safety, involving partners in five geographically dispersed, and economically, developmentally, and culturally distinct nations.


Accimaps Road safety Sociotechnical systems 


Funding Statement and Disclaimer

This research was commissioned by the National Institute for Health Research using Official Development Assistance (ODA) funding. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR, or the Department of Health and Social Care.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rich C. McIlroy
    • 1
    Email author
  • Katherine L. Plant
    • 1
  • Neville A. Stanton
    • 1
  1. 1.Human Factors Engineering, Transportation Research Group, Faculty of Engineering and the EnvironmentUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK

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