Road Safety Manual
A manual for practitioners and decision makers
on implementing safe system infrastructure!

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8. Design for Road user Characteristics and Compliance

Key messages

  • Human factors is a well-established scientific endeavour. Many of its findings are incorporated into road design standards for various countries.
  • Roads should be designed and managed to take account of human factors, otherwise it is unlikely that a Safe System can be achieved.
  • Speed management is a key step towards creating a Safe System. Speeds are the result of choices made by road users but they can be heavily influenced by the design of roads and the provision of signs and markings.
  • A skilful combination of design elements can create ‘self-explaining’ roads where appropriate actions, including speed choice, are obvious to road users. Self-explaining roads lead road users to behave in a way that road planners and designers expect, thereby resulting in low crash rates.
  • In addition to road design, a range of techniques for directly influencing road user behaviour should be used, including education, publicity and enforcement.
  • Good practice in each of the above areas is now well-understood, and guides to good practice are available.


Reference sources

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