Road User Ability and Behaviour – the basis for a road user friendly road design

af Lene Herrstedt


The present models for estimating capacity and choice of road design and road equipment described in the existing road design standards include parameters of road user behaviour based upon a fictive “standard road user” in the sense of physical and mental ability. The national definition of the “standard road user” is the result of a “political” decision.

From research we already know a lot of differences in physical and mental capacity/ability among different groups of road users. In some cases and in certain traffic environments, it might sometimes be relevant to take these differences into account as an integrated part of the models used for road design. To be able to do so, existing research based knowledge about the ability differences of the different road user groups as elderly and adults, children and disabled road users related to different modes of transport is being collected.

Walking speed is an example of such a parameter included in the model for design of traffic signals at intersections.

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