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Road safety shifts: nudges carry more power than smacks

The MeBeSafe project takes the nudging concept from behavioural science to change unhelpful habitual behaviours, writes Megan Lampinen

Road safety comes in many forms, from seat belts and lane keeping technology to stronger vehicle materials and road design. Driver behaviour also plays a key role – the better the driver, the safer the roadways. Researchers in Europe are looking specifically into coaching drivers through gentle ‘nudging’ measures.

“One of the main sources for accidents is the behaviour of the driver,” commented Professor Maximilian Schwalm from RWTH Aachen – Institute for Automotive Engineering (ika). Schwalm also serves as Project Coordinator for the recently launched MeBeSafe (Measures for Behaving Safely in Traffic) project, which aims to change unhelpful habitual behaviour and motivate drivers to adapt safer habits. His team will be working as part of a consortium of 15 partners from the business, academic, and research and technology sectors, including Volvo Car Group, Fiat Chrysler and BMW….

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