Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour (Journal)

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial work


Deaths and injuries from road traffic crashes (RTCs) are a major and growing public health problem. The World Health Organization has reported an estimated 1.3 million people dying each year from RTCs worldwide. The cost of road traffic crashes is disproportionately borne by countries, as a greater percentage occur in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). Fatality rates in these countries are more than twice that in the high-income countries (HICs) and there is an unequal number of deaths compared to the level of motorisation. Despite this, road safety does not receive the attention it deserves in these countries as an urgent issue. Baseline information is needed to have an idea of the problem but this is very scarce in most developing countries. According to WHO (2013), data pertaining to road safety in the LMICs is still grossly inadequate for planning, implementing and evaluating road safety interventions and without data, it is difficult to improve safety. Data do exist but there is concern over the reliability resulting especially from data collection methods. Success could be achieved by laying emphasis on the importance of research and improving data collection methods. This will help in the diagnoses of problems and development of evidence-based road safety measures to address specific problems.

This special issue is based on our experiences reading and researching the areas of applied psychology and driver behaviour in LMICs. We became increasingly interested in the amount of research into driver behaviour that appeared to be based mainly on subjective and self-report data. This is in contrast to much of the research published on the subject in HICs using empirical research methods. Advances in empirical research are currently progressing at an increasing rate in HICs but less has been achieved in LMICs. Qualitative and quantitative empirical data are vital in road safety research and encompass data and related collection methods ranging from verbal data, on-site surveys, in-depth interviews and focus group interviews, driving simulator and naturalistic driving studies to analyses based on the observation of vehicle data, road environment and road user behaviour. Empirical data is therefore needed to assess the safety performance of currently existing traffic systems and to evaluate possible interventions in LMICs. We believe that due to differences in traffic culture, attitudes to safety measures and differences in modal share and vehicle types, not all research performed in HICs is directly relevant to LMICs.

This special issue aims to:
• provide a forum in which to better understand empirical research being carried out in the area of driving behaviour and road safety in LMICs,
• to highlight what has been learned about road user behaviour over the past years
• and to stimulate new research for the next decade.

It is dedicated to examples of empirical studies carried out in LMICs that provide their own unique contribution to road safety and traffic psychology these countries.
Period1 Oct 201927 Jun 2021
Type of journalJournal
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Empirical Research
  • Road Safety
  • LMICs