The global death rate from road traffic collisions is predicted to rise to 2.6 million people killed every year by 2030. Human factors in response to road environments, traffic and the vehicle is a critical area of applied research given that the main contributor to crashes is the driver. 

We are specialists in the application of scientific research and knowledge to a wide variety of driver behaviour issues with an established wealth of knowledge and experience for over two decades. We analyse crash databases to identify trends and patterns and investigate several elements of driver distraction and driver impairment.

A key strength is the design and development of behaviour based safety interventions for managing the risks of driving for work for multinational fleet-based organisations taking into account safety culture. We take a solution based approach with several of our projects leading to bespoke training, e-learning and telematics-based systems to improve driver safety.

We have worked with a number of research partners from across the world including Arriva (ESRC and DTi funded) and Jaguar Land Rover (EPSRC).

Business partners include Balfour Beatty, Gate Gourmet, Mercedes Benz Driving Academy, Shell and Unilever.

About our research

Our greatest strength is the ability to combine the academic rigour and long-term perspective of a university with the commercial and business focus of industry.

Our excellence in strategic and applied research has enabled us to make significant contributions to the world around us for over 60 years. We address real life challenges and focus on research that is of strategic and practical importance.

We provide a supportive research community for students and our academic work is regularly published in journal article, book or thesis form.

Our facilities

Ergonomics, Human Factors and Driver Safety operates a realistic PC-based low cost, moderate fidelity interactive driving simulator (STIsim model 400) suitable for assessing driving performance across a number of different parameters.

The Cranfield Driving Simulator includes four colour monitors supporting three driving displays (right, left and centre), and a rear view mirror to give a 180º field of view, a modular steering unit with speed sensitive feel provided by a computer controlled torque motor through a full-size steering wheel, and a modular accelerator and brake pedal unit. The system collects detailed performance measurements, enables scenario design and includes a simple vehicle dynamics model and power train model. Visual and auditory feedback and driving tasks and events are programmable within a unique language that allows flexibility in the specification of sequences of tasks, events and performance measurement intervals.

Working with us

Fleet risk management protects your company from the costs associated with poor driver health and safety, vehicle damage, and fleet running costs.

We conduct research and consultancy to the highest levels of academic quality to ensure that our clients receive results that meet the project goals. We take a solution-focused approach, designing research that will address client needs. Our research and risk management solutions allow businesses to better target resources to manage driver risk.

We conduct independent fleet audits to identify where safety improvements can be made and where compliance may impact on corporate responsibility. Our consultancy service offers expertise in identifying trends, risk and best practice in safety policies and procedures. Our guidance has led to reduced costs and lower crash risk for national and multinational companies.

We use a range of techniques that are informed by the evidence-base, as well as our practical experience of implementing solutions. We help our clients in many ways, including managing the issues of behavioural factors that increase crash risk such as alcohol, drugs, fatigue and driver stress. We engage drivers and driver trainers on behaviour based safety including analysing collision data, and conducting site-safety reviews. We then suggest recommendations to improve safety and conduct follow-up analyses to assess the effectiveness of the solutions implemented across a number of criteria.

We deliver comprehensive training courses for trainers and senior managers on driver monitoring, risk assessment, driver coaching and evaluation and legal aspects of managing fleets. All of our courses ensure that our clients leave the university better informed, trained and able to improve safety for their organisation.