Dynamic Simulation Models for Road Safety and its Sustainability Implications
Road safety is an outcome of a complex relationship between vehicles, drivers, and the infrastructure. This complexity is amplified when the socio-economic influences are added to the equation. Additionally, it is coupled with the dynamic nature of the effects of all the stakeholders, which creates feedback loops that needs to be taken into consideration. Although there are few studies in road safety that takes dynamic complexity into consideration, many studies have been completed in occupational health and safety research. Methodologies such as scenario assessment based on benefit-cost framework are not capable of capturing these feedback loops; hence, a broader systemic approach is required.Supporting links:Webinar
This research proposes a system dynamics (SD) simulation approach to understand and analyze the dynamics of road safety and the economic, social, and environmental pillars of sustainability; termed as the triple bottom line. It aims to contribute to safer roads and implements a novel simulation approach to analyze the holistic impacts of road safety. SD is a very robust simulation methodology, which has been used to model complex socio economic systems to understand the pattern of behavior over time. Majority of traditional modeling approaches fail to capture the feedback relationships among the variables in the system. Therefore, a holistic modeling approach is required to observe, analyze and model the system as a whole considering feedback mechanisms. System dynamics modeling philosophy serves best to such objectives since it assists with defining the feedback mechanisms, potential delays and multi-dimensional causal relationships quantitatively. The funds from this project will be mainly used to fund a graduate student and give the opportunity to the PI to train and mentor UCF students in a multi-disciplinary field that combines safety research, dynamic simulation, and sustainability. Outcomes of the project will be utilized as a case study in the PI's new graduate course (CCE 6221), Dynamics of Sustainable Systems.