Public transport and aggressive driving studies win Axa Awards


This year’s Axa Awards for master’s theses on mobility and safety went to projects that determined what makes a good public transport transfer point and how to detect potentially risky drivers

From rail to road

The annual Axa Awards for the best master’s theses on traffic safety, mobility and sustainability at Hasselt University (UHasselt) has gone to recent graduates Dennis Jongen – for his investigation into public transport transfers – and Nora Reinolsmann, for her study of aggressive driving behaviour.

Jongen (pictured, right) focused on transfer points – places where passengers most often transfer from one form of public transport to another, such as train stations and transport hubs. “Well-equipped points – with covered places to wait, sufficient parking and eateries – make public transport a more appealing option,” he said. He examined the reasons why some of these points are not meeting quality standards and what is hindering them from improving. 

Reinolsmann (left), meanwhile, examined new method to measure aggressive driving behaviour among youngsters. Despite campaigns, road accidents remain the main death cause among 20- to 24-year-olds.

Participants in her study answered a series of questions on situations that make them angry while driving, such as drivers who zigzag in and out of lanes. They then had to evaluate whether certain words, like “cursing” and “tailgating”, were positive or negative. The results were then compared. 

“The method should be a first, successful step towards the early detection of aggressive behaviour, which leads to risky driving behaviour,” Reinolsmann explained. “This could be useful data for car insurers and driving schools.”

Photo courtesy UHasselt