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Panic in high speed

Published: 5 February 2015

Facing a car driving against the traffic flow in the wrong lane can be a horror experience that most people want to be without. Unfortunately, this happens sometimes anyway, but now researchers at Luleå University of technology will investigate if technology can detect these motorists and prevent serious accidents.

The phenomenon of so-called "ghost driver" are drivers that for various reasons fall into the wrong lane and exposing themselves and others to extreme danger. Especially dangerous is this on the roads with separated lanes, such as highways and roads with wire railing.  In the project GRID - Ghost Driver Detection, Peter Rosander and Charlotta Johansson at Luleå University of Technology will study and evaluate equipment that can warn and detect this type of traffic hazard.

–  It is not quite known how common "ghost drivers" are in Sweden. There are several reasons for this. The concept of ghost drivers is not entirely rooted in our Swedish language and, therefore, this type of accident may be difficult to sort out among other accidents. The databases that contain traffic accidents do not always provide clear answers to the causes and especially so in absence incidents that did not result in a real accident. We will also look at statistics from other countries, such as Denmark, where they have better knowledge of these types of accidents. In the research project we will be logging a few locations to improve knowledge of how common this phenomenon really is, and also evaluate how well road sensors can detect vehicles in the wrong direction and warn the person driving the wrong, says Peter Rosander, research engineer in Traffic Engineering at Luleå University of Technology.

Ending up in the wrong direction may depend on many things such as illness, drugs and alcohol, poor visibility or that the driver misinterpreted the signs or construction of an interchange or intersection. Many don´t even know that they are driving in the wrong direction.

–  We hope that our research can provide answers on how to better prevent these accidents, both with technical solutions but also how signage and design can enhance road safety, concludes Peter Rosander.

Peter Rosander

Rosander, Peter - Research Engineer

Organisation: Urban Water Engineering, Architecture and Water, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering
Phone: +46 (0)920 492409
Room: T3029 - Luleå»
Charlotta Johansson

Johansson, Charlotta - Associate Professor, Head of the Department

Organisation: Architecture, Architecture and Water, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering
Phone: +46 (0)920 491867
Room: T1028 - Luleå»