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Eleni Gkouma

2021 Gkouma Eleni 2Title: Analysis of users knowledge regarding driving through road tunnels and risk treatment
Year: 2021
Affiliation: National Technical University of Athens
Level: Undergraduate
Thesis written in Greek


Title in Greek: Ανάλυση γνώσεων χρηστών οδικών σηράγγων σε θέματα ασφαλούς διέλευσης και αντιμετώπισης κινδύνων


Abstract: Advances in technology have revolutionized the face of road network, as we knew it. Specifically, the advent of road tunnels has marked a new era about the way we travel. The state-of-the-art technology for both construction of tunnels and applications of fire safety has led to a significant increase of the rate of tunnels during the last 3 decades. Currently, Greece is ranked fourth regarding the number of road tunnels longer than 500 meters within the European Union. In contrast to driving on open roads, the environment of road tunnels demands a unique driving behavior , due to its higher risk. As several recorded fatal accidents have indicated, although the human factor plays a vital role in the Risk Analysis of a road tunnel, the driver's part and responsibilities are often neglected.

Substantial research has been carried out into road tunnels to investigate user's misconceptions, regarding the drivers' potential behavior in both normal and critical situations. In addition, a questionnaire survey was created and conducted in Greece, attracting 1402 users, with the aim of both exploring the user's awareness and acknowledging knowledge "gaps". Consequently, the results of the questionnaire were statistically tested through SPSS, with the goal of identifying factors that influence drivers' behaviors. Finally, three focus groups were held to determine the causes of the identified knowledge "gaps" of the survey's results. The first one consisted of professional drivers, the second one of drivers with experience greater than 15 years and the third one of drivers with experience lower than 15 years.

As expected, the research gave prominence to a variety of users' misconceptions for both normal and dangerous circumstances. In that regard, these misconceptions could be attributed to the incomplete education of the vast majority of the participants. Recognizing the main "gaps", upcoming campaigns and other educational events can be arranged in order to enhance the Greek drivers' performance. Finally, the main parameters that affect users' potential behavior are gender, level of education, driving experience and whether the user is a professional driver or not.

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