Conference in Indianapolis to focus on road safety, simulations

September 7, 2011

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Transportation experts from around the world will meet during an international conference next week in Indianapolis to discuss issues ranging from alcohol-impaired driving to the performance of motorists with Parkinson's disease and traffic fatalities in China.

The Third International Conference on Road Safety and Simulation on Sept. 14-16 will take place at the Indiana Government Conference Center in downtown Indianapolis. The three-day conference is organized by Purdue University's School of Civil Engineering and the Transportation Research Board of the National Research Council and hosted by the Indiana Department of Transportation.

"The mission of the conference is to increase understanding of road-crash causality, to help develop better safety models and to promote the use of emerging methods in safety management," said Andrew Tarko, a professor of civil engineering, conference chair and director of the Center for Road Safety at Purdue. "We'll have 181 people from 35 countries presenting their work."

Talks will include presentations on topics including the use of driving simulators to study aggressive and alcohol-impaired driver behavior; in-vehicle physiological monitoring for driver-fatigue detection; the safety impacts of talking, eating or smoking while driving; whether education and enforcement affect the behavior of car and truck drivers on urban freeways; factors contributing to motorcycle fatalities; the performance of drivers with Parkinson's disease who are "under the effect of cognitive overloading"; traffic accidents with massive casualties in China from 2005-2009; a new method for assessing overconfidence among drivers; and using geographical information systems to organize police patrols in crash and crime hot spots.

Many research areas broadly apply, regardless of differing driving circumstances around the world.

"Fundamental findings on human factors and behavior in relation to safety apply everywhere," Tarko said. "The conference also deals with emerging technologies and techniques that can improve safety research and give new insight, and this is also universal."

Registration is 9 a.m. Wednesday (Sept. 14) in the center's auditorium. The conference is open to the public, and the registration fee is $490 for three days and $325 for one day.

Conference details are available at

The two previous conferences were held in Rome in 2007 and Paris in 2009.

Writer: Emil Venere, 765-494-4709, 

Source: Andrew Tarko, 765-494-5027,