The Swedish Conflict Technique
In the daily work of improving the traffic environment, it is important to pin point which places and/or situations are dangerous, and why they are dangerous; as well as assessing whether a modification is beneficial. ”The Conflict Technique enables us to study ‘hazards’ in traffic in an uncomplicated way. It used to be the number of reported accidents at a site that decided whether it should be rebuilt or not. Now, we can judge whether the site is dangerous after only three to five days of conflict studies, and if so, propose suitable countermeasures. We can also make an immediate follow up after the implementation of a countermeasure.
It does not demand any complicated equipment, and already after a week’s training, observers are ready to carry out studies. The simplicity of the method also makes it applicable in the increasingly important safety work of the third world, where technical equipment is often lacking.
Conflicts are Undesired Phenomena
Serious conflicts are in the same way as traffic accidents, the result of a breakdown in the interaction between the road user, environment and vehicle. A serious conflict is characterised by the fact that no one voluntarily gets involved in such a situation.
The necessary evasive action is usually braking, but may also be swerving or acceleration, or a combination of these.
Since the similarity between accidents and serious conflicts is striking, accidents can be avoided by circumventing conflicts.