Road users needed to help identify potential accident hotspots

Thursday, 11 January 2024

Road users across Nottinghamshire are being called on to help researchers identify areas across the county where accidents are likely to happen by sending in videos of their ‘near-crashes’.

Researchers from the University of Nottingham’s Accident Research Unit are undertaking a research project to identify places where dangerous ‘near crashes’ happen. Near-crash events are moments on the road where accidents almost happen but are narrowly avoided.

The team need car drivers, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians to take part and send in their dashcam or phone camera footage of near crash incidents to help create a map of potential accident hotspots. The results of the research will be shared with Nottingham City Council to potentially help inform future road safety measures or campaigns.

We know from previous research that road users have many near crash incidents on a regular basis, with some road users being more exposed to these than others. However there is little evidence to really identify where these near crashes happen. We want people to help us collect these data so that we can have a greater understanding of exactly where and how often near crashes are happening and pinpoint those particularly dangerous hotspots that could eventually lead to a serious accident occurring.
Researcher Karl Miller, project lead, School of Psychology

The project called FOCUS - Footage from Observant Citizen Scientists to Underpin Road Safety is running until March and people need to sign up to agree to send in their footage. If people don’t have access to cameras these can be loaned to you by the University.

Volunteers will be asked to share videos of near-crashes they experience in Nottinghamshire, and asked to make some judgments about the incidents. A few weeks after sharing the videos people will be asked to make some judgments about anonymised versions of videos from them and other citizen scientists involved in the project.

peter chapman
As well as identifying potential accident hotspots we are also keen to understand people’s perceptions of these near crash events and whether revisiting the videos later changes their opinion of how dangerous the event was. We hope that the insights we gather into what’s happening on the roads and people’s recollections of incidents can help to inform road safety measures and ultimately help make the roads safer for everyone.
Dr Peter Chapman, Associate Professor and Director of the Accident Research Unit

Anyone interested in taking part can visit the project website to find out more or sign up:

The FOCUS project is funded by the University of Nottingham’s Institute for Policy and Engagement.

Story credits

More information from Karl Miller on

Jane Icke - Media Relations Manager Science
Phone: 0115 7486462

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