As the tenth leading cause of death worldwide, road traffic fatalities account for 1.24 million deaths and 20 to 50 million non-fatal injuries annually - over 90% prevalent in low and middle-income countries with 40% of the world’s registered cars. Urban trends estimate hazardous growth of traffic fatality rates in future decades accounting for substantial losses in economic development (accounting for 3% of GDP) and vulnerable road users (pedestrians and cyclists). Fatal accidents in Kosovo represent 15-20% higher than EU countries presenting evidently declining traffic conditions in its capital city Pristina. Confronted by rapid urbanization, Pristina is the administrative, political economic and cultural hub of Kosovo comprising of increased flows of people and transport commuting from one activity to another. 57% of road traffic accidents occur on urban roads with main causes indicated by unsafe accessibility, inadequate distance, incorrect adjustment of speed to facilitate road conditions, irregular changing of lanes, unsafe driving (Road Safety Strategy and Action Plan for Kosovo, 2015). Extensively far from EU benchmarks, figures show a significant increase of road traffic accidents (RTAs) from 2004 to 2014, confirming that the number of fatalities is considerably high throughout the last 11 years (Road Safety Strategy and Action Plan for Kosovo, 2015). Road safety has been researched from various disciplines and perspectives and RTAs have been stated to be very difficult to predict due to the randomness of their occurrence. The main research objective was to explain causes contributing to RTAs in order to determine the most significant cause contributing to RTAs at junctions in Pristina. To achieve this objective, three mutually distinctive concepts (human error, built environment and traffic management) influencing RTA causation were examined. To study a deeper context of the research topic, the research strategy used was a multiple case study with mixed methods in order to comprehensively explain causes of RTAs upon real life situations in Pristina. Survey was used to collect driver’s perspectives while driving in Pristina complemented by in depth interviews with individuals who were of interest to the case study (e.g. near by residents, RTA victims and experts in the field). Accordingly, both quantitative and qualitative primary data was collected. Quantitative data was analysed using descriptive statistics and binary logistic regression in SPSS whereas qualitative data was analysed manually. Secondary data was also collected for the selection of the case study as well as archives from the Kosovo Police, which further explained and supported research findings. Based on survey results, the analysis revealed that drivers perceived the built environment and traffic management as significant causes of RTAs at junctions in Pristina. Interviews further concluded that traffic management and human error were significant causes although the built environment ranked comparably near lacking only 1 point. Moreover, secondary data confirmed human error as the cause of 92% of RTAs as reported by the Kosovo Police. Furthermore, to answer the research questions, the research results were analysed through individual and combined effects (human error, built environment and traffic management) based on academic literature. Research findings similarly indicated a combined effect of all three concepts interchangeably producing error resulting in RTAs. Particularly, the TCI model (Fuller, 2005) clarified the role of human error within the task of driving whereas the system perspective model (Reason, 1990) ideally explained the circumstances in which the combined effect of causes increase the probability of RTAs at junctions in Pristina thus answering the research questions.

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Sharma, S. (Somesh)
Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies

A’Mula, G. (Gonxhe). (2017, November). Causes of Road Traffic Accidents at Junctions in Pristina. Retrieved from