Analysis of Danger Management by Highway Users Confronted with a Tunnel Fire

The aim of this article is to show that risk-management behaviors of highway users in tunnel-fire situations are dependent on their knowledge of safety devices and their danger-handling behavior. The authors hypothesized that the unpredictability of the circumstances in which fires start, as well as drivers’ lack of knowledge about safety devices, are likely to have an impact on their behavior. The present study is a detailed analysis of actual fires that have occurred in tunnels, with a close examination of users’ evacuation strategies and procedures. In our analysis of 11 tunnel fires, we studied driver behaviors and the strategies they use to cope with a fire. The tunnel users in these fires encountered difficulties both in perceiving signs of danger and in receiving warnings of the danger. The analysis showed that they engaged in a variety of evacuation behaviors and implemented few collective strategies to protect themselves. The problems were related to poor design or equipment, difficulty using safety devices or processing information, or a lack of emergency signals. Some recommendations are made regarding ways of modifying existing prevention and warning devices in view of promoting safer choices among the available options.


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  • Accession Number: 01496826
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 28 2013 10:04AM