New technology is making fundamental changes in the etiology of accidents and is creating a need for changes in the explanatory mechanisms used. We need a better and less subjective understanding of why accidents occur and how to prevent future ones. The most effective models will go beyond assigning blame and instead help engineers to learn as much as possible about all the factors involved, including those related to social and organizational structures. In our increasingly complex and interrelated societal structure, responsibility for safety is shifting from the individual to the government. Individuals no longer have the ability to control the risks around them and are demanding that government assume greater responsibility for controlling behavior through laws and various forms of oversight and regulation. In this study, two taxonomically distinct methods: "Systems Theoretic Accident Model and Process" based "System-Theoretic Process Analysis" (STAMP-STPA) and Design with Intent (DwI), have been used to develop a framework for road crash mitigation measures in the context of Bangladesh. Where most traditional accident models view accidents as resulting from a chain or sequence of events, STAMP-STPA and DwI focus on the overall structure of the system: from the design level to the operation level. One road collision, the Uthalia accident, has been used as a case study to develop the framework in this research.
STAMP-STPA is a structured, constrained, and systematic approach. In contrast, DwI is nonstructured and unconstrained, mainly in the form of brainstorming, idea-generation, or ideation sessions where participants are asked to generate concepts, individually or together, in response to a design problem. Both approaches aim to find the countermeasure or preventive measure for hazards. Accimap is a prevalent sociotechnical approach for accident analysis; however, STAMPSTPA has subtle advantages as it adequately indicates the irregularities or non-existence of the control-feedback loop in the system. On the other hand, DwI is an unconventional but handy method for analyzing and developing recommendations regarding system or design failure due to road collisions. This method allows for creative thinking and brainstorming. Traditional accident analysis methods are localized since they provide a site-specific solution. In comparison to traditional methods, STAMP-STPA and DwI have the potential to provide solutions from a broader perspective that can be transferred or applied to other sites.
Firstly, an Actor Map for the Uthalia accident has been generated. Secondly, the produced actor map is used to build the STAMP and STPA model and perform DwI sessions for the selected road collision study. Information regarding the accident event has been collected from popular media reports, accident investigation reports, and local interviews to conduct a thorough investigation. A total of 171 actors have been identified across the eight levels of the Bangladesh road safety system. Actors at different levels have been found to be contributing to the overall road safety system. STAMP-STPA analysis of the case study revealed that while investigating accidents, the blame should not always be only on the end users' level; instead, the faults across different hierarchies in the system need to be identified. Exploring the lackings in the overall road safety system through this developed framework will guide policymakers to build a safer road infrastructure for the road users. Based on the developed STAMP-STPA model and DwI method, a number of recommendations corresponding to the collision events were proposed, which were later aggregated. These recommendations have been provided corresponding to different events occurring at different levels of the system, which emphasizes performing road safety system reformation. It is found that almost all of the recommendations or countermeasures found from DwI fall under Level 5: Operating Process and Environment indicating that DwI focuses on lower-level solutions, whereas STAMP-STPA offers solutions from a broader perspective: from the international context to the operational level. The aggregation of the proposed recommendations from the STAMP-STPA and DwI method were validated by three different subject matter experts with vast experience in the safety domain. It should be noted that methods like STAMP-STPA have primarily been applied to lane-based, homogeneous traffic systems; however, the traffic situation in Bangladesh is very different and, arguably, more complex, given the wide variety of road and road user types, as well as the chaotic nature of the system, when compared to those seen in high-income countries. More studies are needed for validation purposes in order to establish the use of sociotechnical methods in Bangladesh.