Highway design which ensures that successive elements are coordinated in such a way as to produce harmonious and homogeneous driver performances along the road is considered consistent and safe. On the other hand, an alignment which requires drivers to handle high speed gradients and does not meet drivers' expectancy is considered inconsistent and produces higher crash frequency. To increase the usefulness and the reliability of existing safety performance functions and contribute to solve inconsistencies of existing highways as well as inconsistencies arising in the design phase, we developed safety performance functions for rural motorways that incorporate design consistency measures. Since the design consistency variables were used only for curves, two different sets of models were fitted for tangents and curves. Models for the following crash characteristics were fitted: total, single-vehicle run-off-the-road, other single vehicle, multi vehicle, daytime, nighttime, non-rainy weather, rainy weather, dry pavement, wet pavement, property damage only, slight injury, and severe injury (including fatal). The design consistency parameters in this study are based on operating speed models developed through an instrumented vehicle equipped with a GPS continuous speed tracking from a field experiment conducted on the same motorway where the safety performance functions were fitted (motorway A16 in Italy). Study results show that geometric design consistency has a significant effect on safety of rural motorways. Previous studies on the relationship between geometric design consistency and crash frequency focused on two-lane rural highways since these highways have the higher crash rates and are generally characterized by considerable inconsistencies. Our study clearly highlights that the achievement of proper geometric design consistency is a key design element also on motorways because of the safety consequences of design inconsistencies. The design consistency measures which are significant explanatory variables of the safety performance functions developed in this study are: (1) consistency in driving dynamics, i.e., difference between side friction assumed with respect to the design speed and side friction demanded at the 85th percentile speed; (2) operating speed consistency, i.e., absolute value of the 85th percentile speed reduction through successive elements of the road; (3) inertial speed consistency, i.e., difference between the operating speed in the curve and the average operating speed along the 5 km preceding the beginning of the curve; and (4) length of tangent preceding the curve (only for run-off-the-road crashes).

Safety performance functions incorporating design consistency variables

MONTELLA, ALFONSO;IMBRIANI, LELLA LIANA
2015

Abstract

Highway design which ensures that successive elements are coordinated in such a way as to produce harmonious and homogeneous driver performances along the road is considered consistent and safe. On the other hand, an alignment which requires drivers to handle high speed gradients and does not meet drivers' expectancy is considered inconsistent and produces higher crash frequency. To increase the usefulness and the reliability of existing safety performance functions and contribute to solve inconsistencies of existing highways as well as inconsistencies arising in the design phase, we developed safety performance functions for rural motorways that incorporate design consistency measures. Since the design consistency variables were used only for curves, two different sets of models were fitted for tangents and curves. Models for the following crash characteristics were fitted: total, single-vehicle run-off-the-road, other single vehicle, multi vehicle, daytime, nighttime, non-rainy weather, rainy weather, dry pavement, wet pavement, property damage only, slight injury, and severe injury (including fatal). The design consistency parameters in this study are based on operating speed models developed through an instrumented vehicle equipped with a GPS continuous speed tracking from a field experiment conducted on the same motorway where the safety performance functions were fitted (motorway A16 in Italy). Study results show that geometric design consistency has a significant effect on safety of rural motorways. Previous studies on the relationship between geometric design consistency and crash frequency focused on two-lane rural highways since these highways have the higher crash rates and are generally characterized by considerable inconsistencies. Our study clearly highlights that the achievement of proper geometric design consistency is a key design element also on motorways because of the safety consequences of design inconsistencies. The design consistency measures which are significant explanatory variables of the safety performance functions developed in this study are: (1) consistency in driving dynamics, i.e., difference between side friction assumed with respect to the design speed and side friction demanded at the 85th percentile speed; (2) operating speed consistency, i.e., absolute value of the 85th percentile speed reduction through successive elements of the road; (3) inertial speed consistency, i.e., difference between the operating speed in the curve and the average operating speed along the 5 km preceding the beginning of the curve; and (4) length of tangent preceding the curve (only for run-off-the-road crashes).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/614775
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