Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center

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Reliability-based safety evaluation of traffic on rural highway

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Other Publication


Feng Chen




In the United States as well as other developed countries, road accidents are causing more injuries and casualties than any other natural or man-made hazard. Some vehicles, such as trucks, emergency vehicles and SUVs, often experience increasing risks of single-vehicle accidents under hazardous driving conditions, such as inclement weather and/or complicated topographical conditions. The objective of this research is to establish a reliability-based framework to evaluate the traffic safety through taking account of more realistic adverse driving conditions, such as wind gust, snow-covered or icy road surface, and/or curving. After some background information is introduced in Chapter 1, Chapter 2 covers the development of a mobile mapping technology aiming at collecting site-specific as well as vehicle-specific wind velocity data for traffic safety evaluations. In Chapter 3, an advanced simulation-based single-vehicle accident assessment model considering the coupling effects between vehicles and hazardous driving conditions is developed. In Chapter 4, ten-year accident data involving trucks on rural highway from the Highway Safety Information System (HSIS) is studied to investigate the injury severity of truck drivers by using mixed logit models. Based on the advanced transient dynamic vehicle simulation model, the general framework of a reliability-based assessment model of vehicle safety under adverse driving conditions is finally developed in Chapter 5. In Chapter 6, a case study of I-70 in Colorado to evaluate the traffic safety and operational performance of large trucks is conducted. The integrate study includes individual vehicles for single-vehicle accident risk assessment and the whole traffic on the highway for multi-vehicle accident risk assessment and operational performance evaluation. Finally, conclusions are summarized in Chapter 7.

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HSIS Summaries

HSIS Summary Reports are two to eight pages in length and include a brief description of the issue addressed, data used, methodology applied, significant results, and practical implications.

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Research Reports

A variety of research studies have been performed using data from HSIS. Many of the final reports prepared are now available electronically.

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Technical Summaries

Research reports are often summarized in executive summaries, technical briefs, or other abbreviated formats. Included here are those road safety summaries that involved research using HSIS data.

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Safety Analysis Tools

In addition to conducting research, HSIS resources are also used to develop products that can be used by practitioners in the analysis of safety problems.

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Other Projects

HSIS data are sometimes used in research studies that result in other types of finished products, such as dissertations, theses, and conference proceedings.

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