Measurements of the grip level and the water film depth for real accidents of the German In-Depth Accident Study (GIDAS)

The grip between the road surface and vehicle tires is the physical basis for the moving of all vehicles in road traffic. In case of an accident the available grip level is one of the most relevant influence factors, influencing the causation and the procedure of the accident. However, the estimation of the grip level is not easy and therefore, is commonly not done on the accident scene. This is especially true for the measurement of the water depth. Until now, real accident databases provide no measurement data about the grip level and the water film depth and thus, the estimation of its influence is not possible yet. From the tyre manufacturers point of view, it is important to know about the road conditions (namely grip level, macro-texture, water depth, temperature) at the accident scene, as well as the operating conditions of the vehicles (braking, loss of control, speed, etc). These data are necessary to define relevant tyre traction tests for the end-user and for regulations. For this reason VUFO and Michelin developed a consistent method for the measurements of grip level and water depth for the accidents of the GIDAS database. The accident research team of Dresden, which documents about 1,000 accidents with at least one injured person every year, is measuring the micro-roughness and the macro-roughness directly on the spot. For the measurement of the micro-roughness a Skid Resistance Tester (British Pendulum) is used. The Mean Texture Depth (describing the macro-roughness) is measured by the Sand Depth Method. Since June 2009, measurements for more than 700 accidents including 1,200 participants have been carried out. In case of wet or damp road conditions during the accident, the water depth is measured additionally. Therefore VUFO and Michelin developed a special measurement device, which allows measurements with an accuracy of 1/10 millimeters. The measurement point at the accident scene is clearly defined and thus, the results are comparable for all different accidents and participants. The use of the GIDAS database and the accident sampling plan allows representative statements for the German accident scenario. With this data it is possible for the first time to have an accurate view of the road conditions at the accident scene. One possibility is a more detailed estimation of hydroplaning accidents using the actually measured water depths. The development of new testing methods and new tires can be based on the real situation of the road infrastructure. Furthermore, the combination of the technical GIDAS data and the measured road surface properties can also be used for the estimation of effectiveness of several safety systems like the brake assist and/or emergency braking systems. The calculation of a reduced collision speed due to the use of a brake assist is only one example for the application of real measured grip level data. (A) Paper to the session "Methodology of In-Depth Investigations, Part I" of the 5th International Conference on ESAR "Expert Symposium on Accident Research", 7th to 8th September 2012 in Hannover.


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  • Accession Number: 01497301
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Bundesanstalt für Straßenwesen (BASt)
  • ISBN: 978-3-95606-021-2
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Oct 9 2013 8:30AM