This chapter reviews research on how various surface contaminants can adversely affect highway safety, mainly through a very drastic reduction in traction, and the steps drivers can take to allow for this. The bulk of the chapter is concerned with ice and snow which provides the most hostile and least-forgiving environment a driver is likely to encounter. Even with the best traction aids, such as studded tires, snow tires and chains, the total traction available to propel and stop a vehicle and perform turning maneuvers is much less than even a relatively poor quality rain-slick highway. The chapter also touches on the reduced traction caused by mud and spilled diesel fuel. The latter is a rare occurrence. However, its very hazardous nature (coefficients of friction as low as that of wet ice) cause it to be noted here.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper appeared in the Transportation Research Board, A State-of-the-Art Report: The Influence of Roadway Surface Discontinuities on Safety. Distribution, posting, or copying of this PDF is strictly prohibited without written permission of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials in this PDF are copyrighted by the National Academy of Sciences. Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Authors:
    • Whitehurst, E A
    • Ivey, D L
  • Publication Date: 1984

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 28-34
  • Serial:

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00391056
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309037026
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-038 006
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jan 30 1985 12:00AM