Many changes have taken place in the U.S. vehicle fleet. There has been downsizing of automobiles, along with a trend toward mini- and microvehicles. Truck size and weight laws have been changed. The 1982 Surface Transportation Assistance Act forbids the states from prohibiting, on designated highways, semitrailer lengths as large as 48 ft, truck widths of 102 in., truck weights of 80,000 lb, and operation of truck tractor-semitrailer-trailer combinations with trailer lengths up to 28 ft. In light of these changes and predictions of the future, it is appropriate to ask what effects these alterations to the vehicle fleet will have on highway safety. More specifically, what effect will the changing fleet have on relationships between highway safety and roadway features. Some of these issues are addressed in this paper, which is based entirely on the literature. However, the literature reviewed is quite diverse, most of it is quite recent, some of it is unpublished, and much of it is "expert opinion." The paper is organized into three major topics: (a) a review of the vehicle and highway features of potential interest; (b) a review of recent trends in, and future projections for characteristics of automobiles and trucks; and (c) an assessment of how the relationships between highway safety and roadway features may be affected by future changes to the vehicle fleet, and therefore how resurfacing, restoration, and rehabilitation planning might be affected.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper appears in Transportation Research Board State-of-the-Art Report No. 6, Relationship Between Safety and Key Highway Features: A Synthesis of Prior Research.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
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    Transportation Research Board

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  • Authors:
    • Glauz, W D
  • Publication Date: 1987

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 96-110
  • Serial:

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00490521
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0-309-04502-9
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jan 31 1990 12:00AM