CONTRIBUTION TO SPEED FROM THE HIGHWAY. THE INFRASTRUCTURE AS AN ENCOURAGER OF HIGHER SPEED

This paper considers the effect of road layouts on vehicle speeds, and proposes some possible improvements to them. Most British drivers will travel at over 70mph on British motorways, because they perceive them to be safe. In general, a driver's speed is determined by his perception of the hazards around him. The clearer the picture presented to him, the higher is his likely driving speed. The author suggests a 'controlled uncertainty' approach, where sufficient decision-making information is presented to a driver to influence his speed, without distracting him so as to cause an accident. It is feasible but rather costly to achieve controlled uncertainty, for example using traffic calming. An analysis of STATS 19 forms for road accidents in Hertfordshire, England, shows that speed exceeds all other issues as a contributory factor. It arises in 36% of accidents in 1992, compared with 30% in 1980. Improvements that can be made to layouts at accident-prone sites include: (1) making the site more conspicuous, by suitable markings; (2) other improvements to visibility; (3) traffic calming. These measures should be complemented by using safety audits, that aim to prevent accidents and meet the safety needs of all road users. For the covering abstract see IRRD 866185.

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 8 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00668643
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Nov 16 1994 12:00AM