FIRST-YEAR EFFECTS OF THE ENERGY CRISIS ON RURAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC IN KENTUCKY

The Arab oil embargo in mid-October 1973 curtailed availability of gasoline. Fuel conservation measures resulted in reduced travel and lower traffic speeds. On March 1, 1974, posted speed was set at 55 mph (88 km/h) on rural highways in Kentucky. Traffic volumes, speeds, and accidents for the rural highway during the period known as the energy crisis and its aftereffects were compared to those during the corresponding period a year earlier. Traffic volumes began to decline in December 1973 and continued through September 1974. Total travel in the 12 months through November 1974 decreased by 2.3 percent; traffic increased by 5 percent in 1973. Accident rates during this period decreased by 13.5 percent, and the largest decreases were associated with the highways experiencing the greatest reductions intravel speed. Accident rates decreased substantially as traffic speeds decreased. Differences between wet-surface and dry-surface accident rates were especially significant and were more so for Interstate than for two-lane highways. Improved wet- pavement skid resistance due to lower speeds obviously contributed to a reduction in accident rates. Continuation of the 55-mph (88-km/h) speed limit on all rural highways would seem advisable.

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 70-81
  • Monograph Title: Traffic flow theory and applications
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00139878
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309024803
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Oct 6 1976 12:00AM