DECREASING HIGH ACCIDENT RISK IN WINTER

A comprehensive study including the effects of studded tires on traffic safety, the wear of road surfacings and traffic economy was started in autumn 1973 and ended to December 1976. According to tests made, the effect of studs improving friction is 0-25% on snow-covered roads, 5-40% on icy surfaces and 45-100% on smooth ice. On the other hand friction is impaired by studs on a bare, wet road surface by 9%. The use of studded tires will decrease variations in friction under different weather conditions. As a result of the traffic safety analysis it could be estimated that the net saving of human lives was roughly 60 persons a year, which is 7% of the people killed in road accidents annually in Finland. The use of studded tires reduces the wintertime accident risk, which also reduces the seasonal variation of the risk. As the economy of the use of studded tires is examined, accident costs, drivers' expenses form the use of studs and costs of pavement wear must be taken into consideration. Other cost items are changes in winter maintenance and time costs, including absence from work during adverse weather conditions. National economic benefit accuring from a ban on studs would be 40-250 m.Fmk annually, depending on the method of calculation. If restrictions of studded tyres, technological innovations and other measures such as speed limits can decrease pavement wear even by 50% the use of studs would prove profitable from the point of view of national economy. General speed limits have been used in Finland since 1962, but on a temporary basis. A 2.3 kmph decrease of the main speed on the main roads in Southern Finland during the road section speed limits caused a decrease in accidents of 16%. The respective numbers during the general speed limit 80 kmph were 6 kmph and 35%. However the present speed limits, applied with no reference to seasonal change, increase the great seasonal variation of accident risk.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was presented at the 8th IRF World Meeting, Tokyo, Japan, October 16-21, 197. Full text also written in Japanese.
  • Corporate Authors:

    International Road Federation

    525 School Street, SW
    Washington, DC  USA  20024
  • Authors:
    • Wahlgren, O G
    • Niemi, A E
    • Salusjarvi, M R
  • Publication Date: 1977-10

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00179841
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Proceeding
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 12 1978 12:00AM