Effect of a New Cross-Section Design on Low-Volume Roads

The standard designs of rural roads vary significantly and show several failures that negatively affect road safety. Many low-volume roads (local roads, average daily traffic <3,000 vehicles) are designed especially inappropriately. One approach to achieving a high-quality road network is the standardization of certain road types that are supposed to have similar road characteristics within their category but show significant differences from the other road types. In the development of the new guidelines of rural roads in Germany, low-volume roads are displayed by a single-lane cross section to make them distinguishable from common highways (identification of low-volume roads). The effects on the driving behavior induced by the new cross-section design are described. Empirical analysis was used in with-and-without and before-and-after studies to evaluate road sections. The new single-lane cross sections for low-volume roads showed positive results. The before-and-after study showed that the average driving speed could be reduced and the lane shifted toward the middle of the road by installing the new road markings. This effect was shown on both real roads and on the driving simulator. Furthermore, the new road marking does not result in a lower safety standard for situations with oncoming traffic, because in potentially critical situations, the lane-keeping profiles in both directions still have enough space in between each other. Overall, the indication of design classes has positive effects on driving behavior and, therefore, the safety level on roads.


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  • Accession Number: 01152287
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780309160711
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 10-0423
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Jan 25 2010 10:14AM