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Quantifying the Influence of Road Geometric Parameters on Road Safety (Case Study: Hawassa-Shashemene-Bulbula Rural Two-Lane Highway, Ethiopia)

DOI: 10.4236/jtts.2019.93023, PP. 354-380

Keywords: Road Geometric Parameters, Expected Number of Accidents

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Abstract:

Road safety depends on humans, vehicles, and highway conditions. These factors influence road safety separately or in combination. Despite these facts, the police report indicated that only a single cause of accident has been reported for a given accident in Ethiopia and the number of accidents that had been caused by road defect accounted around 1% of total accidents per year, which underestimates its contribution to road accidents. Beside these facts, only a few studies were carried out in Ethiopia on this issue. Even though dangerous road segments were identified and ranked along the same study area of this paper in our previous publication, Hawassa-Shashemene-Bulbula two-lane rural highway, the influences of road geometric parameters on road safety were not correlated along this study area. Therefore, it is imperative to clarify the relationship between the expected number of traffic accidents and the geometric conditions of the road under study to reduce accidents and provide safe driving environment. The main objective of this study was to quantify the influence of road geometric parameters on road safety. Using historical accident data, traffic data, and road data, the expected numbers of accidents were estimated by using the empirical Bayes (EB) method. Then, the expected numbers of accidents have been correlated with one or more road geometric parameters at a time. Accordingly, the identified dangerous road segments in the previous publication (DOI: 10.4236/jtts.2018.83009) were further analyzed to estimate the influence of road geometric parameters on road safety based on expected accident frequency. The result of the analysis shows that the radius of horizontal curve, superelevation, transition curve length, lane and shoulder widths were negatively correlated with the expected frequencies of accidents. Whereas the numbers of horizontal and vertical curves per segment, grade of the road, the occurrence of left turn horizontal curves with down grade and right turn horizontal curves with upgrade were positively correlated with the expected number of accidents. Therefore, it has been concluded that the influence of road geometry has significant effect on the occurrence of accidents along this study area.

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