Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Driver Misjudgment and Landscape Variations Cause Collisions at Stop Sign Intersections

01.10.2009
Stop signs are supposed to be traffic safety tools, but how effective are they? According to one Ryerson University researcher, intersections with stop signs can be some of the deadliest places on the road.

In 2005 the Ministry of Transportation reported 62,000 crossing and turning collisions at stop-sign controlled and other types of intersections throughout Ontario, resulting in nearly 150 deaths and approximately 16,000 injuries. That’s nearly five times the number of fatalities as rear-end collisions in the same year.

Professor Said Easa of Ryerson’s Department of Civil Engineering says that speed and driver misjudgment are to blame. “When you want to cross a road or make an angular turn,” he explains, “you must judge the speed of the oncoming vehicle, estimate how fast it will reach the intersection, and compare that to your own ability to safely accelerate and manoeuvre. It’s very difficult to do, especially for older people. Their perception-reaction time is slower than younger drivers.”

Dr. Easa specializes in highway design and road safety. His most recent papers examine how minor (two-lane) roads and major (two- and four-lane) roads intersect. He writes that in addition to driver misjudgment, curves, hills and valleys on major roads can negatively affect the sight line of a driver on a minor road.

Using collision data from more than 5,000-kilometres of rural two-lane highways in Washington State, Dr. Easa and his research associate Qing Chong You created five statistical models to predict the frequency of vehicle collisions.

Among their findings, the researchers discovered that the biggest predictors of collisions along curved roads were the degree of the curve; the width, length and grade of the road; the average annual daily traffic; and the number of intersecting roads per kilometre. Those results, Dr. Easa hopes, will eventually prove useful in evaluating road safety improvements and optimizing the cost-effectiveness of highway design.

In his second study, Dr. Easa created another mathematical model. This one, however, aims to improve safety at existing and new intersections that are obstructed by large curves on a major roadway. In particular, Dr. Easa was concerned with sight distance – that is, the time gap between when a driver on a minor road sees a vehicle that rounds a curve and comes into view on the major road and when this vehicle arrives at the intersection. Clearly, this time must be greater than the time required by the minor road vehicle to cross the road, or turn left or right.

To aid driver judgment, Professor Easa’s and one of his former PhD students, Dr. Essam Dabbour, collaborated to develop an in-vehicle collision prediction system for consumers that takes the guess-work out of intersections. The on-board system, which is still under development, would calculate whether or not it’s safe to proceed forward.

Dr. Easa and Qing Chong You’s research study, entitled Collision Prediction Models for Three-Dimensional Two-Lane Highways: Horizontal Curves, was published in the journal Transportation Research Record in September 2009. The research, which received support from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), also earned the 2009 best paper award from the Operational Effects of Geometrics committee of the U.S. Transportation Board.

Dr. Easa’s second report, entitled Stop-Controlled Intersection Sight Distance: Minor Road on Tangent of Horizontal Curve, was published in the September issue of the Journal of Transportation Engineering. His collaborators were Ryerson Research Associate Muhammad Zain Ali and Civil Engineering Professor Mohammad Hamed of the Jordan University of Science and Technology.

Ryerson University is Canada's leader in innovative career-focused education, offering close to 100 PhD, master's, and undergraduate programs in the Faculty of Arts; the Faculty of Communication & Design; the Faculty of Community Services; the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Science; and the Ted Rogers School of Management. Ryerson University has graduate and undergraduate enrolment of 25,000 students. With more than 68,000 registrations annually, The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education is Canada's leading provider of university-based adult education.

Heather Kearney | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.ryerson.ca

More articles from Transportation and Logistics:

nachricht Variable speed limits could reduce crashes, ease congestion in highway work zones
07.06.2017 | University of Missouri-Columbia

nachricht Experiments show that a few self-driving cars can dramatically improve traffic flow
10.05.2017 | University of Illinois College of Engineering

All articles from Transportation and Logistics >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>