Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

K-State engineering professor examines factors leading to fatal automobile accidents

12.01.2005


Research in Florida and Kansas



Driving in rural areas can be hazardous to your health. Many factors contribute to the severity of automobile accidents. Sunanda Dissanayake, assistant professor of civil engineering at Kansas State University, said some factors continually and significantly contribute to the severity of accidents.

In her most recent research, Dissanayake studied rural highway crashes in Kansas. A previous study looked at factors contributing to the severity of single-vehicle crashes in Florida. According to data from the Kansas Accident Reporting System, 75 percent of fatal highway crashes are in rural areas. "Most of the funding used to take preventative measures is used in urban areas, and the rural areas tend to be neglected," Dissanayake said. "We cannot neglect these areas, even though it is a challenge to take precautions and enforce rules on the long stretches of highway in rural areas."


Dissanayake said four factors were consistently most significant in contributing to fatalities in rural highway crashes -- driving under the influence, driving at higher than the posted speed limit, not using a seat belt and being ejected from the vehicle.

In a previous study, Dissanayake studied factors contributing to the severity of single-vehicle crashes in young and older drivers in Florida. She found the same four factors to be consistently the most significant in this study.

She said these results have practical implications in Kansas.

"In Kansas, police officers cannot stop a driver for not wearing a seat belt," Dissanayake said. "My research shows that seat belt usage is very important in reducing the severity of injuries suffered in a crash. This could be used as the basis for introducing a primary seat belt law, in which police officers can stop you for not wearing your seat belt."

Dissanayake said speeding and driving under the influence require strict enforcement to prevent fatalities. "Some people are pushing toward increasing the posted speeds on our highways," she said. "If you drive faster than the limits posted now and crash, the severity of injuries suffered in the accident is significantly higher."

Dissanayake mentioned three methods for taking precaution against factors contributing to crashes -- engineering, enforcement and education. She said engineering-related countermeasures could be used to make curves, grades and roads in general safer. She said enforcement of laws is important, especially in the areas or situations shown to be more likely to contribute to a severe accident.

Dissanayake said some people don’t know the effects of their actions, such as not wearing a seat belt or driving over the posted speed limit. She said it’s important to educate people about the factors that contribute to accidents, especially those that contribute to making an accident fatal.

She presented her findings on rural highway crashes in Kansas Jan. 11 at the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. The study was funded through the Mack-Blackwell Transportation Center at the University of Arkansas, which receives funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Her research on factors affecting severity of single-vehicle crashes in young and older drivers was published in the Journal of the International Association of Traffic and Safety Sciences in November 2004.

Sunanda Dissanayake | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.k-state.edu

More articles from Transportation and Logistics:

nachricht Study sets new distance record for medical drone transport
13.09.2017 | Johns Hopkins Medicine

nachricht Researchers 'count cars' -- literally -- to find a better way to control heavy traffic
10.08.2017 | Florida Atlantic University

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: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>