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

nachricht Tool helps cities to plan electric bus routes, and calculate the benefits
09.01.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

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 the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>