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 A helping (Sens)Hand
11.04.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

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

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: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>