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For a reliable comparison the real volumes should be used (rather than recorded numbers with different recording rates)A traffic circle applied to a four-way intersection as a means of improving its safety.
For example, in 2013, German autobahns carried 31% of motorized road traffic (in travel-kilometres) while accounting for 13% of Germany's traffic deaths.
The autobahn fatality rate of 1.9 deaths per billion-travel-kilometres compared favorably with the 4.7 rate on urban streets and 6.6 rate on rural roads.
The old road safety paradigm of purely crash risk is a far more complex matter.
Contributing factors to highway crashes may be related to the driver (such as driver error, illness, or fatigue), the vehicle (brake, steering, or throttle failures), or the road itself (lack of sight distance, poor roadside clear zones, etc.).
For road traffic safety purposes it can be helpful to classify roads into three usages: built-up urban streets with slower speeds, greater densities, and more diversity among road users; non built-up rural roads with higher speeds; and major highways (motorways/ Interstates/ freeways/ Autobahns, etc.) reserved for motor-vehicles, and which are often designed to minimize and attenuate crashes.
Most injuries occur on urban streets but most fatalities on rural roads, while motorways are the safest in relation to distance traveled.
For example, the chances of survival for an unprotected pedestrian hit by a vehicle diminish rapidly at speeds greater than 30 km/h, whereas for a properly restrained motor vehicle occupant the critical impact speed is 50 km/h (for side impact crashes) and 70 km/h (for head-on crashes).
As sustainable solutions for all classes of road safety have not been identified, particularly low-traffic rural and remote roads, a hierarchy of control should be applied, similar to classifications used to improve occupational safety and health.
replace KSI rates with crash rates – for example, crashes per million vehicle miles.
Vehicle speed within the human tolerances for avoiding serious injury and death is a key goal of modern road design because impact speed affects the severity of injury to both occupants and pedestrians.