Analyzing the influence of median cross-section design on highway safety using vehicle dynamics simulations

Jason S. Stine, Bridget C. Hamblin, Sean N. Brennan, Eric Todd Donnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although vehicle dynamics simulations have long been used in vehicle design and crash reconstruction, their use for highway design is rare. This paper investigates the safety of highway medians through iterative simulations of off-road median encroachments. The commercially available software CarSim was used to simulate over one hundred thousand encroachments, representing the entire passenger vehicle fleet and a wide range of encroachment angles, departure speeds, steering inputs, and braking inputs. Each individual simulation output was then weighted using data from previous studies to reflect the probability of each specific accident scenario occurring in a real-life median encroachment. Results of this analysis illustrate the relative influence of median cross-section geometry on the resulting accident outcomes. The simulations indicate that the overall safety of a highway median depends on the occurrence of both vehicle rollover and median crossover events, and the cross-section shape, slope, and width are all shown to greatly affect each of these incidents. An evaluation of the simulation results was conducted with vehicle trajectories from previous experimental crash tests. Further assessment of the aggregate simulation results to actual crash data was achieved through comparison with several databases of crash statistics. Both efforts showed a strong agreement between the simulations and the real-life crash data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1769-1777
Number of pages9
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Volume42
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

Fingerprint

Accidents
Safety
simulation
Computer simulation
Software
Databases
Highway engineering
accident
Braking
Trajectories
Statistics
incident
Geometry
reconstruction
statistics
mathematics
road
scenario
event
evaluation

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Law

Cite this

@article{55801b0326e343d2aea8a1ecc2bb91b5,
title = "Analyzing the influence of median cross-section design on highway safety using vehicle dynamics simulations",
abstract = "Although vehicle dynamics simulations have long been used in vehicle design and crash reconstruction, their use for highway design is rare. This paper investigates the safety of highway medians through iterative simulations of off-road median encroachments. The commercially available software CarSim was used to simulate over one hundred thousand encroachments, representing the entire passenger vehicle fleet and a wide range of encroachment angles, departure speeds, steering inputs, and braking inputs. Each individual simulation output was then weighted using data from previous studies to reflect the probability of each specific accident scenario occurring in a real-life median encroachment. Results of this analysis illustrate the relative influence of median cross-section geometry on the resulting accident outcomes. The simulations indicate that the overall safety of a highway median depends on the occurrence of both vehicle rollover and median crossover events, and the cross-section shape, slope, and width are all shown to greatly affect each of these incidents. An evaluation of the simulation results was conducted with vehicle trajectories from previous experimental crash tests. Further assessment of the aggregate simulation results to actual crash data was achieved through comparison with several databases of crash statistics. Both efforts showed a strong agreement between the simulations and the real-life crash data.",
author = "Stine, {Jason S.} and Hamblin, {Bridget C.} and Brennan, {Sean N.} and Donnell, {Eric Todd}",
year = "2010",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.aap.2010.04.018",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "42",
pages = "1769--1777",
journal = "Accident Analysis and Prevention",
issn = "0001-4575",
publisher = "Elsevier Limited",
number = "6",

}

Analyzing the influence of median cross-section design on highway safety using vehicle dynamics simulations. / Stine, Jason S.; Hamblin, Bridget C.; Brennan, Sean N.; Donnell, Eric Todd.

In: Accident Analysis and Prevention, Vol. 42, No. 6, 01.01.2010, p. 1769-1777.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Analyzing the influence of median cross-section design on highway safety using vehicle dynamics simulations

AU - Stine, Jason S.

AU - Hamblin, Bridget C.

AU - Brennan, Sean N.

AU - Donnell, Eric Todd

PY - 2010/1/1

Y1 - 2010/1/1

N2 - Although vehicle dynamics simulations have long been used in vehicle design and crash reconstruction, their use for highway design is rare. This paper investigates the safety of highway medians through iterative simulations of off-road median encroachments. The commercially available software CarSim was used to simulate over one hundred thousand encroachments, representing the entire passenger vehicle fleet and a wide range of encroachment angles, departure speeds, steering inputs, and braking inputs. Each individual simulation output was then weighted using data from previous studies to reflect the probability of each specific accident scenario occurring in a real-life median encroachment. Results of this analysis illustrate the relative influence of median cross-section geometry on the resulting accident outcomes. The simulations indicate that the overall safety of a highway median depends on the occurrence of both vehicle rollover and median crossover events, and the cross-section shape, slope, and width are all shown to greatly affect each of these incidents. An evaluation of the simulation results was conducted with vehicle trajectories from previous experimental crash tests. Further assessment of the aggregate simulation results to actual crash data was achieved through comparison with several databases of crash statistics. Both efforts showed a strong agreement between the simulations and the real-life crash data.

AB - Although vehicle dynamics simulations have long been used in vehicle design and crash reconstruction, their use for highway design is rare. This paper investigates the safety of highway medians through iterative simulations of off-road median encroachments. The commercially available software CarSim was used to simulate over one hundred thousand encroachments, representing the entire passenger vehicle fleet and a wide range of encroachment angles, departure speeds, steering inputs, and braking inputs. Each individual simulation output was then weighted using data from previous studies to reflect the probability of each specific accident scenario occurring in a real-life median encroachment. Results of this analysis illustrate the relative influence of median cross-section geometry on the resulting accident outcomes. The simulations indicate that the overall safety of a highway median depends on the occurrence of both vehicle rollover and median crossover events, and the cross-section shape, slope, and width are all shown to greatly affect each of these incidents. An evaluation of the simulation results was conducted with vehicle trajectories from previous experimental crash tests. Further assessment of the aggregate simulation results to actual crash data was achieved through comparison with several databases of crash statistics. Both efforts showed a strong agreement between the simulations and the real-life crash data.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=78049367757&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=78049367757&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.aap.2010.04.018

DO - 10.1016/j.aap.2010.04.018

M3 - Article

VL - 42

SP - 1769

EP - 1777

JO - Accident Analysis and Prevention

JF - Accident Analysis and Prevention

SN - 0001-4575

IS - 6

ER -