Impact of Pavement Roughness on Traffic Safety under Heterogeneous Traffic Conditions
H ighway safety is a major priority for public use and for transportation agencies. Pavement roughness indirectly influence drivers' concentration, vehicle operation, and road traffic accidents, and it directly affect ride quality. This study focuses on analyzing the influence of pavement roughness on traffic safety using traffic, pavement and accident data on dual and single carriageway operated under heterogeneous traffic conditions in South-west, Nigeria. Traffic crash data between 2012 and 2015 was obtained from the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and International Roughness Index (IRI) data from the Pavement Evaluation Unit of the Federal Ministry of Works, Kaduna. Crash road segments represented 63 percent of the total length of roads. IRI values for crash and non-crash segments was a close difference of 0.3,This indicates that roughness is not the only factors affecting occurrence of traffic crashes but a combination with other factors such as human error, geometric characteristics and vehicle conditions. Crash severity was categorized into Fatal, serious and minor injury crashes. In all cases, the total crash rate increases with increase in IRI value up to a critical IRI value of 4.4 and 6.15 for Sagamu-Ore road and Ilesha-Akure-Owo road respectively, wherein the crash rate dropped. The conclusion is key in improving safety concerns, if transportation agencies keep their road network below these critical pavement conditions, the crash rate would largely decrease. The study concluded that ride quality does not directly affect traffic crash rate.
Keywords: Pavement conditions, traffic safety, International Roughness Index, crash rate, carriageway.
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