Research to Improve Safety
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
12:30 p.m. - 2 p.m. EDT
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Ohio Rail Development Commission
This presentation reports the results of an ODOT-funded research study to evaluate the adequacy and performance of
the mathematical models used by ORDC for grade crossing hazard ranking. The goal of the study was to provide ODOT,
the ORDC, the PUCO, and other stakeholders with a better understanding of the grade crossing hazard ranking formulas
and other methods used by States to evaluate grade crossing hazards and select locations for hazard elimination projects.
Safety Performance Based Lighting Installation Prioritization Method
Historical crash data showed that the absence of lighting during nighttime resulted in a disproportionally large number of
traffic crashes and fatalities. There is a lack of safety performance functions (SPFs) for freeways and interchanges with
respect to lighting. Current national lighting guidelines were not based on quantified safety benefits of lighting. Therefore
the objective of this paper is to develop crash prediction models for freeways and interchanges with regards to lighting
based on Wisconsin data. Analysis tools and procedure were then created based on the developed models to assist the
prioritization of lighting installation. Five-year nighttime crashes on all freeways and interchanges in Wisconsin were
collected. Nighttime crashes were identified and each assigned to a specific freeway segment or interchange ramp.
Lighting pole data, as well as traffic and geometry data were also collected. SPFs were developed for freeway segments,
interchange segments and ramps under both lighted and unlighted conditions using negative binomial generalized linear
model. Injury severity distributions were also calculated for each segment type. Using the developed models, two
analysis tools were created, namely proactive tool and reactive tool. Crash risk and lighting benefit were determined to
be two important parameters in assessing the prioritization of lighting. Finally, lighting prioritization procedure was
proposed. The proposed method showed to be more customizable and provide more flexibility in implementation based
on specific conditions and circumstances.
Effective detection and notification of wrong way driving on todays
An NTSB study of Fatality Analysis and Reporting System (FARS) data shows that there were over 2,000 fatalities
resulting from wrong way vehicle crashes between 2004 and 2009 (SIR1201.pdf). Early detection of wrong way drivers
reduces the likelihood of a fatal crash by alerting the driver via messages posted to VMS signs along the roadway and
alerting police, allowing them to intercept the driver. The key to safe resolution of these potentially fatal scenarios is the
timing and method of communicating wrong way detections through the traffic management systems. We will discuss
the challenges of false detection alarms and effective solutions to managing these scenarios to a safe conclusion.
Jerry Garrison, Jerry.Garrison@dot.ohio.gov