The National Academies

NCHRP 17-22 [Completed]

Identification of Vehicular Impact Conditions Associated with Serious Ran-Off-Road Crashes

  Project Data
Funds: $634,521
Research Agency: University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Principal Investigator: Dean L. Sicking
Effective Date: 8/15/2001
Completion Date: 8/31/2009

Background: The primary goal of roadside design is to limit the number of serious injuries and fatalities associated with ran-off-road crashes. Roadside geometrics and safety features have a strong influence on the frequency and severity of crashes. In order to design optimum roadside geometrics and to determine which roadside safety features are appropriate, it is imperative to identify impact characteristics associated with serious injury and fatal crashes. This information has a direct bearing on safety-evaluation criteria used to assess the performance of roadside safety features. However, the impact speeds, angles, and orientations used in the current testing procedures are selected to represent a practical worst case situation. It is unclear to what degree this practical worst case situation represents real world conditions. Consequently, it is important to have definitive data on whether there are real relationships between the selected test impact conditions and actual crashes involving serious injuries and fatalities.

Crash data will be useful in refining guidelines for roadside safety countermeasures and calibrating roadside safety models [e.g., Roadside Safety Analysis Program (RSAP)] and crash and vehicle dynamics simulation models. It will also be helpful in focusing designers' attention on the roadside features that are involved in the greatest number of serious injury and fatal crashes. Crash data will help designers spend safety dollars on improvements that will have the greatest likelihood of reducing serious injuries and fatalities.

Objective: The objectives of this project are (1) to identify the vehicle types, impact conditions, and site characteristics associated with serious injury and fatal crashes involving roadside features and safety devices and (2) to create a robust relational database for future research.

Tasks: To accomplish the project objectives the following tasks are envisioned: (1.) Conduct a literature search to assess the adequacy and extent of information on serious ran-off-road crashes. (2.) Review ongoing and proposed research and data collection efforts related to this project. (3.) Determine the types of additional data that will be required, beyond what is in the literature and is currently being collected, to meet the objectives of the project. (4.) Prepare an interim report including a plan that details the data elements, sample size, methods to obtain the additional data required, and a format for summarizing the data to meet the project objectives. The plan shall also indicate the cost of the data collection effort. (5.) Meet in Washington, D.C., with the project panel to review the Task 4 interim report, including the work plan, approximately 1 month after submittal. Submit a revised interim report addressing the panel's review comments. The contractor shall not proceed with the remaining tasks without the approval of the NCHRP. (6.) Implement the approved plan to collect those data elements approved by the project panel and organize the data in a format that achieves the project objectives. The contractor shall provide the data collected to date with the first quarterly report after initiating this task. The panel may recommend adjustments in the data collection effort at this time. (7.) Summarize the data as outlined in the approved plan and make the raw data, as well as the processed data, available in an electronic format. (8.) Submit the final report documenting the entire research effort. The final report shall describe how the project was conducted, including the data summaries and recommendations for additional data collection efforts.

Status: The project has been completed and the final report published.

Product Availability: NCHRP Report 665: Identification of Vehicular Impact Conditions Associated with Serious Ran-off-Road Crashes

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