21. Road Safety Studies on Rural Highways
Date of Start

August 2005
Indian Institute of Technology Madras (R, C)


Scope and Objectives

The present study is aimed at the analysis of road accidents occurring on the rural highways in the country, which operate under mixed traffic flow conditions. In the present study, it is intended to analyse road accidents and their causative factors, employing advanced analysis techniques, like computer simulation, fuzzy logic modeling and learning systems like Artificial Neural Network (ANN). The specific objective of the present study is to analyse the effect of the following factors in the occurrence of road accidents on rural highways in the country,

i) Traffic factors; like speed, speed differential, flow, density and traffic composition.

ii) Roadway geometric factors; namely lane width/condition, shoulder width/condition, horizontal/vertical curvature, sight distance and the availability of overtaking zones.

iii) Other factors; like friction due to roadside activity, access and the presence of vulnerable road users like pedestrians and bicyclists.

The methodology proposed for the present study includes the following phases; Review of Literature: An exhaustive review of literature on road safety studies carried out in India and abroad, to understand the state of art and lacuna. This phase will continue until the end of the present study, so as to include and update even the latest of research in the area.

Collection of data: The analysis to understand the relationship between road accident and various contributing factors requires reliable data from field. It is intended to collect the required data in the initial stages of the study. The data collected shall include traffic, volume, speed, road geometrics, roadside activity etc.

Analysis of the data: The data collected in the study will be analysed in detail, employing advanced analysis techniques like simulation, fuzzy logic and learning systems. The analysis is expected to suggest the best-suited analysis approach to the problem.

Discussion of results and drawing of conclusions: The proposed analysis is expected to yield road accident models that will explain the underlying relationship between occurrence of road accidents and the contributing factors. Discussion of the results is expected to yield valuable conclusions that will help to identify the predominant causative factors of road accidents on rural highways and to suggest improvement measures.