Highway Safety Class Project

Erica Toussant

Erica Toussant,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 26 November 2012 – A project I am finishing up for this semester is a Highway Safety project. In this class, we have been studying how to predict crashes based on elements of different types of roads, such as lane width, turning lanes, and phases of the stop lights. The project assigned is to actually perform a study and implement appropriate countermeasures to lower the number of crashes occurring at a location by 25%.

Each group had to pick a stretch of roadway that was at least a mile long and had two intersections. This roadway had to be divided into segments according to when portions of the roadway change. As an example, a speed limit change can divide a road into two segments. Our group had to go out to the roadway we chose and measure distances and fixed objects. We had to create drawings on AutoCAD in order to make collision diagrams. The next step was using online databases to find the crashes that actually occurred in 2009 and 2010. Through the actual crashes and the predicted number of crashes for these two years, we were able to predict how many crashes should have occurred throughout this year. Based on why these crashes occurred, we chose countermeasures to lower the expected number of crashes. After putting all of this together with pictures and other graphics, we have to present this project to the class and answer questions concerning our methods and reasoning.

This project is very useful to our education in this class. Sitting in class and learning how to do something is so much more different then actually doing this work ourselves. It helps to give us the confidence to conduct a study if we someday have to do this in our careers.

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