Relationship Between Speed And Lateral Position On Curves

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Shauna L. Hallmark
Neal Hawkins
Omar Smadi

Lane departure crashes are a significant safety concern. The majority of lane departure crashes occur in rural areas, mostly on 2-lane roadways. A disproportionate number of these crashes occur on horizontal curves. Curve related crashes involve a number of roadway and driver causative factors. Understanding how drivers negotiate curves can assist in application of countermeasures.One aspect of curve negotiation that is not well documented is the relationship between lateral position and speed. This relationship was assessed by comparing the odds of a near lane crossing for vehicles traveling 5 or more mph over the advisory speed to those for vehicles traveling below that threshold. Data were collected using a “Z” configuration of road tubes at three rural 2-lane curves in Iowa (USA). Data were collected at various locations within those curves including the PC and center of curve. Data were compared for daytime and nighttime separately since driver behavior can vary during these time periods. When results were statistically significant, vehicles at higher speeds had greater odds of near lane crossings.

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