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Some Basic Concepts to Enhance Safety at Road Intersection for Safe Mobility in Smart Cities

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Road accidents are estimated to be the eighth leading cause of death globally, with an impact similar to that caused by many communicable diseases, such as malaria (global road safety manual). Intersections are among the most hazardous locations on roadway systems (Retting et al 1999). Road intersections that have accident potential or have high numbers of accidents called hazardous intersections thus safety evaluation of a road intersection is a determinant problem. This article presents the various safety issues and some basic concepts to enhance safety at highway intersection. Some factors that directly affect the safety at intersections are geometrical deficiencies, lack of traffic control devices, human factors, environmental factors etc. To improve safety at high-speed intersections, a number of safety countermeasures have been proposed, some of which have been implemented. Geometrical changes, appropriate use of traffic control devices, speed management, law enforcements, road safety audits etc. are some countermeasures can be used for enhance safety at road intersection. Intersection safety is a complex public health issue that cannot always be solved by making changes in signs and signals, but can be helped by a national comprehensive effort of improved intersection vehicle and pedestrian safety management.
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    Some Basic Concepts to Enhance Safety at Road Intersection for Safe Mobility in Smart Cities Himanshu Jaiswal  *  , Rakesh Mehar  **  , DS Panday  ** Abstract Road accidents are estimated to be the eighth leading cause of death globally, with an impact similar to that caused by many communicable diseases, such as malaria (global road safety manual). Intersections are among the most hazardous locations on roadway systems (Retting et al 1999). Road intersections that have accident potential or have high numbers of accidents called hazardous intersections thus safety evaluation of a road intersection is a determinant problem. This article presents the various safety issues and some basic concepts to enhance safety at highway intersection. Some factors that directly affect the safety at intersections are geometrical deficiencies, lack of traffic control devices, human factors, environmental factors etc. To improve safety at high-speed intersections, a number of safety countermeasures have been proposed, some of which have been implemented. Geometrical changes, appropriate use of traffic control devices, speed management, law enforcements, road safety audits etc. are some countermeasures can be used for enhance safety at road intersection. Intersection safety is a complex public health issue that cannot always be solved by making changes in signs and signals, but can be helped by a national comprehensive effort of improved intersection vehicle and pedestrian safety management. Keywords: Road accidents, Intersection safety. Introduction Road accidents in India and around the world from which we observe that road accidents are undoubtedly the most frequent and overall the cause of the most damage. The reason behind this scenario is extremely dense road traffic, lack of proper geometric design, environmental conditions and relatively great freedom of movement given to road user.   * PG Student, Department of Civil Engineering, Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India. ** Faculty, Department of Civil Engineering, Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India. *** PhD Scholar, Department of Civil Engineering, Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India. Correspondence to: Mr. Himanshu Jaiswal, Department of Civil Engineering, Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India. E-mail Id:  theicon619@gmail.com © ADR Journals 2017. All Rights Reserved.   Jaiswal H et al.    J. Adv. Res. Auto. Tech. Transp. Sys. 2017; 1(1&2) The increasing numbers of road vehicles as well as road accidents has raised the need to improve design and practical approach of various road parameters. The prevention of road accidents is also extremely important especially at the intersections where there are major conflict points. More than half of road accidents occur at intersections. This has given a thrust to redesign the existing intersections. Intersections are an integral part of the road system and compared with other urban intersections usually generate more traffic crashes because of considerable conflicts in motorized traffic, as well as conflicts among motorized traffic, non-motorized traffic, and pedestrians. Road intersections that have accident potential or have high numbers of accidents called hazardous intersections thus safety evaluation of a road intersection is a determinant problem. Table 1 shows the number of fatalities and injuries at intersection in compare with non-intersection crashes fatalities in India in 2007. Table 1.Details of Intersection Crashes in the Year 2007 (1) No. Type of Crashes Number Percentages (%) 1 Total fatal crashes 37435 - 2 Total intersection and intersection-related fatal crashes 8061 21.5 3 Total injury crashes 1711000 - 4 Total intersection and intersection-related injury crashes 767000 44 5 Total property damage only (PDO) crashes 4275000 - 6 Total intersection and intersection-related PDO crashes 1617000 37.8 7 All crashes 6024000 - 8 Total intersection and intersection-related crashes 2492061 39.7 A study conducted by the Planning Commission in 2002 estimated the social cost of road accidents in India at about 3 per cent of GDP (Road Safety and Traffic Management, 2007). About 40% of motor vehicle crashes occur at intersections. In recent years, the number of crashes at traffic signals has increased considerably. According to past statistics, approximately 55% of total traffic crashes and 23% of crashes with fatalities in urban areas in the USA occur at intersections. China has first ranked in the world in the number of road accidents and fatalities, in which approximately 30%of occurred at urban intersections. Therefore, measuring intersection safety factors is essential to achieve effectivecorrection countermeasures (Zhou et al, 2013). It was observed that intersection collision figure in Japan are even more devastating, with more than 58 percent of all traffic crashes reported at intersection. Intersection related fatalities in Japan are approximately 30 percent of all Japanese traffic accidents (Salim, 2008). Figure 2 shows a survey in America (by FHWA) , it was found that out of total fatal and injury crashes 56.7% of it took place at intersections, and on an average 53.5% crashes of all crashes took place at intersections only. In India this data ranges between 30%-35%. And in Australia 43% of urban crashes and 11% of rural crashes are at intersections. 56   J. Adv. Res. Auto. Tech. Transp. Sys. 2017; 1(1&2)    Jaiswal H et al. Fatal and Injury 56.70% 43.30% Intersection  Non-intersection crashes All crashes 53.50% 46.50% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Percentage Distribution Figure 1.Percentage Distribution of Intersection Accidents to Overall Accidents (4) (World Health Organization (WHO), 2008) This article contains four parts. First part introduce the present scenario of road accidents at intersection. Second part of this article explain the various safety issues that are need to evaluate on road safety aspects. Third part of this article consist the various basic concepts to enhance the safety at intersection and safety measures. Fourth and last part of this article gives derived conclusion on the basis of this article. Basic Issues to Ensure Safety at Intersection Road safety at highway intersection is the major area of concern in road safety. Various type of intersection face safety issues whether it is signalized or non-signalized intersection. Safety issues at intersection can be categorized in geometrical deficiencies, traffic control devices, human factor, and environment factors. In this article we will briefly discuss these points. There are various factors that are directly responsible for accidents at intersection. One of them is geometrical deficiencies. It consist geometric design of intersection, sight distance, obstruction at intersection, geometrical elements of intersection, maintenance of pavements at intersection etc. The intersection design should permit all users to clearly see and be seen by other users of the intersection, enable timely understanding of directions of travel and rights-of-way, be clear of unexpected hazards and consistent with the roadway or pathway on the intersection approach. Intersections are often the controlling factor when establishing motor vehicle capacity of an urban roadway corridor. Many intersections have been designed to present as few impediments to efficient through-travel as possible. However, intersections are also areas of concentrated conflicts between crossing, merging and diverging traffic streams, including pedestrian and bicycle traffic. The primary goal of intersection design is to maximize both safety and mobility. Like many highway features, safe and efficient traffic flow cannot be achieved. 57   Jaiswal H et al.    J. Adv. Res. Auto. Tech. Transp. Sys. 2017; 1(1&2)   Geometrical Issues Geometrical issues are the major concerning factors affecting the safety at road intersection in country like India. There are various issues we will discuss below. These issues must be identified and it should provide suitable countermeasure. Some of the Geometrical issues are discussed below: Various geometrical elements like entry width, exit width, rotary radius, left turn, right turn, weaving width, approach width etc., Should according to the recommendations of IRC codes. Safety of intersection should be kept in mind while designing the intersection. Stopping Sight distance at intersection should be enough to avoid any type of collision. Vegetation at median or near the intersection should be restricted so that enough sight distance can be provided. Obstruction like electric poles, old damaged sign boards, temples, mosque, unnecessary rotary etc. create suitable condition for severe accidents. Hence these types of obstructions should be removed for smooth and safe movements of vehicles. Absence of Splitter Island creates possibility of collision of incoming and outgoing vehicles. Hence Splitter Island should be provided with suitable alignment and size of Splitter Island should be as per IRC recommendations. More vegetation or big splitter islands should be avoided so that it could not produce confusion in recognition of Central Island for road users. Poor maintenance is also a reason of crashes at intersection. Hence regular maintenance should be kept in mind by concerning authorities. Any type of pavement failure should be treated as soon as possible. Traffic Control and Regulation Issues Traffic control devices play an important role for channelization and movement of vehicle at intersection. Figure 2 shows the distribution of intersection-related crashes over traffic control devices. In an estimated 787,236 intersection-related crashes, about 52.5 percent (413,140) of the vehicles that were assigned a critical reason were traveling on roadways that were controlled by at least one traffic signal and 31.3 percent (246,385) by at least one stop sign. About 15.9 percent (125,022) of vehicles were traveling on the roadways with no traffic control device. Hence these devices should be located and installed suitably keeping the safety in mind. Some of the issues related to traffic control devices are discussed below: Lack of traffic control devices like signs, markings, signals etc. affect the safety at intersection. These devices should be installed to guide the road users to ride safely. With the use of TCD’s, appropriate placement and desirable orientation are also important. Hence sign boards, signals, medians, splitter barricades etc. should be located while keeping the road safety in mind. Old road markings or faded road markings should be completely removed and new marking should be made so that road users could not get confused by it. Illumination of the roundabout intersection should be given considerable attention, as positive contrast lighting 58

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Jul 24, 2018
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