Design of Road Curves for Safety

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A road is considered safe if it has a very less histories of accidents or collisions. But all roads would have had at least a few cases of minor collisions . Among the different road components, the curves are the major points of concern along the road system (Glennon, 2003).


The majority of the accidents in these places are normally classified into two types : smashing at an object after running out of road and rolling over resulting from the losing control of the vehicle. In most of the cases the reasons identified are the excessive speed of the drivers entering the curves , which would lead to misjudging the sharpness of the bend , the sudden sharp turn of the curve after series of gentle curves or the change in surface characteristics that would lead to unsafe road curves. It is widely observed that the road surface would undergo significant change like polishing of the road surface aggregate on the bend than that of the rest of road due to the larger forces on road due to higher side thrust that results in unsafe road conditions on curves. Also , the problems due to inappropriate assumptions in the geometric design of the road like possibility of large number of drivers exceeding the design speed at curves is another important reason for higher accident rates at curves. Loss of super elevation due to poor maintenance could also lead to horizontal curves becoming more problematic than designed.
One of the earlier studies in the effect of curves on the safety of the roads in along London to Birmingham was reported by Hauer (2001). ...
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