Some Questions on the Accuracy of Safety Effectiveness Evaluations

by Richard W. Lyles, Michigan State Univ, East Lansing, MI, USA,
Aris G. Drakopoulos, Michigan State Univ, East Lansing, MI, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Effectiveness of Highway Safety Improvements

Abstract: The generally positive benefits of safety improvements, and, in particular, upgraded traffic control devices, are well-established. More difficult is the explicit rank-ordering of traffic control devices by effectiveness - determining which upgrading or type of device results in the best allocation of monetary resources. Several sources of error in making such determinations are discussed. The conclusion is that, while the basic contention that safety programs such as upgrading traffic control devices should be regarded as beneficial is correct, engineers and safety analysts need to be more realistic in assessing the magnitude of the safety-related savings.

Subject Headings: Traffic safety | Traffic analysis | Traffic signs | Traffic signals | Resource management | Economic factors

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