Several earlier studies have noted the shortcomings with existing geometric design guides which provide deterministic standards. In these standards the safety margin of the design output is generally unknown and there is little knowledge of the safety implications of deviating from the standards. To mitigate these shortcomings, probabilistic geometric design has been advocated where reliability analysis can be used to account for the uncertainty in the design parameters and to provide a mechanism for risk measurement to evaluate the safety impact of deviations from design standards. This paper applies reliability analysis for optimizing the safety of highway cross-sections. The paper presents an original methodology to select a suitable combination of cross-section elements with restricted sight distance to result in reduced collisions and consistent risk levels. The purpose of this optimization method is to provide designers with a proactive approach to the design of cross-section elements in order to (i) minimize the risk associated with restricted sight distance, (ii) balance the risk across the two carriageways of the highway, and (iii) reduce the expected collision frequency. A case study involving nine cross-sections that are parts of two major highway developments in British Columbia, Canada, was presented. The results showed that an additional reduction in collisions can be realized by incorporating the reliability component, P nc (denoting the probability of non-compliance), in the optimization process. The proposed approach results in reduced and consistent risk levels for both travel directions in addition to further collision reductions.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Collision modification factors, Collision risk, Highway cross-sections, Highway design, Horizontal curves, Optimization, Reliability analysis, Restricted sight distance
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2012.03.016
Journal Accident Analysis and Prevention
Citation
Ibrahim, S.E. (Shewkar E.), Sayed, T. (Tarek), & Ismail, K. (2012). Methodology for safety optimization of highway cross-sections for horizontal curves with restricted sight distance. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 49, 476–485. doi:10.1016/j.aap.2012.03.016