A key to better geometric design of highways is designing horizontal curves conforming to driver behaviour. The values of side friction factors in the point mass formula, used for the design of the minimum radius of a horizontal curve, are based on the upper threshold of driver comfort. In the current guidelines, these driver comfort levels were established in research work carried out back in the 1930s. Recently, it was found that faster drivers tend to accept higher comfort thresholds to maintain their speed and minimize speed reduction between curve and tangent. An experiment was designed at Carleton University to collect newer data on driver behaviour including speed and lateral acceleration. The results confirmed the need to revise the values of side friction demand especially for sharp curves. In addition, a model was developed to determine the side friction factor to be used in design or in consistency evaluation of horizontal curves on rural roads and ramps.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Driver comfort threshold, Geometric design of highways, Horizontal curve design, Side friction demand
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1139/L09-075
Journal Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering
Citation
Said, D. (Dalia), Hassan, Y, & Halim, A.O. (2009). Comfort thresholds for horizontal curve design. Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering, 36(9), 1391–1402. doi:10.1139/L09-075