Safety effects of horizontal curve reliability index

Scott Himes, Eric Donnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Recent advancements in analytical processes have used probabilistic approaches to examine the efficacy of the point mass model (and other Green Book models) to develop reliability-based approaches for geometric design. However, there has been minimal research establishing the link between reliability measures and substantive safety (expressed through crash frequency). The objective of this paper is to use empirical data supporting the calculation of reliability index for existing horizontal curves and to estimate the relationship between reliability index and crash frequency. Other horizontal curverelated characteristics that may have an impact on crash frequency on horizontal curves for rural two-lane highways and rural freeway facilities are controlled for in the evaluation. The safety analysis showed that the wet pavement reliability index was significantly associated with crash frequency for total curve-related crashes, single-vehicle run-off-road crashes, rollover crashes, truck-related crashes, and weather-related crashes. The relationship was strongest for the reliability index in its continuous form, meaning that the effect is continuous across the range of wet pavement reliability that was observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)627-636
Number of pages10
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jul 3 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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