A. Garcia, L. Libreros, J. Contreras

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Pages: 81-88

Microscopic traffic simulation models or traffic microsimulators are currently one of the most advanced tools for traffic study. These allow us to reproduce in detail the individual drivers' behavior and the vehicles' evolution, and to model them during long periods. Nowadays, traffic microsimulators are mainly used for traffic planning, and for capacity studies of highway facilities, as well as, for evaluating intelligent transport systems (ITS). Nevertheless, with small improvements, these microsimulators can be used for studying other aspects, such as, visibility problems at intersections or merging. A new microsimulator was developed, called ValSim, which allows us to relate the skewed angle at intersections (merging or crossing) to the driver’s angle of visibility for both direct vision and indirect vision through rear-view mirrors. Thus, it is possible to evaluate road safety. ValSim aims to allow designers to evaluate, by dynamical analysis in the geometric design process, the configuration and geometry of an intersection, and to verify possible conflicts at merging as well as at skewed crossings due to lack of visibility. The software simulates the driver's behavior while carrying out the entry or crossing maneuver. For each moment, it calculates the blind spot zones and a possible visibility conflict is highlighted.

Keywords: microsimulator; visibility; skewed intersection; geometric design; safety