P. Nitsche, R. Stuetz, M. Helfert
To increase road safety, the concept of forgiving roadsides is one of the main priorities in the area of road infrastructure measures. It mainly aims to mitigate the consequences of single vehicle accidents—and especially run-off-road accidents—, which are responsible for nearly half of all road accident fatalities in the European Union. This paper introduces a novel approach for analyzing the necessity and effectiveness of forgiving roadside treatments. The work comprises simulations of various run-off-road accident scenarios at real high risk sites as well as the analysis of vehicle dynamics. The proposed concept is based on an accurate replication of real road sections by creating a three-dimensional road model. In simulation, various roadside designs are implemented to obtain information about their effect on safety. Indicators for the effectiveness are the head injury criterion (HIC) and the abbreviated injury scale (AIS), which describe the injuries to occupants. Simulations show that the risk of fatal injuries strongly declines with forgiving roadside design. In future, the concept could be utilized for road safety inspections and road safety audits in order to assess safety levels.
Keywords: road accident; forgiving roadside; simulation; HIC; AIS