Operation and Safety Impacts of Run-Off-Road Crashes in Wisconsin: Object Hits and Ramp Terminals

Granting Agency: Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Researchers: David Noyce (PI), Andrea Bill, Madhav Chitturi

Primary Project Objectives

This research focused on run-off-road (ROR) crashes and understanding what objects were struck as well as the evaluation of traffic operations at ramp terminals. On the state highway system in Wisconsin there were more than 800 vehicle-tree and vehicle-pole combined in 2006. Understanding where these incidents take place can aid in better prevention, from geometric design as well as reducing speeds if necessary. Turn down guard rail ends were also investigated as some believe they are not as safe as other more current end treatments.

Car crashed into tree.

The purpose of this research was to investigate several different ROR incidents as well as evaluating traffic operations at freeway parallel and tamper free-flow entrance ramp terminals. ROR incidents most closely investigated included tree hits, pole hits, and fence hits. Turn down guardrail end hits in ROR crashes were also investigated to determine if in fact they should no longer be used due to safety concerns. Roadway inventory, traffic and crash data were integrated in a GIS framework for this research. As well as evaluating these guardrails, another objective was to develop a GIS-based guardrail inventory for the state.

Car crashed into telephone pole.