Vehicle operating speed is a crucial factor for road safety, as it strictly affects occurrence and severity of crashes. Usually, 85th percentile of the operating speed distributions (i.e., V85) in free-flow traffic condition is widely accepted as a base value of consistency evaluation for homogenous portion of existing roads. Although the computation of V85 is simple, many road authorities cannot collect speed data for each road. Therefore, providing prediction models could be a useful tool to investigate the relationship between V85 and road characteristics. The literature proposed several models to account it. However, to the best of our knowledge, the effects of some road geometric characteristics, road markings and signs, traffic data, type of terrain and the simultaneous consideration of different road categories on the V85 prediction were not completely analyzed. This paper fills this gap by isolating key variables that mostly affect V85. In doing so, 60 000+ car spot speed data were collected along the county road network of the province of Brescia (Italy), and then processed by multiple regression models. The main findings show that V85 increases owing to the presence of a wider or paved shoulder, visible road median markings, a higher number of lanes and a higher percentage of cars with respect to the total traffic flow. Conversely, V85 decreases as the road axis curvature, the number of accesses and rate of forbidden overtaking increase. In addition, the presence of visible road external markings and the surrounding mountainous terrain contribute to decreasing V85. The overall findings may support road authorities to verify roads’ operating conditions and, possibly, adjust the speed limits, especially for existing roads.

Estimating operating speed for county road segments – Evidence from Italy

Martinelli V.;Ventura R.;Bonera M.;Barabino B.
Conceptualization
;
Maternini G.
2022-01-01

Abstract

Vehicle operating speed is a crucial factor for road safety, as it strictly affects occurrence and severity of crashes. Usually, 85th percentile of the operating speed distributions (i.e., V85) in free-flow traffic condition is widely accepted as a base value of consistency evaluation for homogenous portion of existing roads. Although the computation of V85 is simple, many road authorities cannot collect speed data for each road. Therefore, providing prediction models could be a useful tool to investigate the relationship between V85 and road characteristics. The literature proposed several models to account it. However, to the best of our knowledge, the effects of some road geometric characteristics, road markings and signs, traffic data, type of terrain and the simultaneous consideration of different road categories on the V85 prediction were not completely analyzed. This paper fills this gap by isolating key variables that mostly affect V85. In doing so, 60 000+ car spot speed data were collected along the county road network of the province of Brescia (Italy), and then processed by multiple regression models. The main findings show that V85 increases owing to the presence of a wider or paved shoulder, visible road median markings, a higher number of lanes and a higher percentage of cars with respect to the total traffic flow. Conversely, V85 decreases as the road axis curvature, the number of accesses and rate of forbidden overtaking increase. In addition, the presence of visible road external markings and the surrounding mountainous terrain contribute to decreasing V85. The overall findings may support road authorities to verify roads’ operating conditions and, possibly, adjust the speed limits, especially for existing roads.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11379/560835
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