The present paper describes research undertaken to identify causes underlying single-vehicle accidents (in terms of road design, driver behaviour and vehicle handling characteristics), which continuously happen in one specific section of Croatian motorway A1. The research resulted in a proposed procedure for a detection of hazardous locations on motorways and analysis of possible causes of single-vehicle accidents. The main part of the procedure involves test-rides with a vehicle equipped with devices (a ball bank indicator and a GPS data logger), which collect data on driver’s behaviour and vehicle handling characteristics (position, speed, longitudinal and lateral acceleration, heading, path radius, etc.). Despite the fact that the motorway was designed in accordance with the design guidelines, test rides performed by higher operating speeds identified two locations with a lateral acceleration change a few times higher than the design value. The collected data are then used for analysing hypotheses about the possible causes of accidents by using a vehicle dynamic model. The hypothesis that a sudden change in lateral acceleration could result in a driver’s inadequate manoeuvre like braking and cause a vehicle accident was analysed with a transient bicycle model. The results of test rides and the transient bicycle model indicate that speed, intensity of deceleration and underinflated tires significantly affect the probability of a single-vehicle accident.
detection of hazardous locations, single-vehicle accidents, lateral acceleration change, ball bank indicator, GPS data logger, transient bicycle model, alignment inconsistency
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