UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Improved approaches to manage road safety infrastructure De Leur, Paul

Abstract

Due to the importance of road safety, most road authorities and safety agencies employ some type of road safety management program, designed to improve the safety performance for the system users. One road safety management program is delivered through road planning and engineering, aimed to improve the road design features to reduce the frequency and/or severity of collisions. These road safety management programs can be divided into two categories: reactive road safety initiatives (i.e., responding to existing road safety problems) and proactive road safety initiatives (i.e., actions taken to prevent the emergence of problems). There are several problems with the two approaches to deliver road safety. First, deteriorating quality and quantity of collision data, necessary for safety analysis, is jeopardizing the success of reactive safety management programs. Secondly, the inherent nature of a reactive program is problematic (i.e., allowing problems to emerge before treatment) and that the area of influence is limited, responding only to the most problematic locations. A proactive approach to road safety management can address these problems, however a proactive approach is a new concept and suffers from a lack of procedural and evaluation techniques. The goal of this research work is to explore new opportunities to improve the evaluation techniques and processes used in support of effective road safety management. This work offers four separate contributions that attempt to achieve this goal. First, explore the use of auto insurance claims data for road safety analysis, addressing the problem of a dependency on the deteriorating collision data. Second, develop a subjectively based, observation technique that can be used for road safety analysis, based on a concept of road-user risk, to address the collision data problem. Third, provide a framework and process to support proactive road safety planning, describing how the safety evaluation tools should be applied. Fourth, introduce improved techniques to evaluate proactive road safety management by developing collision prediction models. Each of the four attempts to improve the evaluation techniques and processes used in support of effective road safety management has proven to be successful, as described in detail in this thesis.

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