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Document Type

Open Access

Degree Program

Civil Engineering

Degree Type

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (M.S.C.E.)

Year Degree Awarded

2011

Month Degree Awarded

May

Keywords

traffic safety, older driver, high crash locations, road safety investigations

Abstract

Arguably the greatest issue facing the transportation profession is the ability to provide social equity with regards to both safety and mobility given the aging population. Given the overall dominance of the automobile within the transportation system, the ability to provide feasible alternatives is daunting. This fact, when coupled with the well-documented challenges of older drivers, underscores the need for improved safety features and system-wide safety approaches with a focus on the older driver. This paper describes an application of spatial crash analysis and road safety investigations that were employed in Massachusetts with a direct focus on the older driver. Specifically, the paper outlines an approach for identifying high crash locations for older drivers and presents the results of older driver focused road safety investigations for selected locations. The research approach targets both intersections and roadway segments identifying locations where older drivers are overrepresented in crashes. The road safety investigations resulted in recommended countermeasures aimed at mitigating the older driver crash problem at the identified locations. Although the resulting countermeasures, which were based upon established literature such as the Older Driver Design Handbook, included a full spectrum of recommendations, a specific emphasis was placed upon short-term and low cost measures that could be readily employed. Techniques to identify relationships between high crash location identification methods and the recommended countermeasures for the identified locations are considered. Ultimately the application of these techniques may provide transportation professionals with a means to associate specific older driver focused countermeasures with the results of particular methods of high crash location identification.

First Advisor

Michael A. Knodler

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