U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration

Accidents on Main Rural Highways Related to Speed, Driver, and Vehicle

Type of Resource: Report
Authors: Solomon
Publisher: GPO/Bureau of Public Roads (FHWA predessesor)
Report Number (if applicable):  
Year: 1964

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Resource Abstract:

Significant information on the relation of speed and characteristics of vehicles and drivers involved in accidents on main rural highways is presented in this publication. It is believed that the material presented here is the first based on a nationwide study from which it has been possible to develop an understanding of these relationships. The study was confined to 2- and 4-lane main rural highways of the non-freeway type, and the findings are limited to these types of main rural highways.

One of the important finding of this study is that the greater the differential in speed of a driver and his vehicle from the average speed of all traffic, the greater the chance of that driver being involved in an accident. For example, a driver traveling at 40 or 50 miles per hour in relation to an average speed of 60 miles per hour for all traffic has, substantially greater chance of being involved in an accident than a driver traveling at the average speed. But, if the average travel speed were only 40 miles per hour on a section of highway, the possibility of a driver being involved in an accident would be least at the average travel speed of 40 miles per hour.

The research that provided the information for this publication was conducted with the cooperation of the States of Arizona, California, Connecticut, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, and Virginia. The personnel of the State highway departments in the participating States cooperated in obtaining and tabulating field data. Considerable help was also provided by the motor vehicle and police departments in the participating States.

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