Road network safety

Several years of annual reporting of risk mapping results in Britain and Spain has generated substantial media interest in the variation in risk between roads, and the roads where risk is reducing or remaining high. Many safety engineers in Britain are beginning to use the EuroRAP risk data alongside their more traditional accident analysis techniques. Performance tracking of risk over the period 1999 to 2004 has identified reductions of about half in the length of roads in the highest risk band in Spain, Britain and Sweden (Lynam et al 2007)


An assessment of 1200kms of motorway in Germany (ADAC Press Release, July 2006) comparing the EuroRAP star rating system with relevant accident data showed that motorways rated with four stars produced 50% fewer severe run-off accidents than three star routes. Studies in Sweden and Britain [4] comparing average fatal and serious accident rates for roads with different star ratings have shown differences in rating of one star to be associated with 25-33% reduction in accidents. More detailed comparisons of ratings and accident rates for individual accident types show the correlation to hold for run-off and head-on accidents, but suggest the junction assessment methodology needs improving.


In Sweden, the “safe speed” policy is drawing on EuroRAP RPS ratings to demonstrate whether roads provide sufficient protection to warrant higher speed limits.



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