Abstract: (1525 Views)
The previous studies show that a high percentage of traffic accidents take place in two-lane rural highways and most of which happen at horizontal curves. Meanwhile the horizontal alignment is often subject to hard topographic conditions where because of economic aspects designers are forced to design horizontal curves at grades. Vertical angle of longitudinal slope reduces the normal force of vehicle on road and friction force in tire-pavement surface will decrease. This leads to a lack of sufficient driver control over the vehicle especially if the curve with small radius is located at downgrade. In this paper, the suitability of operating speed and lateral friction coefficient as geometric design criteria for horizontal curves in downgrades are studied with regard to traffic safety and vehicle stability. The investigation of speed reduction of the vehicles running on a horizontal curve at downgrade as a response of driver behavior and the use of friction ellipse theory give the available friction coefficient. Whereas the dynamic analysis of forces applied on the vehicle in curve which is located at downgrade if combined with operating speed results in the required coefficient of lateral friction. Finally, a comparison of these two parameters based on safety evaluation criteria gives an estimation of actual safety level in designing horizontal curve at downgrades with regard to AASHTO’s data in horizontal curve design.