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NCHRP Report 500: Guidance for Implementation of the AASHTO Strategic Highway Safety Plan, Volume 8

Product Type

Research Report

Author

Lacy, K., R. Srinivasan, C.V. Zegeer, R. Pfefer, and T.R. Neuman

Date

Jan-04

Abstract

The AASHTO Strategic Highway Safety Plan identified 22 goals to be pursued to achieve a significant reduction in highway crash fatalities. One of the hallmarks of the plan is to approach safety problems in a comprehensive manner. The range of strategies available in the guides will ultimately cover various aspects of the road user, the highway, the vehicle, the environment, and the management system. The guides strongly encourage the user to develop a program to tackle a particular emphasis area from each of these perspectives in a coordinated manner. This emphasis area is specifically identified in Goal 16, Minimizing the Consequences of Leaving the Road. Utility pole crashes are a subset of run-off-road (ROR) crashes. Emphasis Area 16.1 addresses the general subject of ROR crashes and covers strategies aimed at reducing the consequences of ROR crashes by (1) keeping vehicles from leaving the roadway and (2) reducing the severity of impacts after leaving the roadway. Ideally, keeping the vehicle on the roadway and in its appropriate lane is preferred. The reader should refer to the other strategy documents for strategies aimed at keeping the vehicle on the roadway. This guide focuses on measures directed at reducing the harm in utility pole crashes after encroachment on the roadside has occurredstrategies such as removing or relocating specific utility poles, placing utilities underground, and shielding motorists from utility poles. Utility poles can also contribute to the severity of other crash types. Many crashes are not classified as ROR or fixed-object crashes where one or more vehicles strike a utility pole. Crashes are often classified by first harmful event. In some cases, striking the utility pole is a secondary event that may be as severe as, or more severe than, the first harmful event. Crashes involving utility poles as secondary events easily go unnoticed when examining the total magnitude of the utility pole crash problem.

Link To Research Report

NCHRP Report 500: Guidance for Implementation of the AASHTO Strategic Highway Safety Plan, Volume 8

Keywords

Barriers
breakaway supports
countermeasures
crash cushions
guardrails
traffic calming
utility poles
visibility


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