Research Reports

Review of California's Rural Intersection Crashes: Application of Methodology for Identifying Intersections for Intersection Decision Support (IDS)

Principal Investigator:

Howard Preston, Richard Storm, Max Donath, Craig Shankwitz

October 2008

Report no. Mn/DOT 2008-52

Projects: Toward A Multi-State Consensus on Rural Intersection Decision Support

Topics: Rural Transportation, Safety, Traffic Operations

The Intersection Decision Support (IDS) research project is sponsored by a consortium of states (Minnesota, California, and Virginia) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), whose objective is to improve intersection safety. The Minnesota team's focus is to develop a better understanding of the causes of crashes at rural unsignalized intersections and then develop a technology solution to address the cause(s).

In the original study, a review of Minnesota's rural crash records and of past research identified poor driver gap selection as a major contributing cause of rural intersection crashes. Consequently, the design of the rural IDS technology has focused on enhancing the driver's ability to successfully negotiate rural intersections by communicating information about the available gaps in the traffic stream to the driver.

In order to develop an IDS technology that has the potential to be nationally deployed, the regional differences at rural intersections must first be understood. Only then can a universal solution be designed and evaluated. To achieve this goal of national consensus and deployment, the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Transportation initiated a State Pooled Fund study, in which nine states are cooperating in intersection-crash research. This report documents the crash analysis phase of the pooled fund study for the State of California.

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