Human Factors for Transitway Safety Improvement

Principal Investigator(s):

Lowell Benson, Former University Researcher, Center for Transportation Studies


Project summary:

A human factors study was performed to identify potential cause of accidents at eight Transitway intersections. Data were collected on bus operators' driving behavior, on motorists' behavior at Transitway intersections and on sight distances at the intersections. From some of this data and the accident history at each intersection we calculated accident frequencies based on the number of cars crossing each intersection per year, then related some of our findings to both accident frequency and the immediate causes of reported accidents.

An analysis of the data suggested that the following were potentially contributory to intersection accidents:

*Two percent of the drivers run the stop signs and about 50% of the drivers use a rolling rather than full stop.

*About 20% of drivers do not look both ways before crossing the Transitway.

*Winter weather brings slippery roads and reduced visibility conditions.

*The timin for bus actuated traffic lights may not be optimal.

*Only five of the 32 sight distances met minimum guidelines.

Our broad conclusion was that the combinations of the above factors could well contribute to the accidents occurring at the Transitway intersections. Specific reccomendations were made for addressing each of the above factors.

Project details:

  • Project number: 1996003
  • Start date: 10/1995
  • Project status: Completed
  • Research area: Transportation Safety and Traffic Flow
  • Topics: Safety, Transit planning