Countermeasures for Pedestrian-Involved Accidents on Interstate-Highways

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Countermeasures for Pedestrian-Involved Accidents on Interstate-Highways is a well-researched Engineering Thesis/Dissertation topic, it is to be used as a guide or framework for your Academic Research.

Abstract

Pedestrian access to the Interstate is prohibited, but many pedestrian-involved accidents still occur on the Interstate in the United States. This project is a case study of West Memphis, Arkansas, which has the second-highest occurrence of pedestrian-involved accidents on the Interstate in Arkansas. The study site location includes a segment of Interstate I-40 which is at-grade.

The surrounding area contains several different land-uses, which is believed to be the primary generator of these accidents. The goal of this project is to determine the primary causes of these accidents and determine potential countermeasures to reduce the crash rate for pedestrian-involved accidents on Interstate 40 and 55 in West Memphis, Arkansas.

Although the Interstate system comprises about one percent of the nation’s public road mileage, more than 10 percent of all pedestrian fatalities in the United States over the past five years have occurred on Interstate-Highways, and pedestrian deaths account for 12 percent of all fatalities occurring on Interstate-Highways (Johnson, 1997).

The statistics listed above are shocking, especially considering pedestrian access to Interstates is prohibited. Pedestrians on Interstate-Highways present a distinctive traffic safety problem and accounted for 20 percent of all pedestrian fatalities in Arkansas from 1993-2012 (AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 2014).

Also, pedestrian fatalities accounted for eight percent of all traffic fatalities in Arkansas from 2010-2014 (Arkansas Highway Safety Office, 2017).

The objective of this study is to determine the causes of pedestrian-involved accidents in West Memphis and determine appropriate countermeasures. To better understand the causes of pedestrian-involved accidents, we designed and implemented a mail-back style survey, performed a site visit, and conducted a matched city analysis.

Once countermeasures are identified, they are compared based on Crash Reduction (CR) factors and costs of implementation. This report is organized as follows. Chapter 1 analyzes crash data for Pedestrian-Involved accidents on the Interstate in West Memphis.

Chapter 2 details the survey and survey findings. Chapter 3 includes an analysis of West Memphis compared to a matched city. Chapter 4 details potential countermeasures. Chapter 5 outlines the countermeasure selection process. Lastly, Chapter 6 includes the recommended countermeasures and conclusions.

CHAPTER 1: CRASH DATA ANALYSIS

The City of West Memphis is located in Crittenden County, Arkansas, and, specifically, experiences a high crash rate for pedestrian-involved accidents on the Interstate. Of all the counties in Arkansas, Crittenden County has had the highest number of Pedestrian-Involved accidents on the Interstate per 100,000 residents and the second-highest number of pedestrian-involved accidents on the Interstate in Arkansas from 2011-2017 (Table 1).

The majority of these pedestrians can be considered intentional pedestrians. An intentional pedestrian is a person who is a pedestrian by their choice and intentionally crosses or walks along the Interstate as a means of transportation. However, an unintentional pedestrian is a person who becomes a pedestrian by unforeseen circumstances that causes them to need to walk along or cross the Interstate such as having car trouble or being involved in an accident.

After ranking counties in Arkansas, cities were ranked by the number of Pedestrian-Involved accidents on the Interstate, and West Memphis was ranked second-highest, after Little Rock (Table 2). The number of pedestrian-involved accidents on the Interstate is alarmingly high when considering that intentional pedestrian access to the Interstate is already prohibited.

The frequency of these occurrences makes it important to determine an effective solution for reducing pedestrian-involved accidents on the Interstate. One possible means is to develop a safer transportation route for pedestrians to cross the Interstate in West Memphis.

Upon examining crash data from the Arkansas Annual Crash Database, pedestrians were separated into categories based on their intent (ASP, 2011-2017). Figure 1 shows that the majority of pedestrian-involved accidents on the Interstate in West Memphis are intentional pedestrians, using the Interstate illegally as a primary means of transportation.

Because the Interstate in West Memphis is at-grade and the land use is divided by the Interstate, West Memphis presents a unique layout that generates pedestrian traffic across and along the Interstate. Ingram Boulevard is an overpass that crosses over I-40 and I-55 along with the highest concentration of intentional pedestrian-involved accidents (Figure 2).

The land-use division is caused by the division of residential areas from businesses by the Interstate. Pedestrians forgo the safe option of crossing over the Interstate using the overpass because it is more direct (shorter) to cross the Interstate. By opting to cross the Interstate, pedestrians put themselves and others in danger by changing their involvment in a high-speed pedestrian-vehicle accident.

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Additional information

Type

Thesis/Dissertation topic

Category

Engineering

No of Chapters

5

Reference

Yes

Format

PDF

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