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Developing and Validating a Model of Left-Turn Crashes to Support Safer Design and Operations

Gary A. Davis, Jingru Gao, Abhisek Mudgal
September 2018
Report no. CTS 18-18


This report documents work done to advance the state of art in crash simulation. This includes: (1) A field study to collect data on driversí left-turn gap acceptance and turning times, and development of statistical models that can be incorporated into a crash simulation model; (2) The use of Markov Chain Monte Carlo computational tools to quantify uncertainty in planar impact reconstruction of two-vehicle crashes; (3) A method for combing the results from planar impact reconstruction with event data recorder pre-crash data to estimate descriptive features of actual left-turn crashes. This is applied to several left-turn crashes from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrationís NASS/CDS database; (4) A left-turn crash simulation model incorporating the above results. Initial model checking is performed using estimates from the reconstructed NASS/CDS cases as well as results from a previous study on left-turn crash risk. Also described is a method for simulating crash modification effects without having to first simulate crashes as rare outcomes in very large numbers of gap acceptances.

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Sponsored by: Roadway Safety Institute (USDOT)