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Center for Transportation Studies

Programs & Labs

Rural Unsignalized Intersections

Toward a Multi-State Consensus on Rural Intersection Decision Support

Overview | Project Components | Meetings & Presentations | Publications

Crashes at rural intersections, although less frequent than those at urban or suburban intersections, are oftentimes more catastrophic than their counterparts because of high vehicle speeds. The National Safety Council estimates that 32 percent of all rural crashes occur at intersections. Intersection Decision Support (IDS) represents an innovative new approach to the problem of rural intersection crashes. IDS is an infrastructure-based, human-centered application of Intelligent Transportation Systems technologies. In order to develop a nationally deployable Intersection Decision Support system, the national problem must be understood, and a nationally applicable solution to that problem must be designed and evaluated. To achieve this goal of national consensus and deployment, the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Transportation have initiated this State Pooled Fund study, in which several states cooperate on intersection-crash research.

The first facet of this project is a review of intersection crash data from each participating state, applying methods developed in previous IDS research. The crash data will be used to understand rural intersection crashes on a national basis, and to identify candidate intersections for subsequent instrumentation and study. The second facet is a participatory design process to design and refine candidate intersection Driver Infrastructure Interfaces. Representatives from participating states will participate in driver interface workshops and provide design input. The third facet is to instrument candidate intersections in participating states, as a means to acquire data regarding the behavior of drivers at rural intersections over a wide geographical base. States choosing to instrument intersections will be well positioned to participate in the second phase of the IDS program, a Field Operational Test designed to evaluate the performance of these systems.

For more information on this project, click on a link at left, or download the Research Prospectus (220 KB PDF)