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U of MNUniversity of Minnesota
Center for Transportation Studies

Toward A Multi-State Consensus on Rural Intersection Decision Support

Principal Investigator:

Max Donath, Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Co-Investigator:

  • Craig Shankwitz, Fmr Director, Intelligent Veh. Lab, Mechanical Engineering

Project Summary:

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 cooperated in intersection crash research. This study provides an overview of the crash analysis phase of the pooled fund study for all participating states. This includes patterns identified in severity, driver, and type of error as well as countermeasures previously tried by states.

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