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NATIONAL NCHRP REPORT 665 COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM Identification of Vehicular Impact Conditions Associated with Serious Ran-off-Road Crashes

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TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD 2010 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE* OFFICERS CHAIR: Michael R. Morris, Director of Transportation, North Central Texas Council of Governments, Arlington VICE CHAIR: Neil J. Pedersen, Administrator, Maryland State Highway Administration, Baltimore EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Robert E. Skinner, Jr., Transportation Research Board MEMBERS J. Barry Barker, Executive Director, Transit Authority of River City, Louisville, KY Allen D. Biehler, Secretary, Pennsylvania DOT, Harrisburg Larry L. Brown, Sr., Executive Director, Mississippi DOT, Jackson Deborah H. Butler, Executive Vice President, Planning, and CIO, Norfolk Southern Corporation, Norfolk, VA William A.V. Clark, Professor, Department of Geography, University of California, Los Angeles Eugene A. Conti, Jr., Secretary of Transportation, North Carolina DOT, Raleigh Nicholas J. Garber, Henry L. Kinnier Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, and Director, Center for Transportation Studies, University of Virginia, Charlottesville Jeffrey W. Hamiel, Executive Director, Metropolitan Airports Commission, Minneapolis, MN Paula J. Hammond, Secretary, Washington State DOT, Olympia Edward A. (Ned) Helme, President, Center for Clean Air Policy, Washington, DC Adib K. Kanafani, Cahill Professor of Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley Susan Martinovich, Director, Nevada DOT, Carson City Debra L. Miller, Secretary, Kansas DOT, Topeka Sandra Rosenbloom, Professor of Planning, University of Arizona, Tucson Tracy L. Rosser, Vice President, Corporate Traffic, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Mandeville, LA Steven T. Scalzo, Chief Operating Officer, Marine Resources Group, Seattle, WA Henry G. (Gerry) Schwartz, Jr., Chairman (retired), Jacobs/Sverdrup Civil, Inc., St. Louis, MO Beverly A. Scott, General Manager and Chief Executive Officer, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, Atlanta, GA David Seltzer, Principal, Mercator Advisors LLC, Philadelphia, PA Daniel Sperling, Professor of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science and Policy; Director, Institute of Transportation Studies; and Interim Director, Energy Efficiency Center, University of California, Davis Kirk T. Steudle, Director, Michigan DOT, Lansing Douglas W. Stotlar, President and CEO, Con-Way, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI C. Michael Walton, Ernest H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering, University of Texas, Austin EX OFFICIO MEMBERS Peter H. Appel, Administrator, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, U.S.DOT J. Randolph Babbitt, Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration, U.S.DOT Rebecca M. Brewster, President and COO, American Transportation Research Institute, Smyrna, GA George Bugliarello, President Emeritus and University Professor, Polytechnic Institute of New York University, Brooklyn; Foreign Secretary, National Academy of Engineering, Washington, DC Anne S. Ferro, Administrator, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, U.S.DOT LeRoy Gishi, Chief, Division of Transportation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, DC Edward R. Hamberger, President and CEO, Association of American Railroads, Washington, DC John C. Horsley, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Washington, DC David T. Matsuda, Deputy Administrator, Maritime Administration, U.S.DOT Victor M. Mendez, Administrator, Federal Highway Administration, U.S.DOT William W. Millar, President, American Public Transportation Association, Washington, DC Robert J. Papp (Adm., U.S. Coast Guard), Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC Cynthia L. Quarterman, Administrator, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, U.S.DOT Peter M. Rogoff, Administrator, Federal Transit Administration, U.S.DOT David L. Strickland, Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S.DOT Joseph C. Szabo, Administrator, Federal Railroad Administration, U.S.DOT Polly Trottenberg, Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy, U.S.DOT Robert L. Van Antwerp (Lt. Gen., U.S. Army), Chief of Engineers and Commanding General, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, DC *Membership as of July 2010.

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NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM NCHRP REPORT 665 Identification of Vehicular Impact Conditions Associated with Serious Ran-off-Road Crashes King K. Mak MAK & ASSOCIATES San Antonio, TX Dean L. Sicking Francisco Daniel Benicio de Albuquerque MIDWEST ROADSIDE SAFETY FACILITY Lincoln, NE Brian A. Coon CITY ENGINEER'S OFFICE Wichita, KS Subscriber Categories Safety and Human Factors Research sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD WASHINGTON, D.C. 2010 www.TRB.org

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NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY NCHRP REPORT 665 RESEARCH PROGRAM Systematic, well-designed research provides the most effective Project 17-22 approach to the solution of many problems facing highway ISSN 0077-5614 administrators and engineers. Often, highway problems are of local ISBN 978-0-309-15507-6 interest and can best be studied by highway departments individually Library of Congress Control Number 2010936963 or in cooperation with their state universities and others. However, the 2010 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. accelerating growth of highway transportation develops increasingly complex problems of wide interest to highway authorities. These problems are best studied through a coordinated program of COPYRIGHT INFORMATION cooperative research. Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining In recognition of these needs, the highway administrators of the written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials published or copyrighted material used herein. initiated in 1962 an objective national highway research program Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this employing modern scientific techniques. This program is supported on publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, a continuing basis by funds from participating member states of the FMCSA, FTA, or Transit Development Corporation endorsement of a particular product, Association and it receives the full cooperation and support of the method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for Federal Highway Administration, United States Department of educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission Transportation. from CRP. The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies was requested by the Association to administer the research program because of the Board's recognized objectivity and understanding of NOTICE modern research practices. The Board is uniquely suited for this purpose as it maintains an extensive committee structure from which The project that is the subject of this report was a part of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program, conducted by the Transportation Research Board with the approval of authorities on any highway transportation subject may be drawn; it the Governing Board of the National Research Council. possesses avenues of communications and cooperation with federal, The members of the technical panel selected to monitor this project and to review this state and local governmental agencies, universities, and industry; its report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance. relationship to the National Research Council is an insurance of The report was reviewed by the technical panel and accepted for publication according to procedures established and overseen by the Transportation Research Board and approved objectivity; it maintains a full-time research correlation staff of by the Governing Board of the National Research Council. specialists in highway transportation matters to bring the findings of The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied in this report are those of the research directly to those who are in a position to use them. researchers who performed the research and are not necessarily those of the Transportation The program is developed on the basis of research needs identified Research Board, the National Research Council, or the program sponsors. by chief administrators of the highway and transportation departments The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, the National Research and by committees of AASHTO. Each year, specific areas of research Council, and the sponsors of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program do not needs to be included in the program are proposed to the National endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturers' names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the object of the report. Research Council and the Board by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Research projects to fulfill these needs are defined by the Board, and qualified research agencies are selected from those that have submitted proposals. Administration and surveillance of research contracts are the responsibilities of the National Research Council and the Transportation Research Board. The needs for highway research are many, and the National Cooperative Highway Research Program can make significant contributions to the solution of highway transportation problems of mutual concern to many responsible groups. The program, however, is intended to complement rather than to substitute for or duplicate other highway research programs. Published reports of the NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM are available from: Transportation Research Board Business Office 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 and can be ordered through the Internet at: http://www.national-academies.org/trb/bookstore Printed in the United States of America

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COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAMS CRP STAFF FOR NCHRP REPORT 665 Christopher W. Jenks, Director, Cooperative Research Programs Crawford F. Jencks, Deputy Director, Cooperative Research Programs Charles W. Niessner, Senior Program Officer Emily R. Greenwood, Senior Program Assistant Eileen P. Delaney, Director of Publications Natalie Barnes, Editor NCHRP PROJECT 17-22 PANEL Field of Traffic--Area of Safety Richard B. Albin, Federal Highway Administration, Lakewood, CO (Chair) Jonathan Becker, South Dakota DOT, Pierre, SD Don J. Gripne, Trinity Highway Products, LLC, Olympia, WA Douglas E. McClure, South Carolina DOT, Columbia, SC Catherine McCullough, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Washington, DC Ronald J. Seitz, Kansas DOT, Topeka, KS Manu G. Shah, Hanover, MD Harry W. Taylor, Jr., Taylor Consulting, Washington, DC Richard Pain, TRB Liaison AUTHOR ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The authors wish to acknowledge several sources that made a contribution to this project: (1) the Trans- portation Research Board of the National Academies for managing this project and (2) the NCHRP Proj- ect 17-22 panel for its guidance. A special thanks is also given to the following individuals who made a contribution to the completion of this research project. Midwest Roadside Safety Facility John R. Rohde, Ph.D., P.E., Associate Professor John D. Reid, Ph.D., Professor Ronald K. Faller, Ph.D., P.E., Research Assistant Professor Karla A. Lechtenberg, M.S.M.E., E.I.T., Research Associate Engineer Robert W. Bielenberg, M.S.M.E., E.I.T., Research Associate Engineer Scott K. Rosenbaugh, M.S.C.E., E.I.T., Research Associate Engineer Undergraduate and Graduate Research Assistants Transportation Research Board NCHRP Project 17-22 Panel Members

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FOREWORD By Charles W. Niessner Staff Officer Transportation Research Board This report quantifies the characteristics of ran-off-road crashes and identifies appropri- ate impact conditions for use in full-scale crash testing. Many of the decisions related to design guidelines and policies can benefit from better information on the impact conditions of ran-off-road crashes. The report will be of particular interest to personnel responsible for the design of roadside safety features. The primary goal of roadside design is to limit the number of serious injuries and fatali- ties associated with ran-off-road crashes. Roadside geometrics and safety features have a strong influence on the frequency and severity of crashes. To design optimum roadside geo- metrics and to determine which roadside safety features are appropriate, it is imperative to identify impact characteristics associated with serious injury and fatal crashes. This infor- mation has a direct bearing on safety evaluation criteria used to assess the performance of roadside safety features. However, the impact speeds, angles, and orientations used in the current testing procedures are selected to represent a practical worst-case situation. It is unclear to what degree this practical worst-case situation represents real-world conditions. Consequently, it is important to have definitive data on whether there are real relationships between the selected test impact conditions and actual crashes involving serious injuries and fatalities. Crash data will be useful in refining guidelines for roadside safety countermeasures and calibrating roadside safety models [e.g., Roadside Safety Analysis Program (RSAP)] and crash and vehicle dynamics simulation models. It will also be helpful in focusing designers' attention on the roadside features that are involved in the greatest number of serious injury and fatal crashes. Crash data will help designers spend safety dollars on improvements that will have the greatest likelihood of reducing serious injuries and fatalities. Under NCHRP Project 17-22, "Identification of Vehicular Impact Conditions Associated with Serious Ran-off-Road Crashes," the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility identified the data needs, developed a data collection plan, conducted a retrospective data collection effort of crashes selected from the National Automotive Sampling System, developed a relational database suitable for future research, and proposed an implementation plan for a long-term data collection effort (The long-term data collection effort is continuing under NCHRP Project 17-43). The data from this study was used in the evaluation of the guardrail runout length calcu- lation procedures and compared to the recommended runout lengths contained in the 2006 AASHTO Roadside Design Guide. The evaluation provides support for reducing the length of guardrail used in advance of roadside obstacles.

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CONTENTS 1 Chapter 1 Introduction 1 1.1 Background 2 1.2 Objective 2 1.3 Scope 3 1.4 Report Organization 4 Chapter 2 Literature Review 4 2.1 In-Depth Crash Data Collection 7 2.2 Impact Conditions of Ran-off-Road Crashes 8 2.3 Data Needs for Study of Ran-off-Road Crashes 9 2.4 Reconstruction of Ran-off-Road Crashes 10 Chapter 3 Study Approach 10 3.1 General 10 3.2 Data Needs 10 3.3 Data Collection Alternatives 13 3.4 Data Collection Protocol 23 3.5 Data from Previous Studies 25 3.6 Relational Database 26 Chapter 4 Results 26 4.1 General 26 4.2 Descriptive Statistics 32 4.3 Departure Conditions 39 4.4 Impact Conditions 48 4.5 Encroachment Length 52 4.6 Significance for Guardrail Runout Length 55 Chapter 5 Long-Term Data Collection Plan 55 5.1 General 56 5.2 Data Collection Alternatives 56 5.3 Proposed Data Collection Plan 58 5.4 Pilot Study 62 5.5 Data Collection Protocol--Continuous Sampling Subsystem 63 5.6 Data Collection Protocol--Special Studies Subsystem 64 5.7 Summary

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65 Chapter 6 Summary of Findings 65 6.1 Study Approach 65 6.2 Findings 65 6.3 Long-Term Data Collection 67 References 69 Appendices Note: Many of the photographs, figures, and tables in this report have been converted from color to grayscale for printing. The electronic version of the report (posted on the web at www.trb.org) retains the color versions.