In the Netherlands, the concept of sustainably safe traffic is the leading vision in road safety policy and research. The main goal of a sustainably safe road transport system is to reduce the annual number of road accident casualties to a fraction of the current levels. Important requirements resulting from this vision are that trips follow safe roads as much as possible, trips be as short as possible, and the quickest and safest routes coincide. Modeling route choice will provide answers to the planning issues of sustainably safe traffic; however, the safety effects of these requirements constitute a totally different issue, which needs to be dealt with. The focus of this study is on the design of a method that enables the planner to determine the safety effects of existing route choice and the changes in route choice. A description of road safety can be made in various ways. When a microscopic model is used, conflicts between vehicles will be an integral part of the simulation. The outcome will be used to compare the types of conflicts in a given simulation with the types of conflicts that would be acceptable in a sustainably safe road environment, for example, conflicts with opposing vehicles should be minimized at high speed differentials. A so-called route diagram of each route can be checked according to a series of criteria, each representing requirements for a sustainably safe route choice. Each criterion of the route diagram contributes to the total safety level of a route by the number of demerit points scored by the criterion. The criteria are described and tested in a microsimulation of alternative routes in a synthetic road network.
Method for assessing safety of routes in a road network
Transportation Research Record
Transportation Research Board, Washington D.C.