Skip to content

Important notice

The building where our contact centre is based was evacuated last week. Our 0800 numbers are up and running again, but please be patient as we have limited support available for our contact centre staff. We’ll do our best to help you if you need to call us.  For more information read our latest media release.

Access keys for

  • h Home
  • m Menu
  • 0 Show list of access keys
  • 2 Skip to content
  • 3 Skip to top
Back to Resources

Research Report 371 Relationship between road geometry observed travel speed and rural accidents

Published: | Category: Safety, security and public health , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

Speed is a major contributing factor in fatal and serious crashes in the rural environment (35% of fatal and 28% of serious crashes in 2003). In such crashes, drivers are generally described as travelling too fast for the conditions. Based on the premise that drivers do not deliberately travel too fast for conditions, what aspects of the road alignment affect drivers’ speed choices?

Using highway geometry, speed and crash data collected during 2005–2006 on six 20 km road sections located in Canterbury (SH73), Blenheim (SH1), Wanganui (SH3) and Whangerei (SH1), this research investigates the relationship between curve radii, the preceding speed environment and drivers’ observed curve negotiation speeds. The observed free speeds are compared to the ‘safe’ speed, measured as a function of the design speed of each curve; the relationship between speed and crash occurrence is examined by relating crashes to the difference between observed and ‘safe’ speed.

Publication details

  • Author:
  • Published: 2009
  • Reference: 377
  • ISBN/ISSN: ISBN 978-0-478-34602-2 (paperback) ISBN 978-0-478-34601-5 (PDF) ISSN 1173-3756 (paperback) ISSN 1173-3764 (PDF)