Safety Issues Related to Mini-Cars from a Roadway Perspective 870233

Because mini-cars are less safe in both multivehicle and single vehicle collisions, a project was initiated to identify those types of accidents (and accident-related circumstances) where the small vehicle are overrepresented in either crashes or crash injuries. The analysis involved accident and roadway data from the States of Washington, Texas and North Carolina and computer simulation runs related to vehicle dynamics. Results include the general finding of increased rollover propensity of these small vehicles in almost all type crashes, with specific problems with roadside shoulder and sideslope design, ditches in rural areas, pavement edgedrop, culverts and catch basins, median barrier faces, rural traffic islands, utility poles, and with head-on collisions on curves where the mini-car is more often the striking vehicle. Potential treatments were identified for many of these issues, and research plans were prepared.


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