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Pavement maintenance considering traffic accident costs

  • Justo-Silva, Rita1
  • Ferreira, Adelino1
  • 1 University of Coimbra, Road Pavements Laboratory, Research Center for Territory, Transports and Environment, Department of Civil Engineering, Coimbra, Portugal , Coimbra (Portugal)
Published Article
International Journal of Pavement Research and Technology
Springer Singapore
Publication Date
Nov 06, 2019
DOI: 10.1007/s42947-019-0067-3
Springer Nature


Worldwide, more than 1.25 million people die annually in road traffic accidents and between 20 and 50 million more are injured. By 2030, highway-related crashes are projected to be the 5th leading cause of death in the world. Road accidents have several contributing factors, including roadway conditions, vehicle conditions, and factors related to the road users. While some of these factors have been studied extensively by researchers very few focused on quantifying the relationship between accidents frequency and pavement quality. Before 1990s, due to the lack of pavement data collection technology, it was very difficult to carry out state-wide scale studies relating pavement quality and road safety. However, in the past decades, there has been a huge growth and awareness in the importance of road safety, leading to a significant increase of research in the topic. Researchers started to study other contributing factors to accidents occurrence and due to the development of high-speed friction measurement tools, agencies can now include friction into network level Pavement Management Systems (PMSs). The objective of this article is to contribute to the incorporation of safety concerns into Pavement Management by performing an exploratory analysis to assess the impact in the agency, user and total costs of performing two different maintenance policies. The methodology consisted in evaluating the evolution of the condition of the road pavements using pavement performance prediction models, followed by the prediction of the expected number of accidents and, finally the calculation of the agency and user costs. The results obtained provided a strong starting point to understand the requirements to solve this type of problems that not only affect road agencies but also the society in general.

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