Safety Effect of Preventive Maintenance Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Various North American transportation agencies have implemented several preventive maintenance techniques to improve pavement performance and safety. The York Region, located northeast of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, has been resurfacing and remedying pavements with microsurfacing treatments to improve the pavement surface conditions, but without a good understanding of how the treatment affects road safety. With data made accessible by the region, a before-and-after study was done, with the goal of gaining an understanding of how microsurfacing and resurfacing treatments affect road safety. The study concludes that microsurfacing and resurfacing can have a positive safety effect, with crash reduction factors as high as 54%. However, those activities are sensitive to the influence of treatment year data (which may be an anomaly period) and average annual daily traffic per lane. Generally, the findings illustrate that microsurfacing has a positive safety effect on locations susceptible to a number of conditions: regular occurrence of wet or slick (not dry) road surface conditions, a trend toward severe crashes, frequent intersection-related crashes, and a high occurrence of rear-end crashes. Findings of this study have opened the door to additional research; integration of safety under the pavement umbrella seems so logical and yet has barely been explored. For now, the crash reduction factors derived from the study can be applied by the region of York and by other jurisdictions to make more sound decisions at the network level when selecting pavement maintenance treatments.

publication date

  • January 2008