Motor vehicle collisions are caused by many factors. That is why research into those causes has been broad, as encompassed by the Haddon Matrix. Haddon’s matrix used the broad factors of the Human, Vehicle and Environment along with Pre-Crash, Crash and Post-Crash timing as a way to encompass what factors researchers and collision reconstructionists should be examining in their studies.
There have been many biases along the way where certain groups have focused on selected factors at the expense of failing to understand the broad complexity of collision influences. In recent years Gorski Consulting has recognized the lack of understanding and influence of the Environment, specifically the roadway environment, on collision causation. Part of the attempt to make the influence of environmental factors known has involved the objective documentation of how road surfaces affect the motion and loss-of-control of vehicles on the roadway. This study has involved the use of a test vehicle that has been driven along a large number of roadways, primarily in South-Western Ontario. The test vehicle has been equipped with multiple video cameras. Additionally, data of the accelerations and motions of the test vehicle have been documented using an iPhone app which captures such data to an Excel spreadsheet. Data has been previously reported in the Road Data webpage of the Gorski Consulting website showing a select number of parameters. These parameters have included the standard deviation in the longitudinal and lateral motions (“rotations”) of the test vehicle over specified road segments and travel speeds.
Previous testing has used the following categories for vehicle motion (reported in radians per second) that have been developed by Gorski Consulting for describing “good” and “bad” road surface effects:
Good Road Surfaces: up to 0.0200 radians per second
Average to Marginal Surfaces: 0.0200 to 0.0500 radians per second
Poor Road Surfaces: Above 0.0500 radians per second
Up to the present time these categories appear to provide a reasonably accurate description of the performance of road surfaces.
In support of this work, Gorski Consulting has continued to provide testing and data that is being added to the Road Data database. This latest article will describe the testing that was recently (June 2, 2018) completed on the newly re-paved surface of Veterans Memorial Parkway in London, Ontario. Specifically testing was performed in a southbound direction from Trafalgar Road to Highway 401. This testing was completed to provide information about the data that can be expected on a newly paved surface. This data supports the previous data in demonstrating that reliable results have been obtained and that the previous data is also reliable.
The photo below shows the status of the surface of southbound lanes of Veterans Memorial Parkway (VMP) on July 13, 2017 just before it was resurfaced.
The photo below shows the status of the southbound lanes of the VMP on June 4, 2018 or two days after the testing.
As noted in the Road Data database, previous testing was performed on the VMP on February 14, 2014 in which the instrumented test vehicle travelled southbound at a speed of 80 km/h. The results of that testing showed the following readings of the standard deviation of the motions in radians per second at a location just south of the Bradley Avenue intersection:
Longitudinal Rotation = 0.0110
Lateral Rotation = 0.0131
In comparison, the following shows the results from the June 2, 2018 testing along a substantially longer section of the re-paved surface the VMP.
Between Tartan Drive and Gore Road:
Longitudinal Rotation = 0.0107
Lateral Rotation = 0.0134
South of Gore Road To 23 Seconds Before River Road:
Longitudinal Rotation = 0.0104
Lateral Rotation = 0.0174
Approaching River Road:
Longitudinal Rotation = 0.0117
Lateral Rotation = 0.0163
South of River Road:
Longitudinal Rotation = 0.0122
Lateral Rotation = 0.0172
Approaching Hamilton Road:
Longitudinal Rotation = 0.0095
Lateral Rotation = 0.0172
From South of Hamilton Road:
Longitudinal Rotation = 0.0073
Lateral Rotation = 0.0140
Approaching Bradley Ave:
Longitudinal Rotation = 0.0070
Lateral Rotation = 0.0119
Approaching Ramp to Highway 401:
Longitudinal Rotation = 0.0084
Lateral Rotation = 0.0119
In summary, the average Longitudinal and Lateral rotations for the complete travel distance from Tartan Drive to Highway 401 were found to be:
Longitudinal Rotation = 0.0097
Lateral Rotation = 0.0149
These values are indicative of a road surface that is in good condition that causes very little motion of the test vehicle. This is in line with what would be expected as the surface was re-paved within the past year. Once again the results of this data demonstrate the reliability of the testing procedures and that the data is trustworthy.
There is no known, publicly-accessible data that can demonstrate the difference between road surfaces in an objective manner such as what is reported on the Road Data webpage of this Gorski Consulting website. This data is capable of providing the public with a comparison of roadway surfaces such that poor road surfaces can be distinguished from good ones. Data also exists for other road features such as railway crossings, incomplete road repairs, bridge junctions and speed bumps. All these can be compared to each other with respect to the motions that they cause to a vehicle passing over them.
The results of new testing and additional data will continue to be reported in the future on this Gorski Consulting website.