The highway transportation system is a sub-system of the National Transportation System (HTS), composed of many man/machine/environment combinations interacting in a loosely coordinated fashion.
Seven Sub-systems are: • Highway • Rail • Water • Air • Pipeline • Transit • Statistics
The Goal of the HTS? • To provide safe, rapid and efficient transportation of persons and goods to a desired destination, in an environmentally sound fashion.
Balance is Key • There has to be a balance between safe, rapid, and efficient. There is a balance between speed and safety, the faster we allow people to drive, the most speed related deaths. The more left turn yield traffic lights, the most accidents at those intersections. Right turn on red produces more accidents. • The HTS must decide what is the "acceptable" accident/injury/death rate for each.
Outside reading • Assignment: Go to the internet, and find articles regarding speed limits, accidents and resulting deaths. • www.highwaysafety.org • What is the purpose of enforcing the speed limits?
Death rate per miles traveled • In traffic, we judge ourselves by how safe the system is by the number of accidents and deaths per 100 million miles traveled. • We are currently near 1.1 deaths per 100 million miles traveled. (2010) • This is down from 4.7 deaths, 40 years ago. Much of this decrease is due to seat belts laws , airbags and stricter DWI enforcement. There are many other factors we will address later. • Question. What else has contributed?
What does it mean? • We kill about 32,000 people on the highways each year. • We injure millions more and spend hundreds of $Billions on this issue. • If this were an illness, the CDC would be going crazy trying to stop it. It is an epidemic. • The number one killer of teens. • Question. What are numbers two and three?
Other numbers • Of the 34,000 motor vehicle related deaths, about 12,000 were alcohol related. (34% with .08 alcohol and 28% with .10 BAC) • Drugs other than alcohol are now involved in about 18% of fatal accidents. Alcohol is involved in 96% of these. That is not a misprint. • Question. Why is this number so high?
There are many users the HTS • Cars • SUVs • Trucks • Busses • Bicycles • Motorcycles (the only one that has more deaths than 10 years ago) • Tractors • RVs • Pedestrians • Emergency vehicles • Even military vehicles. • Question. Which of these is the safest user?
Quite a MIX • All of these users want safe, rapid and efficient use of the system. • Variations in size and speed can create real problems. In identifying them and in the physics of a collision. • Hit a pedestrian with a 3,000 lb car at 30 mph and you will probably kill them. That is a physics problem, not a design issue. • Question. Can we improve vehicle design to help this?
What’s all the fuss? • SUVs are bigger, higher and usually safer for there occupants. But they are deadly for the smaller, lower vehicles that they run into (or over). • The new SUVs weight 7,000 lbs. compared to most small carsweighing between 2000-3000 lbs. In accidents, the bigger, wins. • The problems of SUVs include high center of gravity, causing them to roll over, and gas mileage. • The new full size SUV gets about ten miles per gallon. With gas at $4 and rising, the fuel consumption of these vehicles will become even more of an issue. • The federal government is looking into ways to reduce size, height, rigidity of these SUVs. The purpose is make them safer for the OTHER vehicle. • Question. What should the government do about these? • www.highwaysafety.org has several articles about these issues.
What about 18 wheelers? • Large trucks create problems too. Although they account for only 3% of registered vehicles, they account for 7% of the miles traveled, and 11% of the fatal accidents. (5000 deaths in 2005). • When cars and large trucks collide, a very small percentage (3%) of those killed are the truck driver. Again, bigger wins. Trucks can weigh in excess of 80,000 lbs. • Although alcohol involvement in fatal truck crashes is only about 4%, marijuana use in fatal truck crashes, is reported around 23%. (Not a misprint) • Watch out for doped drivers! It only takes one to ruin your day. • Question. Why marijuana?
What about murdercycles? • Motorcycles are by far the most dangerous form of transportation. The death rate for motorcycles is about 37 deaths per 100,000,000 miles traveled, compared to 1.3 for all motor vehicles. (that’s about 39 times more) • You do not have to be wrong to die on a motorcycle, 70% of MC deaths are failure to yield to the motorcycle, but the motorcyclist is still the one dead. • Question. Should we still require helmets?
Drunk Bikes!! • MOPEDs are a recent addition to the US highways. (70s). They are not a bicycle, not a motorcycle. They are slow, often operated by persons without a driver's license, or insurance. Use great caution as you approach them with a motor vehicle. • Predict the worst. • Question. What’s the deal with these new unlicensed motorcycles, called mopeds?
Farm Vehicles • Farm vehicles have a right to use the highways. They create problems because they are slow, 15-18 mph, and often larger than the highway lane. They may be operated by unlicensed persons, non English speaking or even minors. • They can cause drivers to take unnecessary chances in passing them. • Can you cross a yellow line to pass them?
Pedestrians • There are about 5200 pedestrian/vehicle deaths each year in the US, 18% of all motor vehicle deaths. • What’s the deal with all these striped crosswalks? Are drivers always required to stop for pedestrians?
Bicycles in Traffic • There are about 500 bicycle related deaths in the US each year. • Although bicycles are required to follow are moving motor vehicle laws, they usually don’t, watch out for them. • Vehicles are required to share the road with bicycles, even when they ride in groups. • Children under 16 are required to wear a helmet.
Emergency vehicles • It is the responsibility of the driving public to yield to emergency vehicles. Emergency vehicles do NOT have the “right of way”, BUT drivers are required to yield to them. • Each year many deaths are a result of failure to yield right of way to emergency vehicles. Of further concern is the vehicle the police are chasing. They have no lights, siren and seeming disregard for the safety of others. • Many enforcement agencies are rethinking the need to "chase". NEVER assume right of ways at intersections, green means go when the way is clear.
The Driving Task • The driving task involves everything it takes to operate a motor vehicle. Everything is a lot.
The three skills of the driving task • . The three skills of the driving task are:a. Physical skill. The person's coordination with the vehicle. Although an important part of driving, it is often over emphasized. b. Social skill. The social interaction with others on the highways. Unfortunately, we are not very social people. Drivers are often rude and inconsiderate. Road rage is on the rise and much of that has to do with our unsociable behavior while driving.c. Mental skill. Driving is a mental skill, sometimes known as decision making. Anyone can physically drive a vehicle, but break downs in the HTS are usually a lack of mental alertness. • What is distracted driving?
The five mental skills • 1. Understanding the motor vehicle. We must understand the vehicle, anti-lock brake systems are a good example of lack of understanding. People pump the brakes instead just push the pedal. This will not work with anti-lock systems. People still pump the gas pedal with fuel injection. • 2. Perception based on stored knowledge. The brain's interpretation of what the eyes based on similar things seen before. No driving situation is completely new, it is similar to one we have driven before. • 3. Understanding traffic laws. You must understand what the laws are before you can abide by them. Ignorance is never an excuse. • 4. Judging time/space relationships. Such as judging the speed of oncoming cars when you are going to pass another vehicle. • 5. Concentration. We are distracted by lots of things beyond cell phones. • What is the #1 thing that distracts drivers?
Six means of management of the Highway Transportation System • a. DMV. The department of motor vehicles regulates drivers licenses, truck weights and operators, license plates, fees, registration, taxes, titles to name a few. All with the intent of making the system safer for all users.b. Enforcement agencies. Each of the police units, highway patrol, sheriff departments help in maintaining safe travel.c. Traffic courts. The courts help assure proper enforcement of the law.d. Engineering:1. Highway engineering helps to make our HTS the safest system in the world. 2. Vehicle engineering helps to make vehicles the safest and easiest to operate. (As well as the cleanest)e. Medical Aid. The emergency response system and trauma centers in the US, reduce the losses caused by collisions. f. Education. PSAs, high school driver education, truck drivers education, alcohol drugs education treatment schools, etc.
Three goals of driver education • a. Provide entry level competencies (abilities) for beginning drivers.b. Knowledge and thought processes.c. Motivate students to be better/safer drivers.
30 and 6 • Try to achieve this in 30 hours of classroom and 6 hours of behind the wheel.