Sites with varying geometric features were analyzed to develop the 85th percentile speed prediction models for car and sports utility vehicle (SUV) at 50 m prior to the point of curvature (PC), PC, midpoint of a curve (MC), point of tangent (PT) and 50 m beyond PT on four-lane median divided rural highways. The car and SUV speed data were combined in the analysis as they were found to be normally distributed and not significantly different. Independent parameters representing geometric features and speed at the preceding section were logically selected in stepwise regression analyses to develop the models. Speeds at various locations were found to be dependent on some combinations of curve length, curvature and speed in the immediately preceding section of the highway. Curve length had a significant effect on the speed at locations 50 m prior to PC, PC and MC. The effect of curvature on speed was observed only at MC. The curve geometry did not have a significant effect on speed from PT onwards. The speed at 50 m prior to PC and curvature is the most significant parameter that affects the speed at PC and MC, respectively. Before entering a horizontal curve, drivers possibly perceive the curve based on its length. Longer curve encourages drivers to maintain higher speed in the preceding tangent section. Further, drivers start experiencing the effect of curvature only after entering the curve and adjust speed accordingly. Practitioners can use these findings in designing consistent horizontal curve for vehicle speed harmony.
Document type: Article
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