Crash risk on entrance versus exit zones of road bridges in Norway
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionAccident Analysis and Prevention. 2019, 134 (January), 1-5. 10.1016/j.aap.2019.07.023
Using data from the national register of police-reported crashes and from the bridge register of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, we estimated rates of single-vehicle crashes on road sections adjacent to road bridges and on different sections of the bridges. Data included all single-vehicle personal injury crashes occurring on or close to road bridges in Norway between 2010 and 2016, a total of 219 crashes. All bridges on state and county roads were included. Crash rate was found to be highest in the approach zone of short bridges (last 50 m before bridge) and lowest in the middle of long bridges. On bridges shorter than about 100 m, crash rate was higher in the first than in the last bridge zone. Total crash rate on bridges was close to the figure for the total road network. However, for the approach to short bridges, crash rate was significantly higher than for the total road network, and for the middle part of long bridges it was significantly lower. A supplementary analysis of in-depth data from 31 fatal crashes including both single-vehicle and multiple-vehicle crashes supported the results from the main analysis. A higher proportion of fatal crashes occurred on approaching or entering a bridge than when leaving the bridge, as seen from the direction of travel of the at-fault vehicle. Concerning countermeasures against bridge accidents, particular attention should be payed to the approach zone and to the design of barriers.