A new research project aims to improve the understanding of skid risk on roads. 

Many highway authorities routinely measure skid resistance on their key routes. This allows a targeted approach to improvements. However, the correlation between skidding and crashes, combined with road designs, are often difficult to assess.

Roads have different geometries, junction types, traffic speeds and traffic flow. Often the lack of evidence to support a risk-based approach poses a challenge for the effective management of their networks. However, the research project looks to  understand the link between skid resistance and collision risk on local roads. The project is the work of Derby City Council, Enodamus Ltd and XAIS Asset Management Ltd. Funding comes from the Road Safety Trust.

Getting a grip

Researchers analysed data from 11 authorities. This includes road attributes, skid resistance, collision history (injury collisions from STATS19) and traffic flow.

The result is the development of a new approach. It will provide new guiding thresholds and decision-making frameworks to support prioritisation of maintenance funding.

Trials are now taking place and it is hoped the LASR approach will facilitate improved outcomes for road users and tax payers. Better targeting will deliver the greatest safety benefits from skid resistance treatments.

A new approach

Kully Boden, interim head of service for highways at Derby City Council, is “thrilled” by the potential. By being able the research and findings nationwide, it could have a big impact on road safety.

“If proven through trials, this new approach will facilitate improved outcomes for road users and tax payers”. The evidence base and  methodology “is easy to implement and absolutely supports a risk-based approach”.

“We would encourage as many colleagues as possible to download the report, review our findings and look forward to receiving feedback that can help us to shape future pilots and expand the dataset further.”

The findings of the research are available to read here.