Analytical Investigation on Road Black spots Accidents; Case Study: Significant Black spots of Khorasan Province

Ali Zayerzadeh (
Faculty of Engineering, University of Tehran
November, 2005


Road traffic injuries are a major but neglected global public health problem, requiring concerted efforts for effective and sustainable prevention. Of all the systems that people have to deal with on a daily basis, road transport is the most complex and the most dangerous. Worldwide, the number of people killed in road traffic crashes each year is estimated at almost 1.2 million, while the number injured could be as high as 50 million – the combined population of five of the world’s large cities. The tragedy behind these figures regularly attracts less media attention than other, less frequent but more unusual types of tragedy. What is worse, without increased efforts and new initiatives, the total number of road traffic deaths worldwide and injuries is forecast to rise by some 65% between 2000 and 2020, and in low-income and middle-income countries deaths are expected to increase by as much as 80%. Every year more than 26000 people are killed; almost 240000 people are injured in road accidents in Iran. In literature there is no universally accepted definition of a black spot. At certain sites, the level of risk will be higher than the general level of risk in surrounding areas. Crashes will tend to be concentrated at these relatively high-risk locations. Locations that have an abnormally high number of crashes are described as crash concentrated, high hazard, hazardous, hot spot or black spot sites. Black spots (BS) are highway locations where the potential for accidents is unacceptably high when compared to the established risk tolerance criteria. Decision makers are constantly searching for ways to reduce the high human and economic cost of road accidents, which for Iran represent 3% of gross national product. There are two complementary approaches to accident investigation work: accident reduction, in which measures are taken to reduce the number and severity of accidents, and accident prevention. Accident prevention is the application of remedial measures preventing accidents from taking place in the future. The phenomenon of accident clusters has been recognized for many years and there is considerable evidence showing that the identification and treatment of such sites with low-cost engineering remedial measures can be extremely cost-effective. Approaches to accident cluster reduction includes Single Site, Mass, Area, and Route Action plans. This investigation presents a step-by-step method for black spot treatment and describes the results of a case study application for suggestive of treatment methods for road accidents black spots of Khorasan province.

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