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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Safety Aspects of Freeway Weaving Sections


One source of vehicle conflict is the freeway weaving section, where a merge and diverge in close proximity require vehicles either entering or exiting the freeway to execute one or more lane changes. Using accident data for a portion of Southern California, we examined accidents that occurred on three types of weaving sections defined in traffic engineering: Type A, where every merging or diverging vehicle must execute one lane change, Type B, where either merging or diverging can be done without changing lanes, and Type C, where one maneuver requires at least two lane changes. We found no difference among these three types in terms of overall accident rates for 55 weaving sections over one year (1998). However, there were significant differences in terms of the types of accidents that occur within these types in terms of severity, and location of the primary collision, the factors causing the accident, and the time period in which the accident is most likely to occur. These differences in aspects of safety lead to implications for traffic engineering improvements.

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