The Impact of Building-Induced Visibility Restrictions on Intersection Accidents


Traffic accidents, especially at intersections, are a major road safety concern. Previous research has extensively studied intersection-related accidents, but the effect of building-induced visibility restrictions at intersections on accident rates has been under-explored, particularly in urban contexts. Using OpenStreetMap data, the UK’s geographic and accident datasets, and the UK Traffic Count Dataset, we formulated a novel approach to estimate accident risk at intersections. This method factors in the area visible to drivers, accounting for views blocked by buildings - a distinctive aspect in traffic accident analysis. Our findings reveal a notable correlation between the road visible percentage and accident frequency. In the model, the coefficient for “road visible percentage” is 1.7450, implying a strong positive relationship. Incorporating this visibility factor enhances the model’s explanatory power, with increased R-square values and reduced AIC and BIC, indicating a better data fit. This study underscores the essential role of architectural layouts in road safety and suggests that urban planning strategies should consider building-induced visibility restrictions. Such consideration could be an effective approach to mitigate accident rates at intersections. This research opens up new avenues for innovative, data-driven urban planning and traffic management strategies, highlighting the importance of visibility enhancements for safer roads.

In TRB Annual Meeting 2024